Haiti: The Commission's Humanitarian aid following the earthquake: general overview
Haiti became the world's first black;led republic and the first independent Caribbean state when it obtained its independence from France in the early 19th century. However, decades of poverty, environmental degradation, violence, instability and dictatorship have left the country as the poorest nation in the Americas.
A mostly mountainous country with a tropical climate, Haiti's location, history and culture once made it a potential tourist spot, but instability and violence, especially since the 1980s, have severely dented that prospect.
From the mid 2000s, the international community, following years of political crisis, reestablished its cooperation. Soon after, the United Nations established the MINUSTAH, the UN peacekeeping operation, with a mandate to support security, stability, governance and promote democratic elections.
Haiti is considered as a fragile state and the 2010 earthquake further weakened the Haitian institutions, increasing risks of social unrest.