The United Nations has described the human rights condition in Haiti as “catastrophic.” Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of Haitians living on less than $2 a day. Facing a 40.6 percent unemployment rate, many Haitians attempt to escape by migrating to nearby countries. Haiti’s poverty is exacerbated by the needs of a large population and by political and socioeconomic instability.
The dire situation in Haiti was worsened by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January, 2010, which decimated the country’s already decaying infrastructure. About 230,000 people died, and nearly 2 million Haitians were displaced.