Rehabilitating damaged gardens, farms and agricultural infrastructure will be key in Haiti's post-quake recovery. ©FAO

First post quake assessment in Haiti finds hunger spike in affected areas


As new data from Haiti showed last month's earthquake has damaged agriculture and driven up hunger, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations today urgently called for more investments to help rural Haitians resume critical backyard gardening and small-scale farming and avoid a worsening of the food crisis.

The appeal came in response to a newly released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis showing that some 980 000 people in the four departments of the island nation that bore the brunt of the 7.2 magnitude quake -- Grand'Anse, Nippes, Sud and Sud-Est areas - are now living with acute food insecurity. As the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti has long been vulnerable on multiple fronts. But among the most recent factors to blame are the destruction in the quake of markets, rural roads, storage and processing facilities, dairies, and irrigation systems and additional damage brought by Tropical Storm Grace, which hit days after the seismic event.

"On top of a succession of disasters and crises, this latest double whammy has left people's ability to produce and to access food for their families and communities in tatters ," said FAO Representative in Haiti, Jose Luis Fernandez. "With the October winter planting season just around the corner, we can't wait to invest in rebooting agricultural production. That must happen immediately, but we are hampered by low levels of funding for this critical work," he added.

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