According to the latest analysis by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published this Friday, nearly five million Haitians, nearly half the population, suffer from high levels of “acute food insecurity.”
Achieving this record means an increase of 200,000 people in just five monthswhile the number of people affected in an emergency situation stands at 1.8 million, a figure higher than the records made during the last three years.
These food deficiencies cause high levels of malnutrition and force families to adopt coping mechanisms such as selling their assets or consuming seeds instead of planting them, which increases their vulnerability.
With three quarters of the population living in rural areasthe Organization indicates the need to establish urgent measures to save their lives and quickly restore the livelihoods of vulnerable farmers.
For example, if 125 dollars are invested in a package of seeds, the production of vegetables would be 20 times higher, a situation that would allow families to be fed and would generate income by selling part of the product obtained.
The agency recalled that within the framework of the Humanitarian Response Plan 2023, the Organization requests 61.7 million dollars that would help to improve access to food for 700,000 people.
Humanitarian aid will involve the provision of agricultural inputs (seeds and fertilizers) to increase the production of staple foods and vegetables (2023 spring and winter seasons), as well as livestock assets, through the provision of poultry and goats, as well as such as vaccinations and veterinary treatment.
The island where most possible misfortunes coincide
Haiti is suffering from the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by the war in Ukraine, the cholera outbreak, and the impact of extreme events such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Violence from gangs and armed groups threatens the security of communities and continues to hinder their access to agricultural inputs and food.
In addition, the purchasing power of households continues to be affected by high food prices, linked to the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar, and the increase in the cost of transportation.
Haiti is one of the countries most vulnerable to threats of natural origin causing great damage and loss of human life. Many communities are still recovering from Tropical Storm Grace and the 2021 earthquake, which devastated parts of Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud departments.