Haiti is a tiny island country in the Caribbean and the poorest in the Western hemisphere where 54 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day (U.S.) and 78 percent manages on less than $2 a day.
Worldfocus correspondent Benno Schmidt and producer Ara Ayer visited Haiti in the winter of 2009 to report on the extreme poverty, distrust of the government and the environmental effects of four tropical storms that mowed across Haiti last year. Amid the desolate coastal wastelands and decaying infrastructure all around them, they also stumbled upon raucous street celebrations and rowdy cockfighting matches.
They report on the generations of Haitians who eat mud cookies, which hold little nutritional value, to supplement their meager diets. Months after the storms have passed, some Haitians are trying to dig their homes out of 10 to 15 feet of mud. Worldfocus explores how long-gone storms continue to interfere with day-to-day life.
"Haiti's Poor" is a collection of signature videos, extended interviews, blogger perspectives, reporter observations from the field and web original videos that capture the many sides of the island.
Reports of high death toll after Haiti shaken by major quake
Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake will exacerbate conditions for residents of Haiti, where around 80 percent of 9 million people live below the poverty line. Buildings in Port-au-Prince have suffered extensive damage, while water and electricity are near collapse. See footage of the collapsed U.N. headquarters, and watch Al Jazeera English analysis of the quake.
Posted: January 13, 2010 16:10
Worse than a war zone, Haiti begins to recover
Millions of dollars in aid have already been pledged by the international community. Many countries are sending rescue workers, doctors and medics, water purification equipment and rescue dogs. UNICEF spokesperson Patrick McCormick speaks with Daljit Dhaliwal about relief efforts in Haiti.
Posted: January 13, 2010 16:07
Peter Eisner (blog)
The horrors of Haiti demand a response
Worldfocus contributing editor Peter Eisner writes about the devastation in Haiti. Some stories and events exceed the ability to use adjectives to capture the depths. We cannot gild words or exaggerate the story of the Haiti earthquake. How do you approach the horror, the tragedy and the suffering in any coherent way?
Posted: January 13, 2010 12:41
Haiti, Dominican Rep. combine efforts to eradicate malaria
The island of Hispaniola is the last place in the Caribbean where malaria still exists. Producer Gary Strieker reports on how a new cooperative effort between the Dominican Republic, Haiti and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is trying to eradicate the disease.
Posted: January 5, 2010 15:41
Expectant mothers in Haiti cope with chaotic conditions
Each year, more than half a million women across the world die while giving birth, most of them from developing countries. In Haiti, the situation is desperate, as violence, political chaos and insufficient international aid have hampered even the most basic health care.
Posted: August 4, 2009 11:32
Peter Eisner (blog)
U.S. must help break Haiti’s cycle of misery
The need in Haiti -- where suffering goes along chronically, untreated and ignored -- requires new thinking and global commitment to change, writes Worldfocus blogger Peter Eisner. The U.S. must step up to the plate.
Posted: July 30, 2009 11:16
Haitians in Dominican Republic face racism, discrimination
Up to one million people of Haitian origin currently live in the Dominican Republic, and many are subjected to discrimination and violence, with their Dominican-born children denied citizenship. A Worldfocus contributing blogger describes the escalating human rights concerns.
Posted: June 25, 2009 13:12
Sights & Sounds (video)
Raucous rallies contrast coastal wastelands in Haiti
Worldfocus correspondent Benno Schmidt saw many sides of the island nation, including raucous street celebrations and desolate coastal wastelands. Two videos capture the contrasting "sights and sounds" of Haiti.
Posted: February 20, 2009 15:29
Dirt poor Haitians eat cookies made of mud
The cookies -- made of dirt, butter and salt -- hold little nutritional value, but manage to keep Haiti's poor alive. The recipe has been passed down through generations of Haitians.
Posted: February 19, 2009 20:20
Web Original Video
Betting on cockfights for fast money in Haitian slum
Worldfocus correspondent Benno Schmidt stumbles upon one of several cockfighting matches held every Sunday in the slums of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.
Posted: February 19, 2009 17:44