Introduction ::Haiti

    The native Taino - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti's nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L'OUVERTURE. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world, declaring its independence in 1804. Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has experienced political instability for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations. Continued instability and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti inaugurated a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006. This was followed by contested elections in 2010 that resulted in the election of Haiti's current President, Michel MARTELLY. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 25 km (15 mi) west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Estimates are that over 300,000 people were killed and some 1.5 million left homeless. The earthquake was assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years.

Geography ::Haiti

People and Society ::Haiti

    noun: Haitian(s)
    adjective: Haitian
    black 95%, mulatto and white 5%
    French (official), Creole (official)
    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
    9,893,934 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    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
    0-14 years: 34.6% (male 1,716,917/female 1,708,978)
    15-24 years: 21.5% (male 1,064,069/female 1,066,614)
    25-54 years: 34.8% (male 1,713,478/female 1,729,432)
    55-64 years: 5% (male 235,278/female 258,330)
    65 years and over: 4.1% (male 178,842/female 221,996) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 65.2 %
    youth dependency ratio: 57.8 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.5 %
    potential support ratio: 13.4 (2013)
    total: 21.9 years
    male: 21.6 years
    female: 22.1 years (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    note: the preliminary 2011 numbers differ significantly from those of 2010, which were strongly influenced by the demographic effect of the January 2010 earthquake; the latest figures more closely correspond to those of 2009 (2013 est.)
    23.35 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    8 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    -5.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    urban population: 52% of total population (2010)
    rate of urbanization: 3.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    PORT-AU-PRINCE (capital) 2.143 million (2010)
    at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    22.2 (2006 est.)
    350 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    total: 50.92 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 41
    male: 54.85 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 46.94 deaths/1,000 live births
    note: the preliminary 2011 numbers differ significantly from those of 2010, which were strongly influenced by the demographic effect of the January 2010 earthquake; the latest figures more closely correspond to those of 2009 (2013 est.)
    total population: 62.85 years
    country comparison to the world: 186
    male: 61.46 years
    female: 64.25 years
    note: the preliminary 2011 numbers differ significantly from those of 2010, which were strongly influenced by the demographic effect of the January 2010 earthquake; the latest figures more closely correspond to those of 2009 (2013 est.)
    2.88 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    34.5% (2012)
    6.9% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    0.25 physicians/1,000 population (1998)
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2007)
    urban: 85% of population
    rural: 51% of population
    total: 69% of population
    urban: 15% of population
    rural: 49% of population
    total: 31% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 24% of population
    rural: 10% of population
    total: 17% of population
    urban: 76% of population
    rural: 90% of population
    total: 83% of population (2010 est.)
    1.9% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    120,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    7,100 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    degree of risk: high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2013)
    7.9% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    18.9% (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 48.7%
    male: 53.4%
    female: 44.6% (2006 est.)
    total number: 2,587,205
    percentage: 21 % (2006 est.)

Government ::Haiti

    conventional long form: Republic of Haiti
    conventional short form: Haiti
    local long form: Republique d'Haiti/Repiblik d' Ayiti
    local short form: Haiti/Ayiti
    name: Port-au-Prince
    geographic coordinates: 18 32 N, 72 20 W
    time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
    10 departments (departements, singular - departement); Artibonite, Centre, Grand'Anse, Nippes, Nord, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Est
    1 January 1804 (from France)
    Independence Day, 1 January (1804)
    approved March 1987; this is Haiti's 23rd constitution
    civil law system strongly influenced by Napoleonic Code
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Michel MARTELLY (since 14 May 2011)
    head of government: Prime Minister Laurent LAMOTHE (since 16 May 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 28 November 2010; runoff on 20 March 2011 (next to be held in 2015); prime minister appointed by the president, ratified by the National Assembly
    election results: Michel MARTELLY won the runoff election held on 20 March 2011 with 67.6% of the vote against 31.7% for Mirlande MANIGAT
    bicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale consists of the Senate (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the Chamber of Deputies (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms);
    elections: Senate - last held on 28 November 2010 with run-off elections on 20 March 2011 (next regular election, for one third of seats, scheduled for 2012 but delayed); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 28 November 2010 with run-off elections on 20 March 2011 (next regular election to be held in 2014)
    election results: 2010 Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Inite 6, ALTENATIV 4, LAVNI 1; 2010 Chamber of Deputies- percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Inite 32, Altenativ 11, Ansanm Nou Fo 10, AAA 8, LAVNI 7, RASANBLE 4, KONBIT 3, MOCHRENA 3, Platforme Liberation 3, PONT 3, Repons Peyizan 3, Independent 2, MAS 2, MODELH-PRDH 1, PLAPH 1, RESPE 1, Veye Yo 1, vacant 4
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation (consists of a chief judge and other judges)
    note - Haiti is a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president from candidate lists submitted by the Senate of the National Assembly; note - Article 174 of the Haiti Constitution states "Judges of the Supreme Court.... are appointed for 10 years." whereas Article 177 states "Judges of the Supreme Court..... are appointed for life."
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; magistrates' courts; special courts
    Assembly of Progressive National Democrats or RDNP [Mirlande MANIGAT]
    Christian and Citizen For Haiti's Reconstruction or ACCRHA [Chavannes JEUNE]
    Convention for Democratic Unity or KID [Evans PAUL]
    Cooperative Action to Rebuild Haiti or KONBA [Jean William JEANTY]
    December 16 Platform or Platfom 16 Desanm [Dr. Gerard BLOT]
    Democratic Alliance or ALYANS [Evans PAUL] (coalition composed of KID and PPRH)
    Democratic Centers's National Council or CONACED [Osner FEVRY]
    Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Haiti-Revolutionary Party of Haiti or MODELH-PRDH
    Effort and Solidarity to Create an Alternative for the People or ESKAMP [Joseph JASME]
    Fanmi Lavalas or FL [Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE]
    For Us All or PONT [Jean-Marie CHERESTAL]
    Grouping of Citizens for Hope or RESPE [Charles-Henri BAKER]
    Haiti in Action or AAA [Youri LATORTUE]
    Haitians for Haiti [Yvon NEPTUNE]
    Independent Movement for National Reconstruction or MIRN [Luc FLEURINORD]
    Konbit Pou refe Ayiti or KONBIT
    Lavni Organization or LAVNI [Yves CRISTALIN]
    Liberal Party of Haiti or PLH [Jean Andre VICTOR]
    Liberation Platform or PLATFORME LIBERATION
    Love Haiti or Renmen Ayiti [Jean-Henry CEANT and Camille LEBLANC]
    Merging of Haitian Social Democratics or FUSION [Edmonde Supplice BEAUZILE] (coalition of Ayiti Capable, Haitian National Revolutionary Party, and National Congress of Democratic Movements)
    Mobilization for National Development or MDN [Hubert de RONCERAY]
    National Front for the Reconstruction of Haiti or FRN [Guy PHILIPPE]
    New Christian Movement for a New Haiti or MOCHRENA [Luc MESADIEU]
    Peasant's Response or Repons Peyizan [Michel MARTELLY]
    Platform Alternative for Progress and Democracy or ALTENATIV [Victor BENOIT and Evans PAUL]
    Platform of Haitian Patriots or PLAPH [Dejean BELISAIRE and Himmler REBU]
    Popular Party for the Renewal of Haiti or PPRH [Claude ROMAIN]
    Rally or RASAMBLE
    Respect or RESPE
    Socialist Action Movement or MAS
    Strength in Unity or Ansanm Nou Fo [Leslie VOLTAIRE]
    Struggling People's Organization or OPL [Sauveur PIERRE-ETIENNE]
    Union [Chavannes JEUNE]
    Union of Haitian Citizens for Democracy, Development, and Education or UCADDE [Jeantel JOSEPH]
    Union of Nationalist and Progressive Haitians or UNPH [Edouard FRANCISQUE]
    Unity or Inite [Levaillant LOUIS-JEUNE] (coalition that includes Front for Hope or L'ESPWA)
    Vigilance or Veye Yo [Lavarice GAUDIN]
    Youth for People's Power or JPP [Rene CIVIL]
    Autonomous Organizations of Haitian Workers or CATH [Fignole ST-CYR]
    Confederation of Haitian Workers or CTH
    Economic Forum of the Private Sector or EF [Reginald BOULOS]
    Federation of Workers Trade Unions or FOS
    General Organization of Independent Haitian Workers [Patrick NUMAS]
    Grand-Anse Resistance Committee, or KOREGA
    The Haitian Association of Industries or ADIH [Georges SASSINE]
    National Popular Assembly or APN
    Papaye Peasants Movement or MPP [Chavannes JEAN-BAPTISTE]
    Popular Organizations Gathering Power or PROP
    Protestant Federation of Haiti
    Roman Catholic Church
    chief of mission: Ambassador Paul Getty ALTIDOR
    chancery: 2311 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-4090
    FAX: [1] (202) 745-7215
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
    consulate(s): Orlando (FL)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela A. WHITE
    embassy: Tabarre 41, Route de Tabarre, Port-au-Prince
    mailing address: (in Haiti) P.O. Box 1634, Port-au-Prince, Haiti; (from abroad) 3400 Port-au-Prince, State Department, Washington, DC 20521-3400
    telephone: [509] 2229-8000
    FAX: [509] 229-8028
    two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a centered white rectangle bearing the coat of arms, which contains a palm tree flanked by flags and two cannons above a scroll bearing the motto L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE (Union Makes Strength); the colors are taken from the French Tricolor and represent the union of blacks and mulattoes
    Hispaniolan trogon (bird)
    name: "La Dessalinienne" (The Dessalines Song)

    lyrics/music: Justin LHERISSON/Nicolas GEFFRARD
    note: adopted 1904; the anthem is named for Jean-Jacques DESSALINES, a leader in the Haitian Revolution and first ruler of an independent Haiti

Economy ::Haiti

    Haiti is a free market economy that enjoys the advantages of low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Poverty, corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, and low levels of education for much of the population are among Haiti's most serious impediments to economic growth. Haiti's economy suffered a severe setback in January 2010 when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas. Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the earthquake further inflicted $7.8 billion in damage and caused the country's GDP to contract 5.4% in 2010. In 2011, the Haitian economy had begun recovering slowly from the effects of the earthquake. However, two hurricanes adversely affected agricultural output and the slow public capital spending negatively affected the economic recovery in 2012. GDP growth for 2012 was 2.8%, down from 5.6% in 2011. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Preference Agreement (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE II) Act helped increase apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. Congress voted in 2010 to extend the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020 under the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act; the apparel sector accounts for about 90% of Haitian exports and nearly one-twentieth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling 20% of GDP and representing more than five times the earnings from exports in 2012. Haiti suffers from a lack of investment, partly because of weak infrastructure such as access to electricity. In 2005, Haiti paid its arrears to the World Bank, paving the way for reengagement with the Bank. Haiti received debt forgiveness for over $1 billion through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country initiative in mid-2009. The remainder of its outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries following the 2010 earthquake, but has since risen to nearly $1 billion. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over half of its annual budget coming from outside sources. The MARTELLY administration in 2011 launched a campaign aimed at drawing foreign investment into Haiti as a means for sustainable development. To that end, the MARTELLY government in 2012 created a Commission for Commercial Code Reform, effected reforms to the justice sector, and inaugurated the Caracol industrial park in Haiti's north coast.
    $13.15 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    $12.79 billion (2011 est.)
    $12.12 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $7.902 billion (2012 est.)
    2.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    5.6% (2011 est.)
    -5.4% (2010 est.)
    $1,300 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    $1,300 (2011 est.)
    $1,200 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    agriculture: 24.7%
    industry: 19.4%
    services: 55.9% (2012 est.)
    coffee, mangoes, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood, vetiver
    textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly based on imported parts
    6.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    4.81 million
    country comparison to the world: 79
    note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (2010 est.)
    agriculture: 38.1%
    industry: 11.5%
    services: 50.4% (2010)
    40.6% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    note: widespread unemployment and underemployment; more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs
    80% (2003 est.)
    lowest 10%: 0.7%
    highest 10%: 47.7% (2001)
    59.2 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    revenues: $1.812 billion
    expenditures: $2.279 billion (2012 est.)
    22.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    -5.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    1 October - 30 September
    6.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    8.4% (2011 est.)
    9.6% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    11.61% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.107 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    $1.003 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.509 billion (31 October 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    $3.43 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.515 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $1.268 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    -$1.509 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    -$1.728 billion (2011 est.)
    $785 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    $767.5 million (2011 est.)
    apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee
    US 81.5% (2012)
    $2.64 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    $2.962 billion (2011 est.)
    food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
    Dominican Republic 35.9%, US 24.7%, Netherlands Antilles 9.8%, China 6.6% (2012)
    $1.287 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $1.197 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $958.2 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    $782.9 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $783.3 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    $603.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    gourdes (HTG) per US dollar -
    41.95 (2012 est.)
    40.52 (2011 est.)
    39.8 (2010 est.)
    42.02 (2009)
    39.216 (2008)

Energy ::Haiti

Communications ::Haiti

    50,000 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    4.2 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    general assessment: telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Latin America and the Caribbean; domestic facilities barely adequate; international facilities slightly better
    domestic: mobile-cellular telephone services are expanding rapidly due, in part, to the introduction of low-cost GSM phones; mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 40 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 509; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
    several TV stations, including 1 government-owned; cable TV subscription service available; government-owned radio network; more than 250 private and community radio stations with about 50 FM stations in Port-au-Prince alone (2007)
    555 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    1 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 98

Transportation ::Haiti

Military ::Haiti

Transnational Issues ::Haiti

    since 2004, peacekeepers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti have assisted in maintaining civil order in Haiti; the mission currently includes 6,685 military, 2,607 police, and 443 civilian personnel; despite efforts to control illegal migration, Haitians cross into the Dominican Republic and sail to neighboring countries; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island
    IDPs: 357,785 (includes only IDPs from the 2010 earthquake living in camps or camp-like situations; information is lacking about IDPs living outside camps or who have left camps) (2012)
    current situation: Haiti is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; many of Haiti's trafficking cases involve children recruited to live with families in other towns in the hope of going to school but who instead become forced domestic servants known as restaveks; restaveks are vulnerable to abuse and make up a large proportion of Haiti's population of street children, who are forced into prostitution, begging, and street crime by violent gangs; Haitians are exploited in forced labor in the Dominican Republic, elsewhere in the Caribbean, and the US, and some Dominican women are forced into prostitution in Haiti; women and children living in camps for internally displaced people are at increased risk of sex trafficking and forced labor
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Haiti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has made no discernible progress in prosecuting trafficking offenders largely because Haiti does not have a law specifically prohibiting human trafficking; the government does not provide direct or specialized services for trafficking victims and refers suspected victims to donor-funded NGOs, which provide shelter, food, medical, and psychosocial support; no proactive identification or assistance for adult victims was reported; an inter-ministerial working-group on human trafficking and a national commission for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor hae been created (2013)
    Caribbean transshipment point for cocaine en route to the US and Europe; substantial bulk cash smuggling activity; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Haiti for illicit financial transactions; pervasive corruption; significant consumer of cannabis