Haiti Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Changing the Narrative About Haiti

Prioritizing spending alternatives is difficult in every country. But it is especially challenging in Haiti, where, following years of fractious politics, a newly elected government is striving to expand the economy and improve wellbeing while confronting the lingering consequences of the massive 2010 earthquake.

PORT-AU-PRINCE – Prioritizing spending alternatives is difficult in every country. But it is especially challenging in Haiti, where, following years of fractious politics, a newly elected government is striving to expand the economy and improve wellbeing while confronting the lingering consequences of the massive 2010 earthquake.

Every government has limited funds, but Haiti has an annual budget of just $2 billion, with foreign donors allocating another $1 billion. To put that number into context, the annual budgets of two countries with similar-size populations, the Czech Republic and Sweden, are $74 billion and $250 billion, respectively.

The most common narrative we hear about Haiti is one of great need – the “poorest country in the Western hemisphere,” with weak infrastructure and health problems that include the region’s highest rates of infant, under-five, and maternal mortality.

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