WFP ASSISTANCE TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND VULNERABLE GROUPS - Haiti, 1981 One of the world's poorest countries, Haiti is a small, largely rocky and mountainous island in the Caribbean. Agriculture is the most important sector with about 80 percent of its 5.5 million people living in rural areas. Over-cultivation of marginal lands due to population pressure has led to extensive soil degradation. Forests, which 150 years ago covered 70 percent of the country, have been largely destroyed, and only 7 percent of the land is now forested. The UN/FAO World Food Programme (WFP) began assisting the Haitian government with food aid in 1969, and since then has supplied $28 million to assist projects for rural development, vulnerable groups, functional literacy and hospital feeding. Malnourished baby girl being examined by a doctor at the Port-au-Prince hospital where she gets medical aid and WFP supplementary rations. Her mother is unemployed with two older babies.