Facts On Haiti

Haiti is the first independent black nation in the world, second only to the United States of America, to gain its independence in the Americas.  Yet, part of Haiti’s rich and proud history is derived from the fact that it has been plagued by political violence and poor development for most of its history.  Haiti suffers from devastating poverty and its maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world.  According to UNICEF, 80% of the population lives in poverty and 48% in absolute poverty.  Out of that 80%, 60% are children under the age of 10, with an illiteracy rate that stands at 48%.  Although public education is free, private and parochial schools provide approximately 88% of the educational programs offered.  However, less than 65% of those eligible for primary education are actually enrolled.  At the secondary level, the figure drops to 15%.  Only 63% of those enrolled will complete primary school.  Though Haitians place a high value on education, few can afford to send their children to secondary school.  Without improvement in these numbers, Haiti will be unable to win the future.

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