PORT-AU-PRINCE, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Nearly half of Haitian children have been afflicted with waterborne diseases, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.
The problem is caused by "poor water quality," Jean Metanier, UNICEF representative in Haiti said in a statement while marking the World Water Day.
Press reports in Haiti put attributed the problem to a lack of investment in infrastructure in the impoverished Caribbean island nation.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec. 5, 2015 (Xinhua) -- Children play in the dock of Waf Jeremie, in the Cite Soleil neighborhood, in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on Dec. 4, 2015. (Xinhua/Luz Sosa)
Some 42 percent of the Haitian population still has no access to safe drinking water, the daily Haiti Libre reported.
Water scarcity and waterborne diseases are among the leading causes of death. They also worsen malnutrition among children, affecting children's intellectual and physical development.
Citing the World Health Organization and UNICEF, Haiti Libre said the mortality rate among children under five is 88 per 1,000.
Political instability is one of the main obstacles to development in Haiti, which has been unable to recover from a devastating earthquake in 2010 despite a massive influx of reconstruction funds.