5. Khartoum, Sudan
> Population: 5.02 million
> Infrastructure rank: 210 (12th lowest)
> National GDP per capita: $1,959 (55th lowest)
> Adults dying prematurely: 283 per 1,000 (42nd highest)
Khartoum, the capital and second-largest city in Sudan, has the third-lowest quality of living across Africa. Sudan has been hit incredibly hard by years of civil war, notably in the western region known as Darfur. The State Department currently has a travel warning on the country due to high levels of terrorist activities. Sudan as a whole has been hit hard following the secession of South Sudan in 2011; the region accounts for approximately three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production.
4. N’Djamena, Chad
> Population: 808,000
> Infrastructure rank: 208 (14th lowest)
> National GDP per capita: $892 (31st lowest)
> Adults dying prematurely: 397 per 1,000 (19th highest)
With an estimated population of 808,000, N’Djamena is the capital of the central African nation of Chad. Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning to Americans looking to visit the country. The warning explained that while security has slowly improved in the country, its relationship with neighboring Sudan is volatile and could quickly take a turn for the worse. Incidents of gunpoint carjacking, robbery and murder have been reported. More than one in four residents in Chad live on less than $1 per day, and the country has the sixth-highest infant mortality rate of any nation.
3. Port-au-Prince, Haiti
> Population: 2.14 million
> Infrastructure rank: 221 (the lowest)
> National GDP per capita: $738 (23rd lowest)
> Adults dying prematurely: 251 per 1,000 (53rd highest)
Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, has the lowest quality of life among all cities located in the western hemisphere. The city, along with the rest of Haiti, was devastated in early 2010 by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. At least 230,000 people died, while another 300,000 were injured, although exact figures remain unavailable. The earthquake resulted in about $7.8 billion worth of damage. Despite all this, Port-au-Prince has some tourist destinations, which the government has touted to help it rebuild the country.
2. Bangui, Central African Republic
> Population: 702,000
> Infrastructure rank: 213 (9th lowest)
> National GDP per capita: $463 (8th lowest)
> Adults dying prematurely: 464 per 1,000 (9th highest)
Bangui is located in the Central African Republic, a country for which the State Department has issued a travel warning. Americans who do go to there are discouraged from leaving the city. According to the CIA World Factbook, “the government still does not fully control the countryside, where pockets of lawlessness persist.” Additionally, the Lord’s Resistance Army, an international terrorist group known for the use of child soldiers, is also active in the country. In Bengui, violent crime rates are “elevated,” according to the State Department, while “military and civilian security forces (and people posing as such) staff checkpoints throughout the city, frequently harassing residents and international visitors for bribes.”
1. Baghdad, Iraq
> Population: 5.75 million
> Infrastructure rank: 220 (2nd lowest)
> National GDP per capita: $3,478 (73rd lowest)
> Adults dying prematurely: 222 per 1,000 (63rd highest)
Baghdad, along with other parts of Iraq, were significantly damaged by air strikes during both the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 and the Iraq War, which began in 2003. Much of the Iraqi population still lacks adequate drinking water and the country’s sewage system is in poor condition. Although Iraq is a long way from recovery, the CIA World Factbook notes that “an improving security environment and foreign investment” have helped spur economic activities in sectors such as energy, construction and retail. Government revenue has also benefited from rising oil prices.
Michael B. Sauter, Samuel Weigley and Alexander E.M. Hess