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About Haiti

Capital city: Port-au-Prince

Population: 10.5 million

Official languages: French, Creole

Main religions: Catholic, Protestant, Vodou

Currency: Gourde

Time zone: GMT -5

Map

Haiti is the second-largest Caribbean Island and is situated 77 km southeast of Cuba. Haiti occupies the western third of the island it shares with the Dominican Republic and has 1530 km of coastline. With mountainous land between the Atlantic Ocean in the North and the Caribbean Sea in the South, Haiti also comprises of several islands surrounding the main territory: La Gonâve, la Tortue, l'Ile-à-Vache, la Navase, among others.

  • The impact of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Jan 12, 2010 affected Haiti's capital and nearby towns and killed up to 230,000 people; damages and losses were evaluated at around US$8 billion (World Bank)

  • Haiti is currently ranked at 168 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index or HDI (UNDP 2014)

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere with 80% of Haitians living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty: two out of three Haitians live on less than US$2 per day (WFP, CIA)

  • Over two-thirds of Haiti’s labor force don’t have formal jobs (CIA)

  • The infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the world: 55 per 1,000 births (UNICEF)

  • Haiti’s literacy rate is 61% – 64% for males and 57% for females. (CIA 2015). The average literacy rate for Latin American and Caribbean developing countries is 92%. (World Bank 2015)

  • In the last few years, Haitian children have benefitted from better access to primary education, where participation rates of school-age children rose from 78% to 90%, but only one third of all children aged 14 are in the appropriate grade for their age (World Bank 2015)