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  • Writer's pictureFrantz Alcema,

Haiti top list of suffering nations

Gallup's World Poll finds 3 countries with the highest "suffering" rates in the world in 2016 span three continents. More than four in 10 people rate their current and future lives poorly enough to be categorized as suffering in South Sudan (47%), Haiti (43%) and Ukraine (41%).

The nation with the highest percentage of people rated suffering was South Sudan, with 47 percent rating their lives four or lower. Just 9 percent rated themselves as thriving. Since winning its independence in 2011, the African nation has been subsumed by poverty, famine and a bloody civil war.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, was second on the list. Hurricane Matthew devastated the island in 2016, only six years after a powerful earthquake that leveled the country previously, meaning natural disasters have put immense stress on a nation with little infrastructure to handle even normal daily challenges.

Accordingly, homelessness and access to healthcare are among the chief concerns in a nation where 43 percent rate themselves as suffering. Only 3 percent consider themselves thriving.

Ukraine is the only European nation near the bottom of the list. Though the top 3 countries on the United Nations Happiness index released earlier this week are in northern Europe -- Norway, Denmark and Iceland -- Ukraine in southeastern Europe has been ravaged by political violence.

The fighting between pro-government forces and Russian-backed separatists has put a damper on an already-flagging economy. Forty-one percent of Ukrainians rated themselves as suffering, and a majority, 57 percent, said things are getting worse.

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