Haiti: Current Conditions and Congressional Concerns [June 17, 2009]   [open pdf - 369KB]

"Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986, Haiti has struggled to overcome its centuries-long legacy of authoritarianism, extreme poverty, and underdevelopment. While some progress has been made in developing democratic institutions, they remain weak. Economic and social stability have improved considerably. But poverty remains massive and deep, and economic disparity is wide. [...]. Haiti remains the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Over half the population of 8.2 million people live in extreme poverty. Since Haiti's developmental needs and priorities are many, and deeply intertwined, the Haitian government and the international donor community are implementing an assistance strategy to address these many needs simultaneously. [...]. The main priorities for U.S. policy regarding Haiti are to strengthen fragile democratic processes, continue to improve security, and promote economic development. Other concerns include the cost and effectiveness of U.S. aid; protecting human rights; combating narcotics, arms, and human trafficking; addressing Haitian migration; and alleviating poverty. The FY2009 aid request for Haiti was $246 million. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-8) provided for an additional $41 million in bilateral economic and international security assistance for Haiti. The FY2010 aid request for Haiti is $293 million. The 111th Congress may consider the balance and scope of assistance to Haiti. Members have already requested that the Obama Administration grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians living in the United States."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40507
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