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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Sidebar on U.S. Role in Haiti, Chile, and Pakistan Relief

Bureau of Resource Management
November 15, 2010



Photo showing Secretary Clinton and Haitian President Preval discussing conditions in the country following the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, January 16, 2010.

Secretary Clinton and Haitian President Preval discuss conditions in the country following the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, January 16, 2010. ©AP Image

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, with its epicenter near Port-au-Prince. The earthquake was the worst in Haiti in the last 200 years and resulted in an estimated 230,000 deaths, approximately 1.2 million displaced people within the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, and between 500,000 and 600,000 people who initially migrated from affected areas to other locations in Haiti. The earthquake also caused an estimated $11.5 billion in damages and reconstruction costs.

U.S. Government humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti totaled more than $1.1 billion in FY 2010. Now, as Haiti works to build back better, the United States is working with the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC). The IHRC allows for Haitian-led planning, sequencing, and prioritization of projects; for example, it will help ensure that a hospital is not built without a road that can reach it. The IHRC will also provide greater efficiency in the reconstruction phase as donors coordinate and harmonize their investments with Haiti’s plan, identifying gaps and limiting duplication of effort. For more information, see 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.


On February 27, 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 was recorded off the central Chilean coast and caused considerable damage in the two regions nearest the epicenter (200 miles southwest of Santiago). The Chilean government estimates the cost of the earthquake will be almost $30 billion.

Secretary Clinton visited Chile soon after the quake to extend the American people’s sympathy and solidarity. She also brought with her the first of the supplies and assistance sent by the U.S. Government in support of Chile’s relief efforts. USAID provided nearly $10 million in assistance in the weeks and months following the earthquake, including the provision of temporary shelter materials, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, mobile water treatment units, generators, and large tents to expand a medical unit. In addition, USAID provided $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross for the local purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies and also supported the deployment to Chile of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Medical Support field hospital. For more information, see 2010 Earthquake in Chile.


Floods of unprecedented and tragic proportions began in Pakistan on July 29, 2010. The United States responded immediately to Pakistan’s call for assistance, by late August providing approximately $250 million to support relief and early recovery efforts. U.S. military and civilian aircraft evacuated 9,433 people and delivered more than 2,752,413 pounds of relief supplies. U.S. water treatment units have supplied millions of liters of safe drinking water. The U.S. military delivered over 440,000 meals to Pakistan.

Secretary Clinton called upon the international community, at a United Nations General Assembly Special Session on August 19, to donate to Pakistan relief. The Secretary also announced the Pakistan Relief Fund, created by the U.S. Government through the Department of State, as a mechanism for the public to contribute to the ongoing relief effort. For more information, see Pakistan Flood Disaster Relief.

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