HAITI DEMOGRAPHICS: Despair & Promise
THE NATURAL DISASTER suffered by Haitians in the catastrophic earthquake on January 12, 2010 signals the future of Haiti as a developing country, now poised to emerge from poverty into a tourist and banking world player.
There is no doubt that the tragedy of a massive natural disaster has a socio-political, economic and religious impact on its impoverished victims.
However, along with the despair of death and her coat tails of casualties, comes a promise of institutional change through structural reorganization and the redistribution of wealth.
The CIA World Factbook http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html presents a profile of despair in this Western Hemisphere's poorest country. More than two percent of the adult Haitian population were infected with HIV-AIDS as of 2007. Literacy rates were approximately 53 percent of the population for Haitians fifteen years and older. Other statistics which profile Haiti's population are equally dismal.
But, natural disasters are causal factors for social change.
The hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by leading world countries in the short term rescue-stabilization campaign puts a new face on Haiti.
"Over the horizon" of the quake's debris field, lies a foreign investment wave which will wash in a new infrastructure for the country.
The opportunities for investment return are limitless. New electrical grids along with sanitation systems and retail-office building construction projects is the promise of Haiti's future.
International banking is the necessary consequence of this financial wave.
And good infrastructure is the stimulus for world tourism.
The dynamics which will produce a new bright faced Haiti are not difficult to identify. Simply, the future for Haitians in their country will bring them to a new level of opportunity and international respect for their recently acquired independence.
The single factor that presents difficulty in analyzing the future social composite of Haiti, will depend on her survivors.
Whether the surviving population will remain to enjoy their western tourism capital, will depend on whether those survivors represent the significantly high percentage which are afflicted with AIDS/HIV.
This difficult dynamic is also a cause of social change. It is a fact which will determine whether Haiti recovers medically or will be burdened by a smaller population who are afflicted and are contributing to an ever increasing AIDS pandemic.
For Haiti, that future natural disaster is a different type.
(c)copyright r.oliver 2010