Read more about FAO in emergencies and El Niño

Even before an earthquake, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, ripped through the country in 2010, Haiti was in a protracted crisis. One of the poorest and least developed countries in the western hemisphere, it is prone to natural disasters – from seasonal hurricanes and tropical storms to flooding and drought. Back-to-back emergencies have made it difficult for many Haitians to rebound. About 3.8 million people – more than a third of the country – do not get enough to eat, and food in the markets is expensive. FAO is working to help Haitians produce more food, earn more money and become more resilient in the face of the next disaster.

Rebuilding livelihoods

More than two-thirds of Haitians earn their living from agriculture, but when a disaster strikes, it can wipe out a household’s means to make a living. FAO, in agreement with its donors, redirected all ongoing emergency and rehabilitation work to help families affected by the earthquake resume crop and livestock production as soon as possible. It provided high-yielding seeds and planting materials, tools and veterinary care as well as training on improved agronomic techniques, animal husbandry and disaster preparedness.

FAO is now supporting small seed growers’ associations in Haiti to produce maize and bean seed. This not only provides additional income, but ensures a steady supply of quality seed to the country’s farmers. FAO is also working to ensure that women – the main producers of food in Haiti – have equal access to agricultural inputs, training and services.

Managing natural resources

Once blanketed with trees, Haiti now has less than two percent of its original forest cover. With such massive deforestation comes soil infertility, erosion and the removal of natural hurricane barriers. Many of the country’s watersheds – a source of water for households and crops, and a buffer against flooding – are in disrepair. FAO is supporting efforts to improve the management of the country’s natural resources, from reforesting watersheds to building water storage facilities to training local farmers on the sustainable use of water and land.

Growing food in cities

Food insecurity is high in Haiti’s rural areas, but it is also a concern in the country’s capital, especially among displaced households. FAO is supporting gardening, recycling and composting activities in urban areas combined with training in nutrition, food preservation and marketing. Market gardens are ideal for city dwellers as they can be set up in small spaces – on rooftops or in small courtyards – with available materials such as wooden tables, used tires or plastic containers. They not only provide families with fresh produce, rich in vitamins and minerals, but also a source of income.


More about the country

 - To improve the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable populations affected by the drought in the Nord-Ouest department.
 - IPC projection map of acute food insecurity situation overview in Haiti from 01/07 to 30/09/2015. Click on the Counties for more details.   Legend   Phase 1: Minimal   Phase 2: Stressed   Phase ...read more
 - IPC projection map of acute food insecurity situation overview in Haiti from 01/04 to 30/06/2015. Click on the Counties for more details.   Legend   Phase 1: Minimal   Phase 2: Stressed   Phase ...read more
 - Réhabiliter les moyens de subsistance des populations vulnérables par la mise en place des mécanismes de transfert pour l’atténuation de l’insécurité alimentaire et de réduction des ...read more
 - In 2014, conflicts, natural disasters and extreme weather patterns continue to undermine food and nutrition security around the world, severely affecting those who rely on farming, ...read more
 - Réduire l’impact de la variabilité du climat sur les agriculteurs vulnérables et sur les ressources naturelles tout en soutenant la production agricole afin de contribuer à ...read more
 - Restauration rapide des principaux moyens de subsistance des agriculteurs affectés par la tempête tropicale Sandy par l’amélioration de leur capacité de production et la création d’activités ...read more
 - Grande Anse is one of the departments in Haiti most exposed to malnutrition. Weakened by geographic isolation, the lack of infrastructure, recurrent natural disasters and soil ...read more
 - Amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire des familles rurales, périurbaines et urbaines et prévention des risques et désastres naturels.
 - To strengthen the livelihoods of beneficiary households by improving their productive capacities through the implementation of new production techniques for gardens.