What has happened since the “poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" experienced its debilitating January 2010 earthquake? A quarter of a million Haitians perished, and survivors have experienced widespread devastation and damage. The infrastructure necessary to respond to the disaster was severely damaged or destroyed; including hospitals and air, sea, land transport facilities and communication systems. Over 250,000 homes and 30,000 commercial buildings had to be demolished and half of Haiti's schools and university systems were affected.
As an independent Black nation Haiti has had a history of adversity. Earthquakes are common on Hispaniola, the island Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic. Haiti has ranked low --149th of 182 countries on the Human Development Index-- for years. Haiti has long been considered economically vulnerable.