Thursday, December 29, 2011


(U.S. Dep't of State) - Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator

Challenges and Accomplishments

The January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti created an estimated 10 million cubic meters of rubble in 30 seconds―enough to fill dump trucks reaching from Key West, Fla., to Bangor, Maine, and back again if the trucks were parked bumper to bumper. Two years after the earthquake, significant progress has been made in removing the rubble to clear the way for reconstruction ― an estimated 5 million cubic meters of rubble has been removed, or half of the total rubble produced by the earthquake.

Overall Progress: The U.N. Development Program (UNDP), which is responsible for coordinating the international community’s rubble-related programming, estimates 5 million cubic meters of rubble has been moved through the combined efforts of the Government of Haiti (GOH), international community, individual households, and private firms.

U.S. Government Progress: As of November, the U.S. Government (USG) had removed more than 2.2 million cubic meters of rubble, or approximately 44 percent of rubble removed. During the first year following the earthquake, the USG created short-term employment for more than 350,000 people by putting them to work clearing rubble from streets and neighborhoods. As the response has progressed, USAID’s implementing partners have also deployed small and heavy machinery to move the rubble. In line with GOH priorities and guidelines developed by the international community, they have also focused on rubble recycling and reuse to support the reconstruction process and reduce costs. To date, the USG has spent more than $100 million for rubble removal through projects funded by USAID and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Supporting the GOH in the Reconstruction Process

The USG is working in-line with the UNDP, which is supporting the GOH’s Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MTPTC) to develop a new rubble strategy. USAID partners are working closely with the MTPTC to ensure a coordinated rubble removal effort based on GOH priority areas.

Looking Ahead

While rubble has been removed from streets throughout earthquake-affected areas, rubble remains an impediment to the reconstruction process in difficult-to-reach, densely populated neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince. As a result, the international community has transitioned the focus of rubble removal to these areas. Notably, the USG is supporting this effort through $25 million provided to the multi-donor Haiti Reconstruction Fund. Use of this funding began in October 2011, and will continue to support critical projects for 18 months.

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