Catholicism is another majority religion, inherited from the French, but “elite urbanites” prefer a strong adherence to Orthodox Christianity, but to some degree, the Haitian peoples share the same “religious beliefs rooted in.. African-dominated cosmology.. ” (Race, 1994; p. 150). The official language of Haiti is French and Haitian Creole, yet only a minor 8 percent of the population actually speaks French. The lack of knowledge of French by majority Haitian has less to do with competence of communication, and more to do with the exclusivity of the language and its elite association.
The mere knowledge of French gives differential access to power… Prestige attached to [the] language” (Race, 1994; p. 151). The French language was mainly written into the Haitian constitution as a main dialect during U. S. Occupation that President Roosevelt claimed to write to himself. Ultimately, though Haitian Creole is the dominant language, it is English that threatens this exclusive sphere of linguistic power. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and thus their diet reflects one in which the average family eats with less than $500 a year on imported rice, beans, and flour.
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Less than 30% of the land is workable for agriculture though up to is still used; the majority of Haitian land has been destroyed by erosion and deforestation. Haitian farm land not for subsistence but mainly to sell harvests on the open market in which they can buy food to prepare meals. Historical/Political Context The present-day population of people we define as “Haitian” came to exist from previous European colonization and African slave importation. Saint-Dominion was a French-controlled colony that held over a million people from all over west and central Africa captive for the purpose of forced labor in goods production.
This colony provided nearly 60% of the world’s coffee and 40% of France’s sugar, not to mention indigo and cotton (Civilian, 1995). However, by 1791 a defining event occurred that forever changed life for all people of Haiti. Previously, the colonial society consisted of whites, free blacks or mulattos (mixed African and French offspring), and the black slaves. Oppressive discrimination occurred at all levels, as the whites allowed for mulattos to mingle amongst their elite far away from enslavement and poverty, yet they could not wear European clothing, hold certain professions, or marry and Poverty Profile: Haiti
By seamless socialize Witt whites. Black slaves and even less tattered to them, as they were uneducated, impoverished, and abused by both mulattos and whites alike. Tensions rose to a climax, and in 1791 a man named Toasting, amongst others, rose to leadership began an all-out civil war (Civilian, 1995). The situation became complicated as Spain and Britain who also desired the lush and resourceful Haitian land stepped in as well. Mulattos and Blacks were played against each other in a “divide-and- conquer” tactic, but Toasting trusted neither mulatto nor European; he was fighting for black majority rule.
Ultimately, he chose to fight with France as they promised freedom for Black Haitian while Britain and Spain had invaded and began to re- enslave the population. The civil war came to a close as Toasting was deposed and exiled to a French prison after a short-lived military leadership, and the black population beat back the French to gain their independence (Civilian, 1995). By 1804, Saint-Dominion was transformed; decolonize from the French and set to embark on its own set of social and economic problems as newly independent Haiti.
Currently, Haiti is 95% Black, and 5% mulatto, operating as a republic under President Michel Mortally [May 14, 2011] CIA, 2010). Sources and Distribution of Wealth Nearly 80% of the population lives under the poverty level, with Haiti ranking a dismal score of 161 out 180 on the Nun’s 2012 Development Program. As of 2012, Haiti has 3 main sources of wealth: agriculture, industrial, and services. Nearly 60% of Wait’s GAP comes from the service industry, directly related from Caribbean tourism (whitepapers. Org, 2012).
The contribution of tourism to GAP and employment is still quite minimal: according to Entrance. Org, the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to GAP is forecast at 5. 7% for 2013, up from only 1. % in 2012. The direct contribution to employment from Travel and Tourism in 2012 was Just 4. 9%, taking into account indirect contributions as well (Entrance. Org, 2012). 25% of Wait’s resources come from agriculture in production of “cash” crops of sugar and coffee, and supplementing with cocoa, mangoes, and corn.
FAA. Org lists in order of amount produced, all of Wait’s agricultural commodities; cash crops of sugar and coffee rank low on the production scale at numbers 10 and 13, respectively (FAA. Org, 2012). This could be due the difficulty in growing these crops on such eroded land, but it does nothing to cost their economy, as sugar and coffee are their main sources of agricultural wealth (CIA, 2102). Lastly, 20% of the remaining GAP in the industrial sector involves manufacturing, mining, and textiles (CIA, 2010).
A major source of wealth in Wait’s industrial sector in in the apparel industry; in 2007 it boasted employment of 6,400 people yet it has experienced a decline ever since, according to a 2008 report from the International Trade Commission (TIC, 2008). There are many issues acting as a barrier to growth in textiles, mostly due to third-world competition in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Costa Rica, etc. These industries have long relationships with retailers and manufacturers, and the nation stability to go with it; Haiti is not as easy a country to work with from an outside perspective.
The country infrastructure does not have consistent electricity to run it’s mills and factories, nor is there is running water, so clothing on a garment farm in Haiti cannot go through the “finishing” process to washing and rinsing – it NAS to be sent to neighboring Dominican Republic, then shipped back. Finally, the roads in Haiti are not well maintained enough for then transporting such goods in and out of the country (U. S. International Trade cornerstone [TIC], 2008).
Economic Indicators of Well-being The state of economic health in Haiti can largely be determined by “indicators” of well-being by meeting certain standards that would implies an “underlying conceptualization of well-being” (Sumner, 2006, p. 3). The 2012 GAP per capita was $1200, with a world-country-comparison score of 210. In 2002, 56% of the country population lived under the national poverty line, and by 2012 that number saw a dramatic increase to 80% of Haiti living on or under just a dollar a day and close to 100% living under the national poverty line.
This sakes Haiti the poorest county in Latin America and in the Americas as well; most are capital city residents of Port-Au-Prince (waiting. Org, 2012). Currently, 2012 numbers place Wait’s Gross Domestic Product at $7. 843 billion, and Google Graphs shows that as their population has increased, so has their GAP per capita. However, a 2. 8% GAP growth rate does nothing to hold off the 6. 3% inflation rate coupled with an increased population (World Bank, 2012). Haiti faces a 40. 6% unemployment rate; out of its 10. 6 million residents, Just 4. Million are said to be in the labor force; not taking into account 2010 earthquake that estrogen the capital city and killed 300,000 people. After the massive quake, Wait’s GAP contracted 5. 4% and has seen only a 2. 8% growth since 2010(Undermined. Com, 2013). The GIN coefficient or the GIN index is a “measure of the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income in a country’ (CIA, 2012). A nation’s economic statistics GAP, national income, family income, and population are combined and plotted on a curved parabola scale.
The closer a country is the number 45, the more balanced the country is in its income distribution. Haiti has GIN coefficient score of bout 60 as of 2002, meaning that is quite far in its nations distribution of income. This index score tells me that majority of the population is likely to be significantly much more poorer than the smaller population of the rich (CIA, 2012). As is common in any poor economy, Wait’s expenditure of the bottom quintile as percent of total expenditure is 54%, with most of that expenditure going towards food and household goods.
This measure states that much of Haitian income goes to food and household expenses, at a much higher rate than the top quintile spends for the same needs (MIFF, 2010). Non-economic Indicators of Well-being Haiti has achieved a surprisingly high literacy rate for it’s high poverty rate and instability: 72% average literacy rate for male and female combined ages 15-24. The education rate peaks at primary school attendance in 2007-2011, with 85% average attendance for male and female combined.
However, by secondary school for 2007-2001 , average male participation drops to 18% and average female participation drops to 21%. This is most likely due to poverty, as impoverished families cannot pay to send e RCA Eider to secondary schooling Haiti has both a rural population and an urban population, with varying water and notation situations for both. For urban areas, 77% of the population has access to “improved” drinking water sources, while 48% of rural populations have access to improved drinking water sources.
With regards to adequate sanitation, Just 33% of the urban population has access to “adequate” sanitation, and 17% of the rural population has access to adequate sanitation. Through Interaction’s poverty relief map, you can find how many active No’s are currently functioning in Haiti or for Haiti. As of now, there are 100 ongoing projects and 33 organizations providing aid throughout the entire country. These projects array from reestablishing sustainable agriculture, disaster management, water delivery, food aid, and a peace and security program (Interaction, Haiti Aid Map, 2014).
Poverty Relief Efforts Heifer Internationally “From The Ground Up” program focuses on reestablishing sustainable agriculture in Haiti and increasing income and food supply for 12,000 families in its program. This group aims to achieve its goals by 2015, in which Haitian residents will be able to sustain themselves in a rural lifestyle, create irrigation systems, distribute livestock, and aid in self-managing home repairs. This is a grass- tots program meant to create resiliency in the livelihood of not Just single families, but ultimately whole communities and the population (Heifer International, 2011). Community Disaster Management” is a poverty relief program run by World Concern; a group focused rebuilding after a natural disaster and improving living conditions through community resilience adaptation to changing climates environmental degradation. They list their activities as increasing the purchasing power of 200 households involved in income-generating and sustainable works, and reducing the vulnerability of residents to natural disasters.
They are focused on strengthening communities and allowing for them to become self sufficient by helping them to generate their own income and learning how to practice sustainable agriculture in a nation that has lost 90% of its tree cover since 1492 (Community Disaster Management Northwest, 2013). The Life for Liberty and Development group is working on a Clean Water Delivery project, which speaks for itself. This MONGO has a goal to deliver clean water to a minimum of 2000 households on a $10,000 budget.
They have plotted out the poorest communities in Haiti and plan to target those for sorority of quick water deliveries, as they are high-risk and high-need (Life for Liberty and Development, 2012). Poverty Alleviation Efforts in Comparison to the U. S Poverty in the United States is much higher than in other developed nations, ranking 24th out of 25 when measuring the share of the population below 50% of median income. One in eight Americans currently live in poverty, and a family of four living on an income of $19,000 is considered impoverished.
With these measures, 13% of Americans are living in poverty and over 31% had incomes below federal poverty standards (marchionesses. Rag, 2013). With the United States already being a developed country, its main touch should be on creating and expanding its poverty programs that are already in place. Also, while primary education all the way up through high school is free to the public, college education is the key to economic mobility and that is very costly. U. S. Minimum wage is not even half the average hourly wage in some states, yet our national cost of living is only continuing to rise. In comparison to the work necessary in Haiti to bring the nation out of poverty, the two countries have largely different needs. Haiti is a country riddled with instability due to recent and continued imperialism, environmental degradation, lack of foreign investments, lack of education, and lack of mobility among the lower class. Haiti needs help in bringing in more income, and increase the income-generation amongst its residents.
The debt owed by Haiti though it has been “relieved”, they are still at a major billion-dollar deficit and their imports largely outnumber their exports. Also, because Haiti now operates as a free trade economy, they have to compete with larger, more stable economies in selling their home products. No matter how much bet is relieved, Haiti will never get ahead if they are constantly sanctioned, ignored by foreign investment, and now given the opportunities to educate the children and improve their societal infrastructure.
Ultimately, poverty is poverty, and while the United States and Haiti need to take different steps to help those impoverished, both nations require the same basic needs: financial stability, self-sustainability, access to education, and a safe society to thrive within. The U. S. Could definitely learn from all of the sustainability projects occurring in Haiti, as much of our poor rely too greatly n government and society to help them, and too few of us have access to land. References American Progress (n. D. ). From poverty to prosperity: a national strategy to cut poverty in half I center for American progress.