The earthquake that rocked Haiti on 12 January 2010 was one of the four greatest killers recorded worldwide since 1990. It smacked headlong into the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, home to over one in five Haitians, destroying public buildings and housing as it went. Despite the immediate response from the international community, with rescue teams and pledges of financial assistance and support for reconstruction and development, things are still far from back to normal.
Haiti is one of the most vulnerable developing countries when it comes to natural disasters and the most exposed country in the region. The earthquake's repercussions were much more dramatic here than in other countries hit by stronger earthquakes. For example, an earth-quake of the same magnitude hit Christchurch, New Zealand's second-largest city, that same year with no fatalities. Other recurring factors in addition to the country's vulnerability to natural shocks have contributed to Haiti's economic deterioration, with chronic political and institutional instability and a poor education system top of the list.
Following the phase of emergency aid to earth-quake victims more than four years ago, the time has come to review and analyse its impacts on Haitian society. A robust, constructive diagnosis of the post-earthquake situation, especially household living conditions and the labour mar-ket, calls for high-quality representative statistical data that are hard to collect in crisis and post-crisis situations. Yet a diagnosis is needed if improvements are to be made on public em-ployment, housing and sustainable reconstruc-tion policies and to natural disaster management policies, including preventive measures. An as-sessment of this sort also needs to provide in-formation on the impact of aid, especially inter-national aid whose effectiveness has been ques-tioned. Such was the purpose of the Post-Earthquake Living Conditions Survey (ECVMAS) conducted in late 2012. The Haitian Statistics and Data Processing Institute (IHSI) worked with DIAL and the World Bank to sur-vey a sample of 5,000 households representative of the entire population. It was the first national socioeconomic survey to be taken since the earthquake.
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