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Guest Kent Annan

For any country, an earthquake with a magnitude of seven-point-zero would be a major disaster. But for a country like Haiti, it is catastrophic, and even more overwhelming, because of the suffering Haiti has endured.

Once a nation of slaves, Haiti won independence in 1804, but it fell victim to brutal, corrupt dictators - who many blame for the country's decline. Men like Francois Duvalier - a.k.a. 'Papa Doc.' From 1957 to 1971, he ruled with an iron fist - backed by his dreaded militia. After he died, his 'Baby Doc' took over and ruled until the people rose up against him in 1986.

Four years later, Jean-Bertrand Aristide became Haiti's first democratically elected president. But critics say he wasn't much better. In '91, he was overthrown in a military coup, only to be reinstated with US help, and eventually, ousted again in a rebellion.

But Haiti's troubles didn't end there. In 2004 and 2008, it was hit by deadly floods, and even before the quake, the country's infrastructure was in terrible shape, while eighty per cent of the people lived in poverty - on less than two dollars a day.

Kent Annan has experienced it all first hand. He's co-director of a non-profit group that does educational work in Haiti. He also has a new book about his move there - it's called 'Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle.'

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