Haiti is a country that struggles with severe poverty, being thrown inevitable challenges such as damage from hurricanes and earthquakes, causing the mass destruction of buildings and supplies that are difficult to come by in the first place. Haitians are in a constant fight to survive, but the good news is that efforts can be made to make a difference. Here are six facts about poverty in Haiti:
- Due to natural disasters, Haiti has faced major financial losses. Since the latest disaster caused by Hurricane Matthew, predicted losses add up to over $1.9 billion. This amounts to 22 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product. Haiti’s current economic growth rate is only one percent. With post-Matthew reconstruction, Haiti’s fiscal debt continues to grow.
- The World Bank has come up with a program called the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF). The HRF has cleaned up 900,000 cubic meters of debris and supplied Haiti with a total of $411.4 million. Furthermore, the group has managed to support the repair and rebuilding of almost 2,600 houses and delivered food to 252 schools which provided 93,000 students with meals.
- Although two-fifths of Haitians depend on agricultural production to provide income, around 30 percent of Haiti still struggles to obtain food. International aid has helped provide many of these people with food and continues to work on supplying sustainable farming techniques.
- Ninety percent of farmers must depend on the weather for their crops to be sufficiently watered. In drier seasons or droughts, these farmers are likely to lose their crops, which are both a source of sustenance and income. This, again, puts an emphasis on the importance of environmental care in Haiti.
- The richest 10 percent of Haitians receive 70 percent of the country’s total income. This illustrates class inequality and the vast gap in income that many third-world countries struggle with. In Haiti, especially, it is important to advocate on behalf of the country’s poor.
- Haiti is still considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world, with 59 percent of Haitians living below the national poverty line. Haiti depends heavily on foreign aid and other forms of economic assistance.
These facts about poverty in Haiti may raise curiosity around the following question: how can people help fight poverty in Haiti? For those who are looking to help, there are several effective charities helping to bring relief to Haitians, including Konbit Mizik, Madre, The Lambi Fund of Haiti and many others.
– Noel Mcdavid