Political Instability Haiti never developed a civic culture -- widespread acceptance of the rule of law and institutions strong enough to enforce laws and legal decisions -- to replace the exercise of violence as a means to political power.
Voodoo Recent estimates indicate that half of the population practices Vodou, most along with other religious practices.
Zombies Ancestral spirits are collectively referred to as zombies. Dead children are especially liable to return to haunt the mother, who will awake some night to find them sitting upon the foot of their bed.
Corruption Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2008 ranked Haiti the fourth most corrupt country in the world.
Poverty Most Haitians do not have formal jobs. Unemployment and underemployment are rampant. Some estimates suggest that two-thirds of the country's 3.6 million workers are without consistent work.
Foreign Economic Relations The World Economic Forum ranked Haiti last in its 2003 Global Competitiveness Report. Thus, Haiti's role in the global economy often has been confined to receiving foreign aid.
Environment Haiti faces a severe deforestation problem. For all practical purposes, forest resources have been depleted.
Hatian National Police Forces The 8,500 member Haitian National Police (HNP) has sole responsibility for law enforcement and maintenance of order; there are no military forces. The UN estimated that the country needs a force of at least 14,000 police.
Drugs Haiti is among the four most important countries for drug transit to the United States.
Health Deficient sanitation systems, poor nutrition, and inadequate health services have pushed Haiti to the bottom of the World Bank's rankings of health indicators. Haiti has the highest incidence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) outside of Africa.
Infrastructure Public and community infrastructures have reached a critical stage of decay. Many of the regions that were previously accessible by road from the capital are now outside the national road system.
Language Nine of every ten Haitians speak only Kreyòl Ayisien [Haitian Creole]. And only about one in twenty was fluent in both French and Creole. Although the majority of Creole words have French origins, the two languages are not mutually comprehensible.