FAO, Haiti Government seek $74 million for Haiti's farm sector

Colossal damage caused by Hurricane Sandy

6 November 2012, Rome - FAO and the Government of Haiti are seeking $74 million over the next 12 months to help rehabilitate the country's agricultural sector in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The "Superstorm" caused colossal damage to Haiti's crops, land, livestock, fisheries and rural infrastructures in late October, leaving more than 600 000 Haitians at risk of food and nutrition insecurity. Of the total funding sought, $4 million is needed immediately to help 20 000 families make it through the  winter cropping season starting  in December.

Sandy hit Haiti on 23 October. Three consecutive days of intense winds and heavy rain caused severe flooding, damaging and destroying homes, farms and public infrastructure.

It was the third disaster to hit the country in the space of a few months. Between May and June a severe drought struck at the beginning of the critical spring cropping season. In August Haiti was battered by Tropical Storms Isaac followed two months later by Sandy.

Combined impact

The combined impact of these three disasters on the agricultural sector, has been  estimated by the Government of Haiti at $254 million, affecting the livelihood of 1.5 million people.

FAO, WFP and other partners are supporting the Government of Haiti in conducting a post-disaster assessment in order to present a full picture of the damage and needs for agriculture and food security and allow appropriate and significant response to recover from the crisis.

Some places in the South, South East and Grand Anse zone are still largely isolated due to the massive destruction of road and other infrastructures. FAO, WFP, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  and partners will conduct a helicopter survey of those areas. 

The Humanitarian Country Team in Haiti, the Donors' Group Supporting Haiti and the Government  are currently discussing the next steps in  responding to the crisis in the immediate, medium and long term, also addressing root causes of the country's vulnerability to recurrent natural disasters.

"The recent natural disasters in Haiti  requires the robust response of the international community  to support ongoing Government efforts," said Adam Yao, FAO Senior Emergency Coordinator in Haiti.

FAO provides support  to the Government of Haiti with a variety of interventions in forestry, livestock production, seed production, watershed management and nutrition. These programmes can be scaled up and adapted to address needs following Hurricane Sandy in accordance with the government's plan.

Photo: ©UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi.
Colossal damage in Haiti caused by Hurricane Sandy