Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Despite living in material poverty and spiritual darkness, the people of Haiti have an enormous amount of endurance. When they receive Christ as Lord and Savior in their lives they find new hope and deep spiritual faith, but their physical needs remain overwhelming. God has called us to bring hope to the lost and assist in their fight against extreme poverty.
The following statistics indicate the severity of Haiti’s problem:
Haiti is 750 miles south of the Florida Keys in the West Indies. Land mass is approximately the size of the state of Maryland with 10,000 miles of mountainous terrain.
Population now exceeding 9 million people makes Haiti the most populated and poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Over 50% of the population is under the age of 15.
The government is not able to provide the resources to educate the nation’s next generation. Only about 20% of children attend school.
45% of the population is illiterate and less than 20% of Haitians age 15 and over can read and write.
The unemployment rate is over 80%.
More than half of Haitians live on less than a dollar a day or approximately $250 US dollars a year.
Haiti has the third-highest rate of hunger in the world, behind Somalia and Afghanistan.
Less than one third of Haiti has access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
With running water lacking in most hospitals, Haiti’s maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Also 30% of Haitian women die from child birth — mainly infections.
Of the people, 90% are poor and 75% of the population lives in extreme poverty.
Life expectancy is 47-50 years of age.
One third of the children will die before age 5.
There are an estimated 960 deaths daily which works out to one death every minute of each day.
Leading causes of death are tuberculosis, starvation/malnutrition, HIV/AIDS. Polio re-emerged on the island in the year 2000. Only 30% of children are vaccinated against diseases.
HIV/AIDS kills an estimated 200,000 children each year. That gives Haiti the highest per-capita AIDS death rate in the hemisphere and one of the highest in the world.
The United Nations calls Haiti a “Silent Emergency.”