Sunday, March 2, 2014

background and facts

Haiti's population is over 7,000,000. 50% of all children die before they reach the age of 15. 50% of the people cannot read and write . An estimated 65 percent of the population lives in poverty; in rural areas that number is about 80 percent.
These people, many of whom farm small plots of poor mountain land, are often malnourished. Infant mortality is 74 per 1,000 births, life expectancy at birth is only 52 years, and the incidence of diseaseshas access to safe drinking water, and only 28 percent has access to sanitary sewer systems. A Haitians live in poverty with little education, few opportunities for employment, and limited political influence.
Recently, the per capita gross domestic product was $410. This placed Haiti among the world's poorest nations. Agriculture employs 51 percent of the labor force; manufacturing, services, and tourism are the next largest employers. Formal unemployment affects about 50 percent of the labor force. It is estimated unemployment combined with underemployment affect about 85 percent of the labor force.
Most of Haiti's farmers work subsistence plots of land that produce small amounts of cash crops. Soil erosion and overworked land are major agricultural problems, while hurricanes and drought have also taken their toll. Coffee, sugarcane, sisal, and fruit are the major commercial crops, while beans, rice, corn, and sorghum are the main food crops. Coffee is the major agricultural export. Chickens are the most common livestock, but cattle, goats,and pigs are also raised.

Consumption in Haiti is among the lowest in the world. Poor Haitians use charcoal to supply energy for home use.Industrial wages of less than $2 per day are the lowest in the Caribbean. There is only one physician for every 15,064 inhabitants, and medical facilities are poor. Malaria, dengue,intestinal parasites, yaws, AIDS, and other infectious two-thirds of the population is malnourished.Haiti's average income is the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. The lack of unemployment opportunities remains one of the most critical problems facing the economy along with soil erosion finances rely mostly on overseas aid.finances rely mostly on overseas aid.

French is one of the two official languages, but only spoken by about 10% of the people. All Haitians speak Creole, the other official language. Haitians place a high value on education, however most families cannot afford to sendtheir children to school. Only 63% of those enrolled will complete primary school. On average it takes 16 years to produce a single graduate of the six year cycle.

Basic Haitian Word List

It is fun to learn something new. Many Creole words are easy to learn. Below you will find several words along with the English translation. Some fun.

hello (a.m.)... bonjou
hello (p.m.)... bonswa
goodbye... orevwa, babay
please... souple
thank you... mesi
you're welcome... padikwa
excuse me... eskize-m, padon
My name is ____..... Mwen rele _____.
I am fine... Mw en bien
How much is that?... Konbien sa?
I don't understand... Mwen pa konprann
Where do you live... Kote ou rele
Do you know Jesus?... Eske ou konne Jezu
Jesus loves you... Jezu renmen ou.
I will pray for you... Ma prie pou ou
God bless you... Bon-Die beni ou
Praise the Lord... Beni swa léternel
How do you say ____?... Douman ou di_____?

Natural hazards: lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding and earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and used as fuel); soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes
Geography - note: shares island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:

Ethnic groups:
black 95%, mulatto and white 5%
Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3%
note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo

- written by Children's Lifeline