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Only 700 miles off the coast of Florida, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the third hungriest country in the world. 80% of the population lives below the level of absolute poverty. One out of 8 children will not live to see their 5th birthday. Malnutrition strikes 3 out of 4 children. Malnutrition, respiratory infection and diarrhea are the leading causes of childhood death.
Less than half of the population has access to health care. There are 3,970 babies born infected with the HIV virus each year, over 11 each day. The average life expectancy is age 61. Recent statistics put the unemployment rate at 70%.
Currently, according to UNICEF and the US Agency for International Development, there are 143 Million orphans globally. Every day 5,760 more children become orphans. There are over 300,000 child slaves in Haiti and an estimated 500,000 orphans. The median age in Haiti is 18 years, meaning that 50% of the population are children.
• Gross national income per capita is US$520, about half the total for Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas
• 78% of Haitians are poor (less than US$2 a day), and more than half (54%) live in extreme poverty (less than US$1 a day).
• In rural areas, poverty and extreme poverty rates are estimated to be 84% and 69% respectively.
• Over two thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs.
• Life expectancy is 61 years.
• Half of children under 5 are malnourished.
• Over 7% of children die at birth.
• For every 100,000 births, 523 women died in Haiti, compared to eight maternal deaths for every 100,000 births in Europe.
• 80 out of 1,000 Haitian children never see their first birthday
• 50% of primary school age children are not enrolled in school.
• One-third of girls over six never go to school.
• More than 50% of children attending school are over aged.
• Approximately 30% of children attending primary school will not make it to third grade; 60% will abandon school before sixth grade.
• Less than 40% of non-public schools are accredited.
• Only 15% of teachers at the primary level have basic teacher qualifications (including university degrees), and nearly 25% have never even attended secondary school.
• Approximately 75% of all teachers lack adequate training; many have just a 9th grade or 12th grade education, with no teacher training at all.
• Less than 20% of schools have electricity; 39% have potable water; 15% have a library.
• Public education represents less than 20% of enrollment, and less than 10% of schools, at the primary level.
• Estimated annual school costs average US$131 per child (including uniform, books/materials and transportation).
• 37.9% of the population is unable to read or write, as compared to only 12% illiteracy in the rest of Latin America.