About Haiti

About Haiti

The Republic of Haiti was the poorest nation in the western hemisphere even before the January 12, 2010 earthquake, with 80% of its population of 9.7 million living under the poverty line. The unemployment rate is officially reported at 70%. Before the earthquake 60% of Haiti’s budget came from foreign aid, and there were over 10,000 NGOs in the country. The 7.0 (on the Richter scale) magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 devastated the country and destroyed most of its capital, Port-au-Prince. The earthquake inflicted significant damage to critical infrastructure, killed more than 200,000 people, displaced almost 2 million people, and has affected as many as 3 million people. Many schools, businesses, hospitals and clinics were located in the capital and were destroyed leaving the population with nowhere to turn for education, economic opportunities, and healthcare. The absence of infrastructure compromises healthcare facilities, and 60% of the population lacks access to basic health care services.  Only 10% of the population has access to a public school, and there are little to no opportunities for advanced education and professional development after high school. There have also been significant water and sanitation problems. As of 2009, 45% of the population lacked access to safe water and 83% did not have access to proper sanitation. The earthquake has only increased the public health needs, with only one doctor to every 11,000 Haitians.

NGOs from all over the world have attempted to fill the void in public infrastructure. Unfortunately, the lack of communication and coordination between organizations has led to massive duplication of some services, and a complete lack of others. This issue wastes precious resources and creates a cycle of aid that does not benefit the Haitian people.

 

 

Key Public Health Indicators

Under 5 Mortality Rate (2009)

87 per 1,000 live births

Infant Mortality Rate (2009)

64 per 1,000 live births

Maternal Mortality Ratio

670 per 100,000 live births

% of population using improved drinking water sources (2008)

63%

% of population using improved sanitation facilities

17%

Adult literacy rate

49%

Primary School Participation, Net Attendance Rate

50%

 

 

 

Croix Des Bouquets

HAC-Haiti’s kindergarten, primary school, and community center is located in the community of La Ferme Blanchard in Croix des Bouquets. The community has approximately 3,500 inhabitants. It is still an agrarian community and most of the families living in La Ferme make a living off of small-scale agriculture and selling fruits and vegetables in the open-air market.  Many members in the community lack access to affordable education, family size is often very large and families with 8+ children can typically only afford to send one or two children to school. The other children often stay home or are pulled out of school to help with agriculture or to sell food products and provide for their families. HAC-Haiti is actively involved in the community of La Ferme and operates all of our activities from our community center which also serves as a safe space for the community to gather, hold meetings and address community issues. 

 

Petit Goave

Our operations in Ti Goave serve a rural impoverished population. Ti Goave is located about 3 hours South of Port au Prince. There is currently no electricity, access to clean water, school, or hospital. Many families have multiple children and live off less than a dollar a day. Many women in the community are illiterate and have no access to schooling. Illness and disease are frequent amongst the population due to lack of medical care and low economic conditions. Many children and families suffer from typhoid and malaria. HIV is prevalent. There is little to no employment opportunities outside of selling agricultural products in the market. Farming is difficult due to lack training and access to water.  HAC-Haiti originally began working in Ti Goave to provide small business training and economic empowerment opportunities to a group of women. We now hold adult literacy training courses, have expanded our economic empowerment program, run a goat husbandry program, and have helped rebuild the communities only water pump.

 

Les Cayes

Les Cayes is a town located in the Southwest of Haiti. HAC-Haiti currently runs programs in St. Jean, a small mountainous community outside of the city. HAC-Haiti originally traveled to St. Jean in 2012 to begin conversations around community building and discuss some of the community’s most urgent needs. Since the original conversation HAC-Haiti has launched our economic empowerment program, small business training courses, and goat husbandry program utilizing community leaders and local professional in the area.