Haiti has recently been highlighted for making strides in the fight against cholera, with the number of new cases this year down 74 percent. Looking beyond this progress in the Haitian health sector, Haiti is experiencing successes in several other areas. According to a report published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) last month, the country reached many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Based on statistics from this U.N. report, here are five ways Haiti has improved and is climbing the ladder of global development.
The rate of primary education among Haiti’s youth has increased from 47 percent in 1993 to almost 90 percent today. There is equal participation in education between boys and girls, giving all children an opportunity to learn.
2. Earthquake Recovery
In 2010, a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake left Haiti in shambles, with 200,000 people killed and billions of dollars in damages. After four years of work, the UNDP reports that 97 percent of debris from the hard-hitting earthquake is gone from the streets of Haiti, 11,000 displaced families are back in their homes and more than 4,000 meters of river bank have been protected against flooding.
3. Clean Water
More households are using safe, clean water. The U.N. reports, “Nearly 65 percent of households now have improved access to water, compared to 36.5 percent in 1995.” The increased availability of hygienic water is key to fighting cholera, acute diarrhea and other waterborne diseases. This progress will continue, especially in rural areas, thanks to the country’s newly launched “Total Sanitation Campaign.”
4. Infant Mortality
The health of Haiti’s youth is improving, with infant mortality ranking lower than the global average, down 44 percent since 1990. Additionally, the number of underweight children under the age of 5 has been cut in half, meeting the MDG three years ahead of schedule.
5. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The Haiti MDG report boasts a rise in per capita GDP from $1,548 in 2009 to $1,602 today. Extreme poverty has stabilized at 24 percent since 2012.
Although Haiti is on the path to success according to MDG indicators, there are undoubtedly aspects of the country that still need attention. More children than ever are attending school, but there are still far too many kids dropping out and repeating grades. Clean water access has improved, but in order to eradicate cholera entirely there needs to be more widespread sanitation reform, especially in rural areas.
But without a doubt, the aforementioned successes are extremely commendable. With a sustained push, a Haiti without extreme poverty could be on the horizon.
– Grace Flaherty