In May 2009 the United Nations announced the appointment of former United States President Bill Clinton as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti. In August, Dr. Paul Farmer was appointed as Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti. Both Mr. Clinton and Dr. Farmer have a direct reporting line to the Secretary-General and are on a $1 a year contract.
The death toll from the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti stands at over 220,000 people. 1.3 million have been displaced by the earthquake. The EU response to the plight of the Haitian people was prompt and included civil protection.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was established on 1 June 2004 after President Bertrand Aristide departed Haiti for exile in the aftermath of an armed conflict which spread to several cities across the country. The devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010, which resulted in more than 220,000 deaths (according to Haitian Government figures), including 96 UN peacekeepers, delivered a severe blow to the country's already shaky economy and infrastructure.
The vital role of new information technology in responding rapidly to sudden onset emergencies is highlighted in a new United Nations study released today, identifying best practice and lessons learned from last year’s devastating Haitian earthquake.