Haiti: Development

Why is Haiti underdeveloped? (15) Haiti is a Caribbean country located on the island of Hipiola. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere with its GDP at just $1, 200. The country has suffered through political violence throughout its history and was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7. 0 in 2010. These two major events during Haiti’s history left the country in ruins and since Haiti has not seemed to recover. Throughout the course of this essay I will go into further detail as to why Haiti is extremely underdeveloped.
Haiti has a very low life expectancy at 62 years in comparison to the UK which is 80 years. This shows that between these two countries there are major differences between factors that influence life expectancy. In comparison to the UK, in Haiti poorer medical care is received by the population and this also shows how bad the standard of living is in Haiti. In Haiti, the total fertility rate is 3. 07 babied per woman whereas in the UK its 1. 91. This shows that in Haiti the emancipation of women is lower which means the country cannot develop.
Another major social fact is that 52. 9% of Haiti’s population is literate. Half the population are unable to read or write and this means that they cannot get good jobs or look after their families better and move them out of poverty because they lack a huge skill. These social factors stop Haiti from developing. Haiti has suffered mass political instability over the years. The brutal dictatorships of the physician Francois and his son left tens of thousands of people killed during their 29-year rule.

Since then the US intervened and forced Haiti to return to a constitutional government in 1994. However there were allegations of electoral irregularities, ongoing extra-judicial killings, torture and brutality. A bloody rebellion plus pressure from US and France forced the President Mr. Aristicide out of the country. In the present day Haiti is still plagued by violent confrontations between rival gangs and political groups. The UN has described the human rights situation as “catastrophic”.
This political instability over the years is a massive obstacle to Haiti developing. However the biggest factor as to why Haiti is so underdeveloped is the environmental factors. Haiti lies in a region prone to earthquakes and because of its tropical climate it suffers many tropical storms. This leaves areas with severe deforestation and vulnerable to flooding. Haiti is not equipped to deal with these natural disasters. In January 2010 Haiti was struck by an earthquake, 7. 0 on the Richter scale, this was the country’s worst earthquake in over 200 years.
Tens of thousands of people were killed and this led to mass international aid being received by Haiti. A year later and Haiti is still struggling to recover from this earthquake. This shows exactly how underdeveloped Haiti is because they are constantly being hit with natural disasters but they are ill-equipped at dealing with them. This is a huge obstacle to development because it means that money cannot be spent on things that make a country more developed such as education or business. Also, following the earthquake, the economy is still recovering.
The damage to Port-au-Prince caused the country’s GDP to decrease by an estimated 8%. Haiti was ranked 145 of 182 countries in the 2010 United Nations human development index with 57. 3% of the population being deprived of at least 3 of the HDI poverty measures. Most Haitians live on less than $2 a day. This fact is crucial as to why Haiti is underdeveloped. This shows that as Haitians don’t have that much money they cannot afford for their children to go to school so more and more children are being born into poverty.
Therefore these children can never leave poverty so the country cannot develop as the majority of the population is in poverty. In conclusion, Haiti is underdeveloped because of many social, political, economic and environmental reasons. However I think the most important factor as to why Haiti is so underdeveloped in the environmental factors. Haiti must spend money on taking care of natural disasters instead of factors that help a country to develop. So in my opinion the fact that Haiti receives a lot of natural disasters is stopping them from developing.

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