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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Haiti

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The native Taino Amerindians - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola, and 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 black republic to declare its independence in 1804. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. After an armed rebellion led to the forced resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE in February 2004, an interim government took office to organize new elections under the auspices of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Continued violence and technical delays prompted repeated postponements, but Haiti finally did inaugurate a democratically elected president and parliament in May of 2006. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. two-thirds of all haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. a macroeconomic program developed in 2005 with the help of the international monetary fund helped the economy grow 3.5% in 2007, the highest growth rate since 1999. us economic engagement under the haitian hemispheric opportunity through partnership encouragement (hope) act, passed in december 2006, has boosted the garment and automotive parts exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the us. haiti suffers from high inflation, a lack of investment because of insecurity and limited infrastructure, and a severe trade deficit. in 2005, haiti paid its arrears to the world bank, paving the way for reengagement with the bank. the government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability. remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly a quarter of gdp and more than twice the earnings from exports.

Environmental Issues

Extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and used as fuel); soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water

Government Type



8,924,553 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to aids; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)


Caribbean, western one-third of the island of hispaniola, between the caribbean sea and the north atlantic ocean, west of the dominican republic


Total: 27,750 sq km land: 27,560 sq km water: 190 sq km

Slightly smaller than maryland

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of haiti conventional short form: haiti local long form: republique d'haiti/repiblik d' ayiti local short form: haiti/ayiti


Name: port-au-prince geographic coordinates: 18 32 n, 72 20 w time difference: utc-5 (same time as washington, dc during standard time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first sunday in april; ends last sunday in october

International Disputes

Since 2004, about 8,000 peacekeepers from the un stabilization mission in haiti (minustah) maintain civil order in haiti; despite efforts to control illegal migration, haitians cross into the dominican republic and sail to neighboring countries; haiti claims us-administered navassa island

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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