The Lambi Fund of Haiti

Supporting economic justice, democracy and sustainable development in Haiti

October 31, 2014
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About The Republic Of Haiti

The Republic of Haiti was founded in 1804 following a 13-year uprising by the enslaved African majority against the elite minority in the French colony of Saint Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the only rebellion of African slaves ever to succeed in the establishment of an independent state. Today, Haitians are proud of this rich history, though, like many other countries in the Global South, Haiti still grapples with the after-effects derived from its colonial past.

Haiti's Population (2010): 9.993 million

  • Female: 50.4%
  • Male: 49.6%
  • Average Annual Rate of Growth (since 1960): 1.9%
  • Under the Age of 14: 35.9%
  • Between the Ages of 15-64: 59.7%
  • Over the Age of 65: 4.4%
  • In Rural Areas: 50.4%
Health Indicators (Source: The World Bank's 2011 World Development Indicators)
While Haitians lived on average 47% longer in 2010 than 1960, Haiti still has a long way to go to be on par with other countries in the region. In terms of absolute age, Haitians will live roughly 11 years shorter than Dominicans or Jamaicans and nearly 17 years shorter than Americans. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Since the introduction of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, reducing the number of deaths among children younger than five has been a focus of the global health community. Between 1965 and 2009, the under-five mortality rate dropped by 66% in Haiti. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Haiti's health challenges remain significant, particularly in the face of a rapid decline in public health expenditures over the last 15 years, from 24% in 1995 to 4.5% in 2010. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
The cholera epidemic is one of the most significant health challenges Haiti faces today, with nearly 600,000 cases diagnosed since October 2010.
Economic/Development Indicators (Source: United Nations Development Program's 2011 Human Development Report)
The Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of health, income and education, takes a more holistic view of development and economic well-being. Using HDI as a barometer, the quality of life of the average Haitian in 2011 ranks below that of a Dominican, Jamaican or American. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Haitians have not seen the rise in gross national income (GNI) per capita that other countries have. Instead GNI per capita in Haiti has dropped in since 1980 by nearly 40%, from $1,828 to $1,123 in 2011. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Agriculture Sector (Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Country Profile)
In Haiti, the farmer is the backbone of the national economy. Over 58% of the population works in the agriculture sector, roughly a quarter of which consists of women, and 66% of the land in Haiti is used for farming crops and livestock.
The value of the crops and livestock produced in Haiti has grown at a slow rate between 2000 and 2010, by roughly 7.8%, while Haiti's population grew by nearly 16%. This is problematic when over half of Haiti's economy relies on agricultural production. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Between 2005 and 2010, the value of agricultural exports from Haiti has rebounded to just below their value in 2000, following a decline in the first half of that decade. Compared to the value of agricultural products imported into Haiti (below), this is a particularly disturbing trend. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
While the value of agricultural exports from Haiti has not risen between 2000 and 2010, agricultural imports into Haiti have risen steadily in the same time period, demonstrating an increasing dependence on food produced in other countries to feed the Haitian people. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Deforestation (Source: United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization Country Profiles & the United States Library of Congress)
Deforestation has occurred in Haiti at alarming rate in the last 70 years. Deforestation can lead to severe flooding and landslides, wreaking havoc on rural communities. A number of factors have contributed to this troubling state: the rise of the logging industry in the 1950s; an increasing demand for charcoal in the ever-growing capital city of Port-au-Prince; a lack of understanding about the consequences of slash-and-burn agriculture; open animal grazing; and poor land title laws and enforcement.
Education (Source: The World Bank's 2011 World Development Indicators)
Though the average number of years a child in Haiti can expect to attend school has risen by nearly 50% in the last 30 years, most children will not attend secondary school, severely limiting the capacity of the Haitian people to grow their economy without international intervention. How Does Haiti Compare to Other Countries in the Region?

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