In a study published in 2014, the World Bank reports that poverty eradication continues to be a major challenge for Haiti as 70% of Haitians are either living below or just above the poverty line. This causes a large portion of the population to be extremely vulnerable to economic, natural, and political shocks. Specifically, the report states that 58% of the country’s population is living in poverty, with 24% living in extreme poverty.
The Haitian government, the international community, and other stakeholders have promoted economic development as an important tool to eradicate poverty in the Caribbean nation. While agree with this assertion, this panel will maintain that there cannot be economic development without workforce development–they are the two wings of the same bird.
The unemployment rate in Haiti is 41% and more than two thirds of the labor force do not hold a formal job (CIA World Factbook). These numbers are astronomical; they cannot be ignored. Developing an integrated workforce development and economic development strategy, where the two complement one another, is paramount to curbing the unemployment rate and eradicating poverty.