Haití

Haití

In a context of economic fragility and socio-political tensions, the successive shocks that have recently affected Haiti – natural disasters, epidemics and population displacements – combined with structural weaknesses limiting access to basic services, have significantly aggravated the population’s chronic vulnerability, reducing their resilience with 25 percent of Haitians living below the poverty line. If timely livelihood assistance is not provided, the food security situation of vulnerable families will further worsen. FAO seeks to enhance the capacities of government institutions in disaster and risk prevention and management and to strengthen the livelihoods of vulnerable people by helping Haitians to produce food, earn money and become more resilient to face the next disaster.

Challenges facing agriculture and food security

In 2018, Haiti suffered a period of severe drought, floods and an earthquake, while still facing cholera, diphtheria and malaria, a migration crisis and recurrent protection issues. According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification ([IPC], December 2018), 568 000 people live in areas at risk of being affected by natural disasters and 333 000 people are estimated to be affected by cholera. Back-to-back emergencies have contributed to the degradation of livelihoods and living conditions of the most vulnerable populations in Haiti who are often affected by one or more crises at once, which makes it difficult for many Haitians to rebound.

The 2018 spring agricultural season was affected by the drought linked to the El Niño phenomenon in several areas of the country, including the departments of Centre, Grand’Anse, Nord, Nord-Est, Ouest, Sud and Sud-Est. This has resulted in a reduced production of the main crops – haricot beans, maize and sorghum – severely affecting the food security and income of Haitians whose livelihoods depend on agriculture. Households’ purchasing power has also been affected by the increase of staple food prices, the depreciation of the Haitian gourde and the high inflation throughout 2018, undermining vulnerable families’ ability to access food and leading to the adoption of negative mechanisms.

Restoring livelihoods

The probability of an El Niño event during the first three months of 2019 along with the factors described above will likely contribute to the deterioration of the situation, particularly in Sud and Nord-Ouest, characterized by the prevalence of acute food insecurity and high levels of global acute malnutrition if adequate livelihood assistance is not provided. According to the latest IPC analysis, 2.6 million people are projected to be severely food insecure and 39 000 children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition.

Under the 2019-2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, FAO seeks USD 16 million to assist 384 500 people in 2019. Priority activities focus on recovering agricultural and livestock production through the provision of quality inputs, vaccination, training and income-generating activities. Furthermore, FAO has developed a three-month Emergency Response Plan (March–May 2019) urgently requesting USD 8.6 million to support 330 000 during the 2019 spring season through the provision of essential inputs and cash-based transfers. This will allow vulnerable beneficiaries to have enough food for three months and generate income from selling part of the production obtained. 

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