Haiti is the poorest country in the western world following decades of conflict, political instability and the ravaging of the island by humans with an estimated 98% of the country's forests being destroyed leading to the wasting of farmland and increasing desertification. Haiti is in 158th place out of 187 countries and territories in 2011 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. Access to electricity is around 38.5% dropping markedly in rural areas (where approximately 53% of the population reside) with children getting most of their water from rivers, wells and springs.
Only 15% of these children have access to improved sanitation leading to high infant mortality rates and even before the earthquake one in three was chronically undernourished with 10% of all children in Haiti acutely malnourished living on a diet of rice and beans. With an economy already in ruins after the economic collapse of 1986, severe levels of unemployment and around half a million out of school, this poor island nation was ill equipped to deal with the devastating earthquake of 2010 that killed an estimated quarter of a million people and left what sub-standard infrastructure there was in tatters. 11% of the entire population of the capital Port au Prince were killed in the tragedy and one and a half million were displaced. Half of all Haiti schools were destroyed in the earthquake along with all of the country's three universities. Damage was estimated at £4.8billion however only $600m was actually received in aid despite pledges totalling £1.74billion.
Today more than half a million Haitians, 380,000 of them children, remain in temporary tents although a further million have been rehoused in temporary shelters and homes. Many of these children are ravaged by cholera and are affected by high rates of child mortality not least because of woefully poor sanitation. Child sponsor programs in Haiti are as basic as simply trying to rebuild the lives of children affected by the earthquake, providing shelter, food, access to medical care and, where possible, support them in attending school as a rebuilding program struggles to really get established. You can help when you sponsor a child in Haiti.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children by sponsoring a child.
Sponsor a child in Haiti to lift a child out of poverty and providing them the hope of a better life.
As a child sponsor you will receive a photograph and information about your child and can visit.
When children find out they've been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable.
Love A Child brings hope to over 8,500 children in our 18 schools through our Child Sponsor Program.
In this video Haiti children share
their experiences of the 2010
One of the memories of the earthquake was when seven year old Kiki Joachin was pulled alive from the rubble.
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