Hurricane Matthew: food security for 800,000 Haitians under threat
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Children sleep over metal sheets in a partially destroyed school used as a shelter after Hurricane Matthew hit Jeremie, Haiti. Hurricane Matthew has killed over 1,000 people in Haiti, tens of thousands have lost their homes and some 1.4 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
Children sleep over metal sheets in a partially destroyed school used as a shelter after Hurricane Matthew hit Jeremie, Haiti. Hurricane Matthew has killed over 1,000 people in Haiti, tens of thousands have lost their homes and some 1.4 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

See below a joint press release from CNSA / WFP / FAO:

About 1.4 million Haitians need food aid after Hurricane Matthew, which has led to widespread devastation of supplies and crops in large areas of the island state. More than half of the population – 800,000 people – need emergency food assistance an emergency assessment shows.

Undertaken by the Government of Haiti, the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during the week after the passage of hurricane, the report confirms the urgent need to provide immediate food assistance and help rebuild the livelihoods of people.

In Grande-Anse department, agriculture has been virtually wiped out, food stores have suffered serious damage, and the availability of local products down to fruit trees has been reduced. About 50 percent of livestock has been lost in some areas of the department. On the southern coast of Haiti, fishing activities are paralyzed because floods have taken the nets, traps, boats and motors. As a result, the income that families can use to buy food is almost non-existent.

At the same time, in the department of Sud they have lost almost all subsistence crops. Almost 90 percent of the forest and fruit trees has been severely damaged, and the remaining 10 percent will probably not produce this season.

“Local products will become scarce in the markets very soon and we need more funding to continue food distribution to help 800 00 people who need food assistance urgently,” said Miguel Barreto, Regional Director of the World Food Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The winter planting season is fast approaching. Agricultural producers have lost everything. If we do not act now to provide them grain, fertilizer and other materials they will not be able to plant and will face a persistent food insecurity, “said FAO Representative in Haiti, Nathanaël Hishamunda. Hishamunda emphasized the commitment of the Organization to work with the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture to implement an emergency response plan focused on helping people to resume farming activities and to improve food security in rural areas.

Broad impact

Sud and Grande Anse departments are not the only ones affected by the evaluation. In the department of Nippes, communities of Petit-Trou-de-Nippes, Baradères, Grand-Boucan, Plaisance-du-Sud, Asile and Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes have been severely affected, with nearly 80 percent of crops destroyed.

In the department of Artibonite, Anse-Rouge was the city that received the biggest blow; but the northwest, the four municipalities that make up the District Mole St. Nicholas Mole (Bay Henne, Bombardopolis, Jean Rabel and Mole St. Nicholas Mole) were also affected. The hurricane destroyed between 60 and 90 percent of crops in this region and livestock – a common activity in northwestern Haiti also recorded substantial losses, with between 60 and 80 percent of lost livestock.

The impact on agriculture in the Sud-Est department was widespread. It has lost 25 percent of corn and 60 to 90 percent of other crops has been damaged. Almost 60 percent of fishing gear has been damaged or lost, and commercial losses amount to 40 percent.

The CNSA urges the effective coordination of response through strong institutional mechanisms, a good system of monitoring, evaluation and consultation, to ensure consistency, transparency and efficiency. The humanitarian community in Haiti urgently needs 56 million US dollars to ensure food assistance to the population affected by Hurricane Matthew in the next three months.

About the CNSA

The CNSA is a Haitian state entity established in 1996 to guide public policies to improve food security of the Haitian population sustainably. Specifically, the CNSA is dedicated to define, guide and harmonize interventions of the actors in the field of food security in Haiti; monitor and evaluate the situation of food security and the results of field projects; disseminate information on the evolution of food security and develop opinions on the subject; translate policies and food security strategies into operational plans.

About WFP

World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger in the world, providing food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and increase resilience. Each year, WFP provides assistance to some 80 million people in 80 countries.

About FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure food security for all. FAO pays special attention to developing rural areas, where 70 percent lives of the poor and who suffer from hunger. Present in Haiti since 1978, FAO supports the government with technical cooperation and agricultural development activities aimed at improving food security and resilience of households.

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