Haiti


Republic of Haiti
Capital: Port-au-Prince Nationality: Haitian Population: 9,719,932
Currency: gourdes (HTG) Off. Lang: Creole & Fren. Area: 27,750 sq km
Internet DM: ht GDP: $6.632 bil. Life Exp: 62.17 years
Literacy: 52.9% Location: 19 00 N, 72 25 W Calling Code: 509


Haiti (ˈheɪtɪ, hɑːˈiːtɪ) is an island country that occupies the west side of Hispanola, in the Greater Antilles. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern half. Haiti is east of Cuba. She is located 19 00 N, 72 25 W. Haiti occupies an area of 10,714 sq m ( 27,750 sq km). Port-au-Spain is the capital.








Population


The population of Haiti is 9,648,924. Life expectancy is 29.93. Haiti is 93% black and 5% mix and white. 52.9%, knows how to read and write.


Indexes


Climate Change Preparedness


 Cost of Inaction by 2025 30.5 bil.

Haiti has been rated as the most susceptible country to climate change by the Maplecroft Foundation, a risk management company that developed an index rating countries susceptibility to climate change. Haiti has a serious deforestation problem. Hurricanes will hit the island more frequently and unpredictable weather patterns varying between droughts and heavy downpour has already hit the islands.  These heavy downpours have already increase the amount of landslides on the islands. Downpours have also washed away nutrients from the soil, making agriculture less productive. Rivers flood banks , displacing individuals and communities. Solutions such as the planting of trees for reforestation has been taken. New methods of planting like greenhouses have been undertaken. Soil preservation technologies and water retention methodology have been undertaken. If no action is taken to mitigate climate change by 2025, inaction will cost Haiti 30.5 billion dollars.

Programs are being explored to have the Haitian diaspora send items like solar lamps and solar panels to relative at home. Finance programs are being developed. 

History


Haiti was inhabited by 5000 B.C. Taino Arawaks inhabited the island when Columbus arrived in 1492. In 1697, the Spanish ceded Haiti to the French. Haiti was known as Saint Domingue. By the 18th century, St. Domingue was the most profitable colony and the largest sugar producer. In 1791, General Toussaint Louverture led a slave rebellion and took over all of Hispaniola.  In 1802, the French re-took the island and captured Toussaint, who died in a French jail, after being betrayed by his generals.

Dessaline, compatriot of Toussaint, rose to power. Dessalines in 1804 declared Saint Domingue(Haiti) an independent republic, the first black republic in the new world. After Dessaline's death Saint Domingue was split between his generals, Christophe north and the mulatto Petion to the south.

In 1825, Haiti signed an indemnity with France promising to pay France and former slave plantation owners compensation for loss of their property in the Haitian Revolution. The amount being 150 million Francs ( 3 billion in today's currency). The British backed the French indemnity, out of concern for its own slave financial interest. By 1898, half of Haiti's government budget was being used to pay off this indemnity. By 1914, 80% of Haiti's budget was going to France for indemnity payments.

In 1915, the U.S. invaded Haiti and remained till 1934. Haitian law forbade the ownership of land and businesses by foreigners, which was against U.S. business interest.

In 1957, Francois Duvalier(Papa Doc) assumed power and Haiti became a dictatorship, ruled by terror with the secret police force Tonton Macoute . Papa Doc Duvalier declared himself president for life. Jean Claude Duvalier assumed his father's position in 1971 and was later deposed by the military in 1986.

Haiti experience instability till 1991, when priest Jean Bertand Aristide was elected president, but sacked by the military in 1992. He was re-instated through a brokered deal in 1994. He was re-elected in 2000, in an election charged with fraud. In 2004, Aristide was force into exile due to a popular uprising. An interim government was put in place backed by the United States. 

Related Article: Haitian Voodoo , Kompa , Haitian Creole , 

Works Cited

Cameron, Sarah and Box, Ben(1993). Travelers World Guide:Caribbean Islands Handbook. ISBN 0-13-116971-8

CIA Factbook:Haiti