Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 80% of its population lives in poverty.
Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, which is mainly small-scale farming.
After elections in 2000, international donors, including the United States suspended almost all aid to Haiti. This
has contributed more to the impoverished state, which in turn leads to a large number of Haitians fleeing from Haiti into
the Dominican Republic and then on to other countries.
There is approximately 4,160 km of highway in Haiti, with only 1,011 kms paved.
There are approximately 9 harbour ports and 12 airports (only 4 of these airports have paved runways).
Haiti is the major shipment point for cocaine enroute to the US and Europe. Colombian narcotics traffickers favor
Haiti for these illegal transactions.
Jean-Bertrand-Aristide, a former RC priest and first became President in 1990, elected with a large majority.
He was overthrown 7 months later, but returned in 1994 after Haiti's military rulers were forced to step down.
Unable to stand for a second term, he was replaced by Rene Preval in the 1995 elections, but won in the 2000 elections.
Prime Minister: Jean-Marie Cherestal
Foreign Minister: Joseph Philippe Antonio
Access to the media is limited due to literacy problems. There are over 200 independent radio stations, however,
self-censorship is common with journalists trying to avoid offending financial sponsors or influential politicans or being
charged under defamation laws.
Newspapers include Le Martin and Le Nouvelliste.
Television includes PVA Antenne (french language); Televisoin Nationale d'Haiti - a government owned, four channel station
broadcasting in Creole, French and Spanish, as well as Trans-America (french language).
There are 6 radio stations and 2 news agencies.
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