Food Insecurity – Haiti: A Call to Action for All Caribbean and Latin American Countries – Global Issues

fao haiti

The escalation of violence and multiple crises are worsening acute food insecurity in Haiti - Credit: Justine Texier / FAO - While the latest evidence shows signs of improvement in food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean, the data reveal a worrying upward trend in Haiti and sectors of the sub-region
The escalation of violence and multiple crises are exacerbating acute food insecurity in Haiti. Credit: Justine Texier / FAO
  • Opinion by Mario Lubetkin (Santiago)
  • Inter-Press Office
  • Mario Lubetkin is FAO Deputy Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean

The situation in Haiti is particularly alarming: violence, a prolonged economic crisis and extreme weather conditions have brought the country to a critical point with devastating consequences for the population. A further worsening of acute food insecurity is expected between June and October 2024.

Haiti is the only country in the region considered to be in a major long-term food crisis, is one of nine countries in the world at risk of famine and among five countries where more than 10% of the population is in need.

This translates into 1.6 million people with food consumption deficits, reflected in very high acute malnutrition and excess mortality that they can only alleviate through emergency livelihood strategies and the liquidation of their assets. On the other hand, almost half the population, about 5.5 million people, could face high levels of acute food insecurity.

El Niño caused crop failures in 2023, and this year forecasts warn of more intense hurricanes due to La Niña, which could cause flooding and landslides, causing additional damage to crops, livelihoods and infrastructure.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), committed to supporting Haiti, is working intensively to alleviate the impact of the humanitarian crisis through emergency agricultural assistance, strengthening livelihood resilience and specialized technical assistance, while ensuring the link between humanitarian response and resilience. , and development. The FAO estimates that $42.6 million is needed to help 528,000 people, but has received only 6% of the funding.

In 2023, FAO reached approximately 120,000 people in Haiti through emergency agricultural and livestock interventions to support local food production and sustain rural livelihoods. In 2024, FAO continued to provide emergency assistance in Haiti, focusing on food security and agricultural resilience amid global challenges, assisting 44,000 beneficiaries in various country departments.

In light of increasing violence and food crises, FAO calls on donors and governments to increase their support. Ten million dollars are needed to support 80,000 people, ensure the protection of their livelihoods, meet minimum food needs and improve the availability and access to food for the most vulnerable households.

The FAO appreciates the efforts of local authorities to stabilize the country through the appointment of Garry Conille as interim Prime Minister. We are confident that such steps will help Haiti embark on a normalization path, which could also improve food security for all its residents.

Food insecurity in Haiti requires urgent and coordinated action. A rapid, effective response and mobilization of the necessary resources will mitigate the impact of this crisis, support vulnerable populations and help Haiti return to food security and stability. Humanitarian aid must reach those who need it most. Only in this way can we guarantee a better life for everyone, leaving no one behind.

© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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