The impact of the earthquake and humanitarian assistance on household economies and livelihoods of earthquake-affected populations in Haiti.

Thomas Kirsch, Eva Leidman, William Weiss, Shannon Doocy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

On January 12, 2010, one of the most destructive earthquakes in history struck the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. This study aims to characterize the impact of the earthquake and humanitarian response on well being of the affected households as means of evaluating the effectiveness of response efforts. A stratified 60 x 20 cluster survey was conducted in Port-au-Prince internally displaced persons camps (n = 600) and neighborhoods (n = 596) in January 2011. Clusters were assigned using probability proportional to size sampling and data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires. The earthquake affected incomes in 90 percent of camp and 73 percent of neighborhood households (p < 0.001); camp households were consistently worse off by most measures of economic and food security. As compared to camps, living in a neighborhood was associated with increased odds of better/same income status (Odds ratio, OR: 1.78, Confidence interval, CI: 1.25-2.53), employment (OR: 1.47, 1.01-2.14), and food access (OR: 1.83, CI: 1.33-2.52). With respect to earthquake impacts, damage to the home was associated with decreased odds of better/same food access (OR: 0.55, CI: 0.33-0.93) and injuries with decreased odds of better/same income status (OR: 0.57, CI: 0.37, 0.87). Within 1 month of the earthquake, 89 percent of camp and 46 percent in neighborhood households had received humanitarian assistance (p < or = 0.001); however, receipt of aid was not associated with improved income, employment, or food access at 1 year postearthquake. The immediate impacts of injury and mortality had marginal influences on long-term household economic security, whereas displacement into camps was stongly associated with negative outcomes for income, employment, and food access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of disaster medicine
Volume7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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