Haiti

GIEWS Country Brief: Haiti 12-August-2022

Attachments

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Surging violence, political stalemate and protracted economic crisis continue to affect food security

  • Output of 2022 main maize and paddy crops expected at below-average level

  • Cereal import requirements forecast near-average levels in 2022/23

  • Prices of staple food well above year-earlier levels in June

Surging violence, political stalemate and protracted economic crisis continue to affect food security

A sharp deterioration of the security situation since June 2021 has severely affected livelihoods and provision of humanitarian assistance, with a detrimental impact on food security outcomes. Violent clashes between armed gangs hampered households’ access to markets and health, and education services in the capital. In the South, the blockage of road connecting southern areas with Port‑au‑Prince, which has lasted for more than a year, has reduced the supply of food and fuel as well as constrained access to basic services. Amid the political deadlock, the security situation is likely to deteriorate , further limiting access to food and affecting livelihoods. In addition, reduced access to humanitarian assistance, due to a shortfall in humanitarian funding and increasing costs of delivery of assistance, poses further threats.

According to the latest IPC analysis, the number of people facing acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 [Crisis] or above) was estimated at a record of 4.5 million (45 percent of the population) in the March‑June 2022 period, up from the 4.4 million in the same period in 2021. Food insecurity has been worsening since 2018, reflecting the sustained economic downturn and below‑average agricultural production, compounded by surging gang violence and political instability.

Output of 2022 main maize and paddy crops expected at below‑average level

Harvesting of the 2022 main season maize and rice crops was completed in July and production is expected at a below‑average level. Following a timely onset of seasonal rains in April, precipitation amounts reduced to a below‑average level in the May‑June period and affected crop yields. In the key cereal producing department of Artibonite, accumulated rainfall between May and June were 20 percent below the long‑term average, reducing availability of irrigation water for paddy.

The planted area to the main season crops was estimated to remain at a low level, mainly due to costly and scarce agricultural inputs.

An increase in rainfall in the last dekad of July partially restored soil moisture deficits and aided land preparation of the 2022 minor second season, although more precipitation is needed to carry out normal planting operations. Weather forecast points to near‑average precipitation in the August‑October period, with favourable effects on crop yields. However, the low availability of seeds and other agricultural inputs remains a concern for the second cropping season, which accounts for about 40 and 20 percent of the annual paddy and maize production, respectively.

Cereal import requirements forecast near‑average levels in 2022/23

The cereal import requirements for the 2022/23 marketing year (July/June), mostly wheat and rice for food consumption, are forecast at near‑average levels. Despite expectations of below‑average harvests, imports are likely to be constrained by the financial capacity, given elevated international commodity prices. Higher year‑on‑year export prices in the United States of America, the country’s main cereal supplier, are likely to limit domestic demand.

Prices of staple food items well above year‑earlier levels in June 2022

Prices of local maize meal sharply rose in the first four months of 2022 in the capital, Port‑au‑Prince, reflecting the reduced access to markets amidst surging violence, exacerbated by seasonally low availabilities. Prices declined in June on account of improved supplies from the main season harvest, but remained well above their year‑earlier levels. Prices of black beans have been on the rise since October 2021 and were more than 30 percent higher year on year in June 2022. Similarly, prices of mostly imported rice increased overall in 2022, following upward trends in export prices of the United States of America, from where most of the rice imports originate. The sustained weakening of the Haitian gourde, which lost about 25 percent of its value over the last 12 months, provided additional upward pressure on prices of imported items, including food. In general, inflation is expected to maintain its double‑digit trajectory for the seventh consecutive year in 2022, further diminishing the already weak purchasing power of households.

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