Haiti, a country with a rich heritage, shares the large Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Haiti is by far the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with over 70% of its population living on less than $2 a day. Battered by frequent hurricanes and the strongest earthquake in the Caribbean since 1770, (occurred near Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010) hundreds of thousands of Haitian have been killed and more than three million survivors are desperately in need of aid.
Haiti holds one of the lowest life expectancies, and the third highest hunger rate in the world, trailing only Somalia and Afghanistan. Haitian farms produce less than 40% of the countryís basic food requirements and more than half the population suffers from malnutrition. Protein scarcity is abundant. Despite their Caribbean location, Haitians consume only four pounds of fish per person Ė seven times less than the regions norm, making protein rare in Haitiansí diets.
Job creation is the only logical path to Haitian economic independence since more than 70% of workers are unemployed. While billions of dollars in aid have been made available for Haiti, current funding has been channeled to earthquake relief, charitable support of the people and the need to build infrastructure within the country (roads, electricity, housing, schools, etc.). The Haitian government, as well as that of the supporting nations, has been criticized many times for misuse of these badly needed funds.
Haitiís road to economic stability will be very difficult with its poor transportation systems, lack of available electrical power and usable water supplies, and inadequate education system. Property right laws need to be updated and legal systems dealing with routine business activities are archaic.
Caribbean Harvest offers an oasis of prosperity for Haitiís sinking economy. Caribbean Harvest will be a fast responder to the economic and nutritional needs of the country by providing good paying jobs and funding for development of very poor villages around Haitiís large lakes.