|Once the richest colony, Haiti is now the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the poorest nations in the world. Per-capita annual income is $330. Life expectancy for women is 54, for men 51. Fourteen of every 100 children die before the age of two. The majority of children under five are malnourished. Forty-five percent have never attended school.|
|Unemployment stands at 70%, and less than half the people over 15 can read. Potable water and access to electric power are a rarity for most citizens. The devastating floods and mudslides of recent times may be traced in part to the systematic destruction of the nation’s forests for firewood.|
|Political and civil strife still wrack this country after more than two centuries of independence from France, and a long term solution is not yet in sight. The basics of daily life that we all take for granted are a distant dream for most Haitians.|
|Much of any day is given to hauling water, finding or gathering foodstuffs, and walking for miles over poor, rutted roads – often shoeless. A bicycle is a luxury.|
|Where on earth is Haiti?
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