Belgian Development Cooperation gives new impetus to agricultural production in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew

from Government of Belgium
Published on 15 Dec 2016 View Original

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has decided to allocate 3 million euros for agriculture rehabilitation in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The Belgian Development Cooperation will support a programme of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The programme covers a period of two years.

The Belgian resources will be used for the FAO project 'Protect, rehabilitate and diversify the livelihoods of the population affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti'. The project's objective is to revive the agricultural production by distributing seeds and planting material and rehabilitating the small livestock population, the agricultural infrastructure and the irrigation infrastructure.

Food security for 60,000 people

With this project, Belgium and the FAO aim to provide food security for 60,000 vulnerable people and around 12,000 farming families. The project also commits to protecting and diversifying the livelihoods, in order for the population to become more resilient to extreme weather conditions in the future.

Alexander De Croo: "There is a great need for humanitarian aid in Haiti. To restore the agriculture production, Belgium saw a suitable partner in the FAO for the financing of the assistance programme. With this contribution, we ensure that farming families who have lost everything have a future again, while simultaneously supporting food security in the medium term. This goes beyond crisis assistance."

Agricultural land and stocks destroyed

On 3 and 4 October, Hurricane Matthew, a fourth category hurricane, swept across Haiti. Seven out of ten departments suffered serious damage. 2.1 million of the 10.4 million Haitians were affected, and 1.4 million of those affected are in urgent need of food aid. In the Grande’Anse, Sud and Nippes areas, more than three quarters of the population was impacted. Not only did Hurricane Matthew destroy the agricultural land and structures, it also destroyed the stocks of farmers and traders. Moreover, the destruction of the water infrastructure has created a serious lack of clean drinking water and an increase in cholera cases.

The FAO is one of the multilateral partner organisations of the Belgian Development Cooperation. In 2016 our country contributed 18,45 million euros to the FAO. With its resources, the FAO combats hunger worldwide by developing rural areas, improving food quality and increasing agricultural productivity.