On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 a massive earthquake hit Haiti causing widespread devastation throughout the island nation.
Haiti ranks as one of the least developed countries in the world and is the poorest in the western hemisphere. According to the World Food Program–before the earthquake–more than half of the population lived on less than $1 per day. The series of storms in 2008 paired with a 50% rise in food costs exacerbated the already dire circumstance, leaving many impoverished Haitians without access to basic food and nutrition.
The largest earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years left as many as 1 million people homeless. The Haitian Government reports that between 217,000 and 230,000 people had been identified as dead, with an estimated 300,000 injured. They have also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.