HELP HEAL HAITI…
Offering what we hold in our hands – to change the world.
Help Heal Haiti empowers simple people to make a lasting difference in the poorest country of the western hemisphere. We promote and partner with organizations doing amazing work on the ground in Haiti – connecting you to real stories and real opportunities to change the world.
With an area slightly smaller than the state of Maryland, Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola and shares a border with the Dominican Republic.
Port-au-Prince is the nation’s capital and its largest city, with more than 2 million people.
Being on a Caribbean island means that Haiti is hot and humid during most of the year. Some areas of the country, however, can be almost desert-like and dry where the mountains cut off the trade winds.
Most of Haiti is rugged and mountainous. Rampant deforestation and poor environmental controls have left large swaths of the country bare and contributed to large-scale loss of topsoil. Much of Haiti suffers from chronic drought.
More than 9 million people live in Haiti, making it the second most densely populated country in the Americas. It is also one of the fastest growing.
On the whole, Haiti has a young population, in part because of a high birthrate and relatively short life expectancies (60 years for women and 56 years for men). Just 4 percent of Haitians are more than 64 years old. In contrast, 42 percent of Haitians are younger than 14.
More than two-thirds of Haiti’s population is unemployed or has no formal job. Most Haitians live on less than $2 a day. One in two Haitians live in absolute poverty, earning less than $1 dollar a day.
Haiti is the least-developed economy in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest countries in the world. Its economy is less than half the size of Vermont’s, though Haiti has roughly 14 times as many people.
Haiti does export many goods and services, particularly coffee, oils, cocoa, sugar and the light assembly of goods. The country is dependent, however, on foreign aid.
Remittances – money sent from Haitians living in other countries – account for more than 25 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product. That money is an important source of income for wealth and poor Haitians alike. Roughly one in nine Haitian adults receive remittances from someone abroad.=
Creole and French are both official languages in Haiti, though Creole is more common.