Women who head households is the poorest group of rural people in Haiti

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.

Poverty overall on the island continues to rise and now stands at 77%. In rural areas, which contain over 50% of Haiti's population, 88% live in poverty, with 67% desperately poor. A disproportionate number of rural dwellers have almost no access to basic services: only 10% get electricity and less than 8% have drinking water.

A breakdown of the rural poor in Haiti reveals women, who are head of household, are the poorest. A World Bank study reveals the source of poverty is the ". . . lack of equity in income distribution and the existence of power structures that preserve inequalities . . ."

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