Haiti Poverty Problems


HaitiPoverty Problems

HaitiPoverty Problems

Haitiinevitable struggle from its long stricken Poverty State

Inthe Western Hemisphere Haiti is the poorest country and amongst thepoorest in developing countries. It is faced with poverty relateddisasters such as housing, healthcare, nutrition, infant mortalityrate and environmental problems (IMF, 2007). These are not naturaldisasters they are as result of a class system and economic systemwhich has strived to benefit the minority at the expense of themajority (Lundahi, 2011). These grim conditions were worsened by anearthquake that rocked the country in January, 2010. This paper willseek to determine the reasons why 80% of the population is belowpoverty levels. In addition it will explore the reasons of Haiti’sheavy reliance on international aid. Finally the paper will alsoreview the impacts of the earthquake on the infrastructure as well asthe economy.

Coupledwith an earthquake that rocked the country of Haiti in January 2010,Haiti has been is also struggling with corruption in the governmentlevels as well as extreme poverty. There is a strong relationshipbetween poverty and corruption (Lundahi, 2011). Corruption in Haitihas led to many problems ranging to biased tax systems, low economicgrowth rate, widening disparity between the poor and the rich, lowand ineffective social problems, unequal educational access and verylow welfare spending by the government (IMF, 2008). Because of allthese problems, the international communities have been very slow inoffering assistance to Haiti. This is mainly due to the ineffectivegovernment structural problems as well as the rampant corruption.

Poorgovernance, corruption and political instability remain to be thefundamental problems in Haiti. Haiti has recorded a high level oflack of governance and political instability in history (Lundahi,2011). Decline of the quality levels all public services haveoccurred due to high levels of misappropriation of public funds. Ithas recorded poor services from fundamental people’s needs such asthe justice systems, the infrastructure and basic police services.However it is important to help restore democracy in this country torealize national progress. In this regard, it is important to addressthe governance problem which remains to be the core cause of povertyin Haiti (IMF, 2008).

Thereproblem of inadequate levels of private investments and thedistortions, happening at the macro-economic levels have resulted tostunted or negative growth. The above mentioned political factorshave resulted to harsh negative impacts on development both foreignand domestic (IMF, 2011). It is estimated that the investment GDPratio is about 10%. This in turn indicates that an annual growth rateof 5% is required to acquire a significant progress in the course ofpoverty reduction (IMF, 2008). However statistics have indicated thatthe country has been recording a negative growth rate of about 5%over the years. This grim statistics hence concludes that theprospects of growth rate are almost zero.

Moreoverthere is the problem of poor quality spending in the government aswell as underinvestment of human capital. It is estimated that only20% of total resources are given to the rural areas where 2/3 of thepopulation live (IMF, 2007). This and all other factors results tothe creation of a poverty trap. The poverty trap is a spiralingphenomenon where poor people remain poor. This so happens because ofthe high population that is likely to produce a downward trend. Thehigh populated rural areas results to environmental degradation.Poverty in such areas is likely to harbor high levels of violence andcrime rates and a general trend of migration to the urban areas inescaping poverty (Lundahi, 2011). All these coupled by low levels ofinvestment and growth, abuse of fundamental human needs and lack ofgood governance creates a permanent poverty trap in Haiti.

Finallyin January 2010, Haiti was struck by earthquake that had massdestruction on Haiti economy. It was estimated that about 80,000people were buried mass-graves. A further 200,000 people weredirectly perished as a result of earthquake explosion (Mats, 2011).This disaster had now overshadowed the existing poverty levels,extensive malnutrition and exploitation by imperialists. This has ledto overreliance of international aid by the Haiti government. It isbelieved as a larger aim of aiding the country some countries hadnegative schemes of fulfilling their interests.

Theproblems that range from unstable macro-economic sector anddiscouraged private investments continue to cause distortions in theeconomy of Haiti. There are low and ineffective activities bygovernment spending that are resulting to negative impacts to theeconomy of Haiti. Haiti has proven very inefficient in the provisionof basic needs and low levels of human capital (IMF, 2008). There ishowever a great challenge to the Haitian government in increasing itsresources to sanitation, water, health and family planning. Withregard to solutions, it is recommended that the government works withthe NGOs seeking to assist handle poverty in Haiti. It is very vitalfor the government to reestablish effective regulatory bodies incontrolling public services. The limited government resources shouldbe directed to the highly populated rural areas where there is a highlevel of poverty.


Lundahi,M. (2011). Povertyin Haiti.New York. Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.

InternationalMonetary Fund, IMF. (2008). HaitiPoverty Reduction StrategyPaper, Washington D.C. International Monetary Fund

InternationalMonetary Fund, IMF. (2007). HaitiPoverty Reduction Strategy Paper,Washington D.C. International Monetary Fund.