In January 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. The country was devastated. Over 200,000 people died and many more were injured.
Haiti was part of the HIPC programme but still owed many millions in debt. It was clear that the little money Haiti had was needed for rebuilding. After campaigning by CAFOD and other organisations, international financial institutions, like the World Bank and the IMF, agreed to cancel Haiti’s remaining debt. Over $700 million that would have flowed out of the country could now be used for the recovery. After Haiti’s earthquake, the Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief Trust Fund was set up. Following a major disaster, this fund can be used by poor countries to reduce, or in some cases, cancel, their debt payments.