Haiti. According to COUNTRYAAH, Haiti has a population of 11.12 million (2018). The year turned dramatic for poor Haiti. On January 12, the country was hit by a powerful earthquake that claimed nearly a quarter of a million people’s lives. More than 300,000 were injured and more than one million became homeless. Eight days after the main quake, a very strong post-quake occurred that caused weakened buildings to collapse. Despite promising promises from the world community, it took a while before the aid arrived. For example, at the end of the year, for example, one and a half million people still lived in temporary camps. The magnitude of the disaster was reinforced by the fact that Haiti, already the western hemisphere’s poorest country with enormous social, economic and political problems to solve, lacked institutional infrastructure to address both immediate needs and to be able to rebuild the country in the long run.
In October, a cholera epidemic broke out, which had already harvested at least 1,400 human lives by the end of the year. In the long term, the death toll was thought to be 10-20 times higher. Soon enough, troops from Nepal were accused of the 12,000-strong international peacekeeping UN force MINUSTAH for being the source of infection, accusations that were quickly rejected by both the UN and Nepal’s government. During protests against MINUSTAH in Haiti’s second city of Cap Haiti, two protesters were killed. The epidemic was linked to the precarious conditions that prevailed in the country after the fatal earthquake in January and the many storms of the hurricane season that left behind a collapsed infrastructure and stagnant, unclean water where the cholera bacteria thrive.
At the beginning of November, Hurricane Tomas struck to western Haiti. Even though the death toll was low, the country was still hit by floods and thousands of people were forced to flee. The pressure on aid organizations that were already heavily employed by the needs after the January earthquake increased further.
In the midst of the social crisis, presidential and congressional elections were held on November 28. The result was far from clear, and when, after a long delay, it was published on December 7, violent protests erupted around the country, resulting in deaths. According to the Election Commission, 70-year-old Mirlande Manigat, the wife of a former president, for the opposition party RDNP (Rassemblement des Democrats Nationaux Progressistes) had received 31 percent of the vote and Jude Célestin for the government coalition Inité 22 percent. They both went on to a second round of elections on January 16, 2011. The outrage involved suspicions of electoral fraud and, above all, that the popular pop singer Michel Martelly (“Sweet Micky”) for Repon’s Peyizan was maneuvered by political tricks.