The island of Haiti has a history of destructive earthquakes. On January 12th 2010, Haiti was struck by the country’s most severe earthquake in over 200 years. The epicentre of the quake was just outside the capital Port-au-Prince.

Over 200,000 people lost their lives and widespread damage resulted from the quake: the capital city was destroyed. The Presidential Palace was badly damaged with the second floor collapsing onto the first floor. The Haitian Parliament building, the UN mission headquarters and the National Cathedral were also destroyed. International aid flowed in but was extremely hampered by the damaged infrastructure.

Blue Shield Statement – Haiti
14th January 2010

The Blue Shield expresses its sorrow and solidarity with the population of Haiti for the loss of lives and the destructions caused by the earthquake which occurred on 12th January. Culture is a basic need, and cultural heritage a symbolic necessity that gives meaning to human lives connecting past, present and future. Cultural heritage is a reference full of values helping to restore a sense of normality and enabling people to move forward. Cultural Heritage is fundamental in rebuilding the identity, the dignity and the hope of the communities after a catastrophe.