Life in Anse-a-Galets, La Gonave after the Earthquake

Haiti's 2010 earthquake forced 7,500 survivors to flee to La Gonave outside Port-au-Prince, during the first 19 days after the earthquake hit. Some estimates record 20,000, which included refugees from other bomb-shelled areas.


Haiti received nine billion dollars in disaster relief and La Gonave needed a significant amount of that figure for shelter and food. But the city received almost no aid, and its population swelled to 100,000, caused by returning migrants. La Gonave is one of 12 food-insufficient areas, and the food crisis has worsened since Hurricane Sandy hit in 2013, closely followed by Hurricane Isaac, both destroying its crops with flooding.

One non-government agency reports La Gonave was targeted for only one restoration project, but the government of Haiti website reports it received two projects, hardly enough. Of 71 health services projects, adding up to $96 million, La Gonave received none. Of another 101 post-earthquake projects monitored by the World Bank, La Gonave also received nothing. Habitually overlooked La Gonave stands in the shadows of Port-au-Prince, who has always been favored for relief aid. The problem is caused by La Gonave's remoteness and its pathetically underdeveloped road system. The island can only be accessed by fly boats, ferries, or sailboats.

To give an illustration of how far-removed the city is, the cholera epidemic has barely affected it. La Gonave's Anse-a-Galets cholera clinic has served between one to three patients per day, most of whom have had non-life-threatening symptoms.

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