With the devastating earthquake in Haiti reviving memories of the tsunami in 2005, I found this article on FoxNews.
I feel sorry for the needless death of perhaps 100,000 people and the 3 million or so people affected by the quake and certainly I think these poor people are suffering enough from governmental abuse, not to deserve such a severe blow.
But nature is harsh and cruel. The only consolation is that at least with the earthquake, they are not to blame, as is the case with their calamitous self-rule since independence from France in 1804...and of course the international aid will continue to pour in. That helps.
Looking at some of the facts, I think Haiti also gives us an inkling into what could be in store for Azania in the not too distant future, after the Zumas and the Malemas have all gone.
Azania is experiencing a collapse of the rule of law, a catastrophic and irreversible implosion of parastatals, municipalities, water affairs, education, a burgeoning underclass and a decline in infrastructure a mere 16 years after apartheid officially ended. Now imagine what it will be like in 100 years time?
Haiti - Fast Facts:
• Discovered by Columbus in 1492.
• Haiti won its independence from France on January 1, 1804.
• Population of nearly 10 million people.
• Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
• 80% of the population in Haiti is living under the poverty line.
• Most Haitians live on less than $2 a day.
• More than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs.
• Haiti is slightly smaller than Maryland.
• The Haiti telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Latin America and the Caribbean.
• Haiti has 14 airports; 4 have paved runways.
• Haiti’s capital is Porte-au-Prince, a coastal city with about 2 million inhabitants.
• After decades of dictatorship, former Roman Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti's first freely elected leader in 1990.
• Aristide was ousted by a military coup in 1991 but reinstated with U.S. backing.
• Aristide was forced out of the country and into exile in 2004 by a rebellion of gangs and former soldiers.
• Democratic rule was restored in 2006.
• Haiti has been led by President Rene Preval since May 2006 when the country returned to constitutional rule.
• Haiti is one of the original members of the United Nations and several of its specialized and related agencies, as well as a member of the Organization of American States (OAS).
• In July 2004, $1.085 billion was pledged through 2006 at the World Bank Donors' Conference. Donors included the U.S., Canada, the EU, France, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Greece, Norway, Mexico, and Ireland
• Capital: Port-au-Prince
• Time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
• Land: 27,560 sq km (slightly smaller than Maryland)
• Population: 9,035,536 (U.S. 307,212,123)
• Population Growth rate: 1.84% (U.S. 0.98%)
• Urban population: 47% of total population (U.S. 82% of population)
• Ethnic groups: black 95%, mulatto and white 5%
• Life expectancy at birth: 60.78 years (U.S. 78.11)
• HIV/AIDS - deaths: 7,200 (2007 est.)
• Religions: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other 1%), none 1%, other 3% - note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo
• Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 52.9%
• Independence: January 1, 1804 (from France)
• Chief of state: President Rene PREVAL (since 14 May 2006)
• Head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Max BELLERIVE (since 7 November 2009)
• U.S. Ambassador to Haiti: Ambassador Kenneth H. MERTEN
• Haitian Ambassador to U.S.: Ambassador Raymond Joseph
• GDP: $11.53 billion – 154th in the World (2008 est.)
• GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,300 – 203rd in the world (2008 est.)
• Labor force: 3.643 million (2008 est)
• Population below poverty line: 80%
• GDP (purchasing power parity): $11.53 billion (2008 est.)
• GDP (official exchange rate): $6.943 billion (2008 est.)
• GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,300 (2008 est.)
• GDP - composition by sector: Agriculture: 28%, Industry: 20%, Services: 52% (2004 est.)
• Labor force: 3.643 million
• Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: 66%
• Population below poverty line: 80% and 54% in abject poverty.
• Haiti now ranks 146th of 177 countries in the UN's Human Development Index.