You know Haiti's in pretty bad shape. But most people aren't aware it's this bad:
The constitutional mandate of Haiti's de facto ruler, Prime Minister Ariel Henry — which some viewed as questionable from the start, as he was never technically sworn in — ended more than a year ago.
The country has had no president since its last one, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in 2021. Its Senate is supposed to have 30 members, and its lower legislative chamber should have 119; all of those seats are unfilled. Haiti's elected mayors were all reappointed or replaced in 2020.
And last week, its 10 remaining senators departed office after their terms ended, leaving behind a nation's worth of elected offices that now sit empty after years of canceled elections.
Me seeing social unrest and chaos in Haiti:
Me being told that the country is bereft of literally all its elected officials:
But seriously, it's worse than that:
Gang violence has displaced more than 150,000 people from their homes and forced aid groups such as Doctors Without Borders to close facilities and relocate staff. A new outbreak of cholera is suspected to have infected nearly 25,000 Haitians since October. In 2021, an earthquake killed 2,000 people and wrought new devastation to a part of the country that had been hit just five years before by a Category 5 hurricane.
Rampant inflation has sent the cost of food and gas spiraling; food insecurity is so widespread that about 40% of the population do not have enough to eat. And the disasters have combined to keep thousands of the country's schools closed, meaning millions of Haitian children have lacked steady education and meals since the beginning of the pandemic.
And don't forget that the country's president was assassinated less than two years ago:
The World Bank, meanwhile, has grim projections for the country's future:
According to the Human Capital Index, a child born today in Haiti will grow up to be only 45 percent as productive as they could be if he or she had enjoyed full access to quality education and healthcare. Over one-fifth of children are at risk of cognitive and physical limitations, and only 78 percent of 15-year-olds will survive to age 60.