The earthquake in Haiti killed more than 230,000 people and left 1.3 million people homeless. I saw the conditions at first hand last July and since then the hurricane season, the cholera outbreak and political uncertainty have exacerbated the already terrible situation.
The international relief effort has, however, made much progress. Sanitation and clean water are being provided to the temporary camps and more than 30,000 transitional shelters have been constructed. Structures have been created to ensure the reconstruction effort is coherent and avoids duplication of effort. Nevertheless, it is clear that the pace of progress is too slow to respond to the needs of the population and a redoubled effort is essential.
Ireland, through Irish Aid, is supporting both long-term reconstruction and short-term humanitarian relief in Haiti. Tens of thousands of people have benefited from Irish-funded shelter, water and sanitation projects. We have provided vital technical skills via our rapid response corps, as well as €1 million to the Haiti Reconstruction Trust Fund. Ireland has provided €8.6 million of the €13 million I pledged on the Government's behalf at the Haiti Donor Conference last March. Total EU funding to date is €780 million.
The strengthening of the United Nations stabilisation mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, peacekeeping operation is a matter for the Security Council. The mandate and strength of the operation has been adjusted on several occasions, most recently following the earthquake.
A key focus of the mission is rule of law, public safety and public order. Some 8,651 military personnel, 4,391 police and almost 2,000 civilians serve with MINUSTAH. Ireland and its EU partners continue to follow the situation carefully and last December the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, reaffirmed the EU's commitment to the reconstruction of Haiti.
This will undoubtedly take many years as the country is not just recovering from the earthquake, but from many decades of crisis. It is essential, therefore, that the international community remain committed in the years ahead.