of Haiti's devastating January 12 earthquake will have lingering memories of what they lost - loved ones, homes and cherished possessions. But some people will have constant, life-long reminders because they've lost parts of themselves.
The Republic of Haiti was ailing even before the catastrophic January 12 temblor laid waste to the nation's capitol—80 percent of its population lived in poverty, its people had endured decades of crushing political corruption, and its formerly lush landscape was almost entirely deforested.
Now, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that some 300,000 Haitians were injured in the earthquake, 230,000 people died, and 1.2 million were left homeless. Some 600,000 of the sick and the well live side by side in the flimsiest of makeshift shelters—bedsheet-draped fences of rubble in many cases. And as the downpours and mud of the rainy season approach, these makeshift, sewage-strewn camps could also be left in ruin.
People with long-term or permanent disabilities abound; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that the earthquake created between 2,000 and 4,000 new limb amputees, and many times that number have other mobility injuries.