Situated on the Hispaniola island in the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean Sea with an estimated population of 11. 4 million, the Republic of Haiti is the most populous country in the Caribbean. A country prone to drought, flood, and earthquakes, Haiti is listed as one of the poorest countries in the Americas in spite of its tourism industry. Poverty, political instability, as well as corruption, are among the major causes of the country’s slow economic growth.
Haiti uses the Haitian gourde and its centime sub-unit as the country’s legal tender, which was introduced in 1813, replacing the livre. Before the Banque de la Republique was formed, banknotes were issued by the Gouvernement du Sud d’Haiti, the Banque Nationale d’Haiti, and the Republique Septentrionale d’Haiti.
Following the establishment of the Banque de la Republic d’Haiti in 1979, several banknote issues highlight Francois Duvalier who was also known as “Papa Doc” because of his medical degree. “Papa Doc” became the president and was declared “President For Life”. Several notes were printed on polymer “Tyvek” from E.I du Pont de Nemours and Company. When “Papa Doc” died, the design on larger denominations was replaced with a portrait of 19-year-old Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier who took over the presidency on April 22, 1971. After a revolt that exiled Jean-Claude Duvalier on February 7, 1986, Haitian banknotes no longer show the Duvaliers.
In 1999, the bank released a 1,000 note designed by Haitian painter Daniel Elie to commemorate the 250th year of the founding of Port-au-Prince. Furthermore, a set of notes was introduced in celebration of the 200th year of the country’s independence from France. These notes were the first to bear both French and Haitian Creole texts.