Haiti, officially the Republic of Haiti, is an island state in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Cuba and is bordered to the east about 275 kilometers on the Dominican Republic. The country has 10.6 million inhabitants.
After a period as a Spanish and later as a French colony, Haiti became independent in 1804 after the Haitian Revolution and the first independent country in Latin America and the first postcolonial black country in the world. Haiti has experienced political instability for most of its history, like the regime of father and son Duvalier and Aristide.
President Jovenel MOISE won the November 2016 elections and assumed office in February 2017.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest countries on earth., with close to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line. The gap between rich and poor is enormous. Many people move from the countryside to the city in search for a better life or emigrate to the United States or the Dominican Republic. More than 70% of the population lives in slums.
There is a very high unemployment rate of around 70%. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, which remains vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters.The own agricultural production is decreasing and is being replaced by cheaper imports. There is only little industry.
The US is by far the most important trading partner. Haiti depends heavily on loans and gifts from abroad and lives mainly from what emigrated Haitians return to their homeland. The country has a lot of foreign debts. The once flourishing tourist industry is almost no longer present due to the unstable sitation in the country.
Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population represent some of the most serious impediments to Haiti’s economic growth.
In recent years Haïti has often sufferred from natural disasters. A devistating earthquake struck Haíti in January 2010 and left some 1.5 million people homeless Haïti still has to deal with the consequences. Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 created a new humanitarian emergency and caused extensive damage to crops, houses, livestock, and infrastructure across Haiti’s southern peninsula.
HomePlan in Haïti
HomePlan builds together with TECHO Haïti in remote rural communities near the town of Cabaret, an hour from the capital Port-au-Prince. The communities are poorly accessible and most families live in miserable conditions. There is a lack of basic services such as health care, sewerage, electricity and the roads are very poor. There is also no drinking water available in these communities. Many families earn a small income with agriculture or livestock farming or work on the market in Cabaret. Because families are often large in number, it is difficult to provide food, healthcare and education with the low income they earn. Most families in this community therefore live in extreme poverty. The most houses are dilapiated shelters and constructed of wood, plastic and other waste materials.