The children of Haiti are in need of nutrition support. Recently, a senior UNICEF official in Haiti has said that nearly one in two children under the age of five, suffer from malnutrition in the Francophone Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, for reasons including poverty, unfavorable feeding practices and disease. If a child is not nourished with proper nutrients during the first 1,000 days of his life, his brain and body never properly develops. In a far reaching consequence, it would affect his intelligence, school performance, and income and in a greater consequence, the chances of his contribution toward the overall development of his country will be almost negligible. Under-nutrition puts children at greater risks of infection and delayed recovery. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year all over the world.
Lisa Sbrogna is one of thousands of volunteers working through small medical non-profits like Forward in Health (FIH) to serve the poorest suffering from untreated medical conditions. A Millbury, Connecticut resident, Sbrogna first came to the island in the wake of 2010's disastrous earthquake. She anticipated the trip would be stimulating and gratifying, but was unprepared for how the people would affect her personally.
She discovered Haiti's rural people are so impoverished simple medical conditions like an open cut, high blood pressure, or very treatable skin infections grow severe. This occurs because the poor in a town like Fonde Fred (population 9,000) lack health clinics.
Long touted as the region's poorest country, Haiti has been riding a steady wave out of extreme poverty for the past few years and is now slowly seeing the fruits of the effort. The report from the World Bank shows that the country of 10 million people, while seeing its fortune change even on the heels of numerous, crippling natural disasters, still has more than half of its population too poor to meet the most basic need for food. A staggering 2.5 million of this number are even reported to be under the line of extreme poverty.
Since 2000, Haiti has gone through many disasters, both political and natural. However, despite this, Haiti has achieved some progress in controlling poverty.
Recent studies indicate that there is improvement in accessibility to basic services, and there is a decline in extreme poverty levels, that is, from 31% to 24%.
• Improvements have been achieved in areas such as education, where the number of children enrolled in schools has risen from 78% to 90%.
• Progress has also been achieved in accessing sanitation, tap water, and electricity.
Haiti looks like it is reducing rates of poverty in the country overall, but a look at statistics for metro and rural areas shows a disturbing discrepancy between the two. In the country at large, those living below the poverty line decreased from 31% to 24% from 2000-2012. However, when you differentiate metro and rural areas' poverty rates, a different picture emerges. In cities like Port-au-Prince the poverty rate rises to just over 20%, whereas in places like Les Cayes it is nearly 70%.
Here are some other statistics that demonstrate inequities between metro and rural areas. In metro areas the poverty rated dropped from 21% to 12% from 2000-2012, but in rural regions stagnated for the same 12-year time frame. In cities 63% of the population is on the power grid, but only 11% in the country get power. Modern sanitation facilities are available to 48% of the metro population, while only 16% get clean drinking and bathing water in rural regions.
Greed-Motivated Power Structure Keeps Rural Poor from Fairer Income Distribution
Haiti is a country chronically victimized by food insufficiency and starvation. Lack of access to birth control leads to uncontrolled population growth, and government and social instability plus economic downturns keep poverty rates egregiously high.
Its agriculture sector, one-third of the economy, cannot produce adequate crop yields and livestock to feed the populace. Almost two-thirds of the food necessary to keep people well-fed is imported. 80% of its rice supply is provided mainly by the U.S
The income gap between rich and poor is absurdly wide: 40% of those living below the poverty line get less than 6% of the island's annual income while the top 2% wealthiest keep 26% of the country's income in their pockets. Remittances sent by the Diaspora are essential to the poor whether they are better or worse off.
According to the latest Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report for Haiti, there's an indicated remarkable advancement for the country in the health and education sectors in particular, Stephan Dujarric, said on Thursday.
The UN spokesman made the announcement during a daily news briefing. He said that the Haitian government has tried to achieve some of the MDGs and it is in the right direction towards development. The new report launched by the government of Haiti and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) indicated that some of the goals have been reached and others are almost to be reached. According to Dujarric, the enrollment in primary schools increased from 47% in 1993 to 88% in 2011, which also achieved almost equal participation of both girls and boys.
On the outskirts of the northwestern city of Port-de-Paix in Haiti, lies the village of Bas des Moustiques. It has been reported that the level of starvation has affected the entire population. A lack of rain in the region in recent Months has prevented harvest of crops and the population is paying a price for that.
It is estimated that around 143,000 people have been diagnosed with chronic malnutrition in the region.
A mother of 11 children recently interviewed, was unable to determine what she should do with her children. She is unable to send them to school or to feed them. She actually admitted that she feels sorry for having her children.
Did You Know That?:
Severe malnutrition suffered in the first two years of life can result in irreversible physical and mental disabilities and depressed immune systems
On November 27, 2013, Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church has taken aim at capitalism and termed it as theft unless wealth is shared with poor. In an 84-page document, he has urged that to save the economy, the world leaders should intensify their efforts to fight against poverty and inequality.
Rich people should share their wealth with the poor. Pope Francis also warned that the present financial system supports uneven distribution of wealth; people are becoming aggressive, corrupted, and heartless. They always want to accumulate more for own. Nobody cares when a homeless aged person dies carelessly but if the stock market loses two points it becomes a sensational news.
Port-au-Princeans living well below the poverty line in 50 districts are about to become the recipients of the latest anti-poverty program the government of Haiti (GOH) is launching soon. Minister Auguste of Fight Against Extreme Poverty said the anti-poverty initiative would begin with a two month sign-up period, during which a registry database would be created of eligible recipients.
The government of Haiti (GOH) will hand out 50,000 food vouchers to as many homes, as well as 350,000 food aid packages of staple items. The GOH will create 20 community gardens, restore 2,500 houses and produce 1,000 employment opportunities. The program is also targeting 5,000 mothers for other types of aid programs, and 7,000 adults will be given literacy classes.
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