Haiti Under President Martelly: Current Conditions and Congressional Concerns [April 8, 2013]   [open pdf - 625KB]

"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. During that time, economic and social stability improved considerably, and many analysts believed Haiti was turning a corner toward sustainable development. Unfortunately, Haiti's development was set back by a massive earthquake in January 2010 that devastated much of the capital of Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country. Poverty remains massive and deep, and economic disparity is wide: Haiti remains the poorest country in the western hemisphere. […] 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; and alleviating poverty. The Obama Administration granted Temporary Protected Status to Haitians living in the United States at the time of the earthquake. Congressional concerns include the pace and effectiveness of reconstruction, respect for human rights, security issues, counternarcotics efforts and trade issues. Congress is also concerned that overdue Senate and local elections be scheduled quickly and be free, fair, and peaceful."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42559
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