Haitis tragedy

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Haiti’s tragedy

Haití, officially the Republic of Haiti is a Caribbean country. Along with the Dominican Republic, it occupies the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago.

Itwas the first independent nation in Latin America and the first black-led republic in the world when it gained independence as part of a successful slave rebellion in 1804.

Haiti is the poorestcountry in the Americas. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is not the poorest in the Western Hemisphere On various occasions, it has experienced political violence throughout its history. Mostrecently, in February 2004, an armed rebellion forced the resignation and exile of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and a provisional government took control with security provided by the United NationsStabilization Mission in Haiti. Rene Preval, the current president, was elected in the Haitian general election, 2006.

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. The epicenterof the quake was just outside the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.  Reportedly more than 150,000 people were killed and buried later in mass graves, although the exact number was difficult to determineand the reported number fluctuates, and a large number are homeless. On 10 February the Haitian government gave a confirmed death toll of 230,000. Widespread damage resulted from the quake.

Thecapital city was devastated. The Presidential Palace was badly damaged, with the second floor entirely collapsing onto the first floor; the Haitian Parliament building, UN mission headquarters and theNational Cathedral were also destroyed, along with countless homes and businesses.

International aid flowed in but was hampered by damaged infrastructure: the main port was damaged beyond immediateuse, the one local airport was of limited capacity and border crossings with the Dominican Republic were distant and crowded. As many as one million Haitians were left homeless.

Haiti will need to...
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