Humanitarian Aid in Haiti

Overview

The native Taino – who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 – were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation. In the late 18th century, Haiti’s nearly half million slaves revolted under Toussaint L’ouverture. After a prolonged struggle, Haiti became the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world, declaring its independence in 1804.

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has experienced political instability for most of its history. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010. Estimates are that over 300,000 people were killed and some 1.5 million left homeless. The earthquake was assessed as the worst in this region over the last 200 years. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck southwestern Haiti causing widespread and devastating destruction, with an estimated 2.1 million people affected. (from cia.gov)

Quick Facts

  • Only 20% of Haitians have stable wage employment
  • 75% survive on less than US $ 2 per day, and half with only 1 US dollar or less per day
  • Absolute poverty affects 40% of children, and 70% of them experience at least one form of deprivation
  • More than 28,000 children live in children’s homes
  • More than 3,000 children are in the streets in the capital
  • Up to 2,000 children per year have gone to international adoption without a minimum state control to ensure the protection of the child and avoid illegal adoptions

(from UNICEF)

Hope's Accomplishments

  • Hope’s Director traveled to Haiti in 2011 and 2016
  • Provided mattresses and a solar heater for an orphanage in Kenscoff
  • Distributed dental supplies, diapers, formula, and milk powder
  • Director and a volunteer participated in a feeding program for over 500 children
  • Contributed to providing playground equipment at an orphanage

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