On 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti at 8:30 am and Tropical Depression Grace passed over Haiti on Monday 16 August, resulting in flooding and landslides. The earthquake had resulted in at least 2 207 deaths, injured more than 12 268 in the country, while 320 people remained missing as of 21 August according to the Government of Haiti. Rapid assessments indicated that the earthquake damaged or destroyed 36 health facilities, 77 006 houses damaged, and 52 953 houses destroyed. The assessments in the most heavily affected areas in Grand-Anse, Sud and Nippes departments continue with at least 600 000 in need of assistance.
Haiti has long been afflicted by multiple humanitarian challenges including recurring natural disasters, grinding poverty, armed gang violence, chronic and acute food insecurity, and the Covid-19 pandemic. These challenges provided a foothold for the 2021 earthquake which is the primary emergency for now. The crippling multidimensional social and humanitarian consequences will be felt for years. About five years after the tropical storm Matthew that hit southwestern and northwestern Haiti in 2016, the number of Haitians facing severe acute food insecurity has increased from 2.6 million in 2019 to 3.1 million people in 2020 in rural areas. Of those people, 1.2 million were facing emergency levels of hunger. In June 2021, an IPC analysis carried out by the National Coordination of Food Security (CNSA) projected that 4.6 million people need humanitarian assistance.
ACT Haiti Forum is responding to the disaster through requesting members: Service Chrétien d´Haïti, Christian Aid, Church World Service, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Lutheran World Federation/Norwegian Church Aid, World Renew with a budget of USD 3,615,859.