Haiti 1999Haiti

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Haiti - Introduction 1999
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Background: One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere Haiti has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. Over three decades of dictatorship followed by military rule ended in 1990 when Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE was elected president. Most of his term was usurped by a military takeover but he was able to return to office in 1994 and oversee the installation of a close associate to the presidency in 1996.

Haiti - Geography 1999
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Location: Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic

Geographic coordinates: 19 00 N, 72 25 W

Map referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 27,750 km²
Land: 27,560 km²
Water: 190 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries
Total: 275 km
Border countries: (1) Dominican Republic 275 km

Coastline: 1,771 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds

Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous

Extremes lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Chaine de la Selle 2,680 m

Natural resources: none
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 13%
Permanent pastures: 18%
Forests and woodland: 5%
Other: 44% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 750 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding and earthquakes; periodic droughts

Note: shares island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)

Haiti - People 1999
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Population: 6,884,264 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: 1.53% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: 75% (1998 est.)

Noun: Haitian(s)
Adjective: Haitian

Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto plus white 5%

Languages: French (official) 20%, Creole

Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3% (1982)
Note: roughly one-half of the population also practices Voodoo

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 42% (male 1,464,529; female 1,420,772)
15-64 years: 54% (male 1,783,884; female 1,932,240)
65 years and over: 4% (male 140,932; female 141,907) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.53% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 32.55 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 13.97 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: -3.26 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and used as fuel; soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
International agreements signed but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 97.64 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 51.65 years
Male: 49.53 years
Female: 53.88 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.59 children born/woman (1999 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 45%
Male: 48%
Female: 42.2% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Haiti - Government 1999
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Haiti
Conventional short form: Haiti
Local long form: Republique d'Haiti
Local short form: Haiti

Government type: republic

Capital: Port-au-Prince

Administrative divisions: 9 departments, (departements, singular_departement; Artibonite, Centre, Grand'Anse, Nord, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, Ouest, Sud, Sud-Est

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 January 1804 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 January (1804)

Constitution: approved March 1987; suspended June 1988, with most articles reinstated March 1989; in October 1991, government claimed to be observing the constitution; return to constitutional rule, October 1994

Legal system: based on Roman civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Rene Garcia PREVAL (since 7 February 1996)
Head of government: Prime Minister Rosny SMARTH resigned June 1997; currently no prime minister; ratification of a new prime minister held up in political gridlock stemming from controversy over the 6 April 1997 elections
Cabinet: Cabinet; chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 17 December 1995 (next to be held by December 2000); prime minister appointed by the president, ratified by the Congress
Election results: Rene Garcia PREVAL elected president; percent of vote_Rene Garcia PREVAL 88%, Leon JEUNE 2.5%, Victor BENOIT 2.3%

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale consists of the Senate (27 seats; members serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the Chamber of Deputies (83 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: Senate_last held 25 June 1995, with reruns on 13 August and runoffs on 17 September (election held for nine seats 6 April 1997; results disputed and runoffs postponed indefinitely); Chamber of Deputies_last held 25 June 1995, with reruns on 13 August and runoffs on 17 September (next Senate and Chamber of Deputies elections due November 1998 but delayed indefinitely)
Election results: Senate_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_OPL 7, FL-leaning 7, independents 3, vacant 10; Chamber of Deputies_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_OPL 32, antineoliberal bloc 24, minor parties and independents 22, vacant 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, Caricom (observer), CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Louis Harold JOSEPH
In the us chancery: 2,311 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 332-4,090
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 745-7,215
In the us consulates general: Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Timothy Michael CARNEY
From the us embassy: 5 Harry Truman Boulevard, Port-au-Prince
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 1761, Port-au-Prince
From the us telephone: [509] 22-0354, 22-0368, 22-0200, 22-0612
From the us FAX: [509] 23-1641

Flag descriptionflag of Haiti: two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a centered white rectangle bearing the coat of arms, which contains a palm tree flanked by flags and two cannons above a scroll bearing the motto L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE (Union Makes Strength)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Haiti - Economy 1999
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Economy overview: About 75% of the population lives in abject poverty. Nearly 70% of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, which consists mainly of small-scale subsistence farming and employs about two-thirds of the economically active work force. The country has experienced little job creation since President PREVAL took office in February 1996, although the informal economy is growing. Failure to reach agreements with international sponsors have denied Haiti badly needed budget and development assistance. Meeting aid conditions in 1999 will be especially challenging in the face of mounting popular criticism of reforms.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3% (1998 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 42%
Industry: 14%
Services: 44% (1997 est.)

Agriculture products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood

Industries: sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, tourism, light assembly industries based on imported parts

Industrial production growth rate: 0.6% (1997 est.)

Labor force: 3.6 million (1995)
Note: shortage of skilled labor, unskilled labor abundant (1998)
By occupation agriculture: 66%
By occupation services: 25%
By occupation industry: 9%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 60% (1996 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 75% (1998 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $323 million
Expenditures: $363 million, including capital expenditures of $N/A (FY97/98 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 October_30 September

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $110 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Commodities: light manufactures 80.5%, coffee 7.6%, other agriculture 7.2%
Partners: US 76%, EU 19% (1997)

Imports: $486 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Commodities: machines and manufactures 50%, food and beverages 39%, petroleum products 2%, chemicals 5%, fats and oils 4%
Partners: US 60%, EU 12% (1997)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1 billion (1997 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: gourdes (G) per US$1_16.778 (January 1999), 16.205 (1998), 17.311 (1997), 15.093 (1996), 16.160 (1995), 12.947 (1994)

Haiti - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 415 million kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 60.24%
By source hydro: 39.76%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 415 million kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Haiti - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: domestic facilities barely adequate; international facilities slightly better
Domestic: NA
International: satellite earth station_1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Haiti - Military 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA; note_mainly for police and security activities
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Haiti - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 13 (1998 est.)
With paved runways total: 3
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (1998 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 10
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 5
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 5 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 3
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 10
914 to 1523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 5 (1998 est.)



Total: 40 km (single track; privately owned industrial line)_closed in early 1990s
Narrow gauge: 40 km 0.760-m gauge


Waterways: NEGL; less than 100 km navigable

Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Haiti - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: claims US-administered Navassa Island

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana en route to the US and Europe


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