As of February 2, three weeks after the earthquake, most life-threatening injuries have been addressed, and search-and-rescue operations have ceased, UN emergency-relief coordinator John Holmes told the Reuters news agency. An estimated one million Haitians remain homeless, he added, and sheltering them should now be top priority.
Thousands of earthquake survivors wait to be evacuated near a small port area in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 19, 2010.
Since the devastating earthquake struck the impoverished capital on January 12, residents have been faced with severe shortages of food, water, shelter, and basic sanitation supplies.
Reaching for Earthquake Aid
Haitians reach out for relief supplies from the UN World Food Program on January 20, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Getting aid to the estimated one million homeless has been complicated and slow, but there has been major progress—especially in getting food to earthquake survivors, UN emergency relief coordinator John Holmes told Reuters on February 2.
On January 21, 2010, victims of the January 12 Haiti earthquake root through rubble and dust where a house once stood in the town of Leogane, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Throughout the country, shoddy construction contributed to the earthquake's death toll. That number may be as high as 200,000, Haitian interior minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime told the Reuters news agency on January 16.
Haitian earthquake engineer Pierre Fouche told NPR, "One of the biggest problems too is that in the country we do not even have a national building code, which is very sad."
Comforted by his mother's touch at the Port-au-Prince general hospital on January 23, 2010, four-year-old Orestro Oclore gets treatment after losing his hand in the January 12 Haiti earthquake.
More than 110,000 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the magnitude 7 quake, the Haitian Interior Ministry said on January 23, making the disaster the deadliest on record in the Americas.
Fighting Off Looters
A street vendor tries to keep a crowd from stealing her goods in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 24, 2010.
Though there have been "isolated incidents of looting or attacks on convoys of food," overall the situation in the devastated capital is calm, UN emergency relief coordinator John Holmes told Reuters on February 2.
"This is a potentially volatile environment, " he said, "and we have to make sure it doesn't degenerate from fights over food into more serious civil unrest."
One man lies dead (left) and another wounded inside a Port-au-Prince warehouse after reportedly being shot by police on January 25, 2010.
Unverified reports from Port-au-Prince have told of a handful of incidents in which police shot looters in the earthquake-ravaged Haitian capital, according to CNN. Police reform has been an ongoing goal of the UN peacekeeping mission dispatched to Haiti following a 2004 revolt.
Crowds at Earthquake-Relief Center
Huge crowds from the shantytown dubbed Cité Soleil struggle on January 26, 2010, to access an aid-distribution center set up in a police station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Aid workers and other experts warn that Haiti will need at least a decade of reconstruction efforts after the January 12 earthquake leveled much of the capital, leaving thousands dead and a million homeless.
Haitiearthquake refugees gather to pray and sing during a mass held in the Petionville Club refugee camp on January 26, 2010.
The suburban golf course was converted into a sprawling tent city after the January 12 earthquake devastated much of Port-au-Prince.
Ruined Street in Port-au-Prince
On January 29, 2010, Haiti residents walk down a Port-au-Prince street that lies in ruins due to the January 12 earthquake.
Hundreds of thousands were still displaced two weeks after the magnitude 7 earthquake. Of the estimated two million people in need of food aid, just 500,000 had received anything as of January 28, the United Nations estimated.
Haiti Market Fire
A man tosses water at a store engulfed in flames in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 31, 2010.
The magnitude 7 earthquake that struck on January 12 left much of the Haitian capital in ruins, while the slow arrival of aid and emergency supplies led to looting and sporadic violence in the quake's aftermath.
Golf Course Tent City
Residents made homeless by the January 12, 2010, earthquake wait for water on February 2 in the Petionville Club, a Port-au-Prince country club that houses a massive tent city.
Once a "members only" establishment, the club is now the largest camp in the Haitian capital, holding tens of thousands of people sprawled across a nine-hole golf course.