Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Economic Issues in Haiti

Hello all--
Here's the result of my research. While I'm definitely not an expert, I pointed you to some sources at the end if you would like to read further on the topic.

Economic issues in Haiti

About ¼ of the Haitian people earn less than $1.24 a day.  That kind of widespread poverty is challenging to overcome. 

Haitian businesses face a number of challenges: the most expensive electricity in the Caribbean, governmental corruption, gaps in infrastructure, policies and taxes that make it difficult to export, and competition with aid after the earthquake, among others.  Nonetheless, some inroads have been made. Madam Saras are women who are traveling merchants and traders. Microloans have become increasingly available.  The technology start up SurTab makes an inexpensive tablet and has been a success story from Haiti.  Flowers from Greenhouses are starting to be exported. Infrastructure is improving.

About 70% of Haiti’s energy consumption is from charcoal. Some charcoal alternatives, like briquettes made of recycled paper, are emerging, but are not as widespread.

Agriculture has long been an important part of the Haitian economy.  Some small farmers survive on a subsistence level.  Rice is an important food in Haiti and is a key crop, but aid from abroad has undercut the price of rice.  Mangoes, coffee and sugarcane also are grown in Haiti.

Relatives who now live in other countries send money back to their family in Haiti (remittances) and these are important to the Haitian economy. 

Works Consulted:

Central Intelligence Agency. World Fact book: Haiti: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html 

Clammer, Paul. Haiti. Bradt Travel Guides: Bucks, England. 2012.

“Unhappy anniversary; Haiti.” The Economist 414.8921  (Jan 17, 2015): 35-36.

--Ann Bomberger

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