Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, characterised by widespread poverty, environmental degradation, a weak government and deep levels of corruption.
The earthquake of January 2010 and the yearly hurricane season create further barriers to development.
Economy: around three-quarters of Haitians live on less than $2 a day, making daily life a struggle for the poor, with limited opportunities to improve their living and working conditions.
Climate: each year tropical storms and hurricanes sweep through the Caribbean. The 2008 season was particularly severe, devastating more than 70 per cent of Haiti’s agriculture and flooding nearly all agricultural land.
Environment: deforestation in Haiti is a severe problem. In the 1920s, 60% of Haiti was forested, now just 2% of forests remain. Communities continue to depend on wood and charcoal as their main source of fuel, which just adds to this problem. Soil erosion is the most obvious effect of deforestation, with thousands of acres of topsoil removed each year.
The work of Christian Aid partners can be divided into two main areas:
• Our ongoing development work - this includes contributing to sustainable rural development, defending the rights of Haitian migrants, supporting those living with HIV and promoting the health and welfare of poor families.
• Our emergency reconstruction work - this includes building permanent, hurricane-proof housing and establishing projects which enable displaced, rural communities to make a living through small businesses or agriculture.
The National Network for the Defence of Human Rights (RNDDH) has worked to defend the rights of Haitian citizens since 2005. It is the first Haitian organisation to be recognised as part of the international HAP standards of accountability and quality.
All our partners have been involved in the response to the earthquake. Partners taking on the longer term reconstruction work include KORAL, GARR and Haiti Survie.
This work focuses on the physical needs of the communities affected by quake and also their emotional needs. Counselling was provided for young people who were traumatised by all they had seen, in order for them to cope with their loss and grief.
What you can do
• Help us continue our support of partners in Haiti by donating.
• Take action to help eradicate poverty and injustice across the world.
• After the quake: find out how we're continuing to help rebuild people's lives after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
• Supporting the vulnerable: helping those living with HIV after the earthquake
Share this article