"Haiti returned to constitutional order in February 2017, with the inauguration of President Jovenel Moïse, after almost a year without an elected president because of political gridlock and delayed elections. Hopes for a more functional and transparent government are tempered by the political newcomer's lack of experience and ongoing investigations into Moïse's possible involvement in money laundering and irregular loan arrangements, which the president denies. [...] Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Its poverty is massive and deep, exacerbated by chronic political instability and frequent natural disasters. Almost 60% of the country's 10 million people live in poverty, and almost a quarter of them live in extreme poverty. Haiti is still recovering from the devastating earthquake in 2010, as well as Hurricane Matthew, which hit the island in 2016. [...] Haiti was a key foreign assistance priority for the Obama Administration in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the State Department, the main priorities for current U.S. policy regarding Haiti are to strengthen fragile democratic institutions and foster sustainable development."
CRS Report for Congress, R45034