We decided to work in Haiti because it is one of the least developed countries in the world and desperately needs the help of the international community. It is the poorest country in North, South and Central America.
Haiti currently ranks at 158 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI), followed only by African countries and Afghanistan. The HDI is a general measure of the quality of life in a country, taking into account education levels, income, health protection and other socio-economic indicators.
Haiti is a vivid, albeit deeply suffering country. Get to know more about our neighbors, living less than two hours from Miami.
Haiti is only 10,714 square miles – slightly smaller than Maryland.
Due to its geographical location, Haiti is extremely vulnerable to frequent natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes and droughts. This tiny country is also situated in the middle of a hurricane belt, which brings severe storms from June to October.
Haiti’s main environmental issue is the extensive deforestation, which causes soil erosion. Wood is the most common and often only available energy source for cooking, which makes it difficult to stop this cycle. Another alarming issue is the inadequate supply of potable water.
Tek4Kids concentrates its focus mainly in Jérémie, a city located on the headland in the South of Haiti. There are no paved streets connecting it to other cities or the capital, Port-au-Prince. This not only delays goods coming into Jérémie, but also presents a major challenge to travelers. Most of the trade is handled by ships over Jérémie’s port.Those who can afford it travel by a small plane between the town and the capital.
The total population in Haiti is approximately 9,719,932 people (est. July 2011), which is slightly more than the population of metropolitan Chicago.
More than one-third of the Haitian population is 14 years old or younger. Life expectancy averages 62 years, which means that Haitians live 16 years less than US Americans.
37% of Haitians (and 45% of rural areas) have no access to potable drinking water sources. 83% of the population has no appreciable sanitary access, with 90 % in rural areas.
Almost one in five Haitian infants is underweight.
The literacy rate in Haiti is approximately 52.9 %.
About 60% of the people in Haiti live in extreme poverty, which is defined worldwide by a daily budget of less than $ 1.25.
The unemployment rate in Haiti is estimated to be around 60 % as well. Counting only fully and legally employed individuals, the estimates are considerably higher.
With approximately two-thirds of Haitians dependent on small-scale subsistence farming, the country’s vulnerability to hurricanes, flooding and other recurrent climate-related disasters presents crucial challenges.
The GDP per capita, which names the average income per year and person, amounts to approximately $600 to $1,400, depending on the source. In the United States, the average income is roughly 50 times as high.
Poverty, corruption and poor access to education for huge parts of the population inhibit the economic development of Haiti.
Very limited infrastructure and the lack of security prevent large investments in Haiti. The majority of the roads are not paved and due to the mountainous landscape, travel is very difficult. It takes a lot of time to travel from city to city with a rugged vehicle.
Apparel, manufacturers, oils, cocoa, mangos and coffee are the main Haitian export commodities.