Haiti: Food Assistance Fact Sheet - March 29, 2019

Report
from US Agency for International Development
Published on 29 Mar 2019

One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti remains susceptible to natural disasters and vulnerable to price spikes in the global food market. Drought conditions, political instability and worsening economic conditions have resulted in food insecurity across Haiti.

SITUATION

• Drought conditions in parts of Haiti continue to limit livelihood opportunities—notably agriculture and livestock activities—and exacerbate acute food insecurity, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). While rainfall in parts of the country has resulted in adequate agricultural production and the availability of locally grown food in some markets, much of the population remains dependent on purchasing imported food, such as rice and maize. However, ongoing political instability and deteriorating economic conditions in the country are contributing to the relative weakness of the Haitian gourde and resulting in increasing imported food prices, making it more difficult for vulnerable households to afford enough to eat, according to FEWS NET.

• As a result of drought conditions, as well as political and economic instability, populations across the country are projected to face Stressed (IPC 2) or Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity through at least September 2019, according to FEWS NET.*

*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).

RESPONSE

• USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide conditional cash transfers for food to nearly 10,000 food-insecure individuals in Haiti, in exchange for participation in disaster risk reduction activities—such as rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems and riverbanks—that aim to improve vulnerable households’ food security and resilience to natural disasters.

• In addition, with FFP support, WFP maintains stockpile contingency food supplies in Haiti sufficient to assist approximately 300,000 people in the event of natural disaster or other substantial shock.

• FFP supports World Vision to provide conditional food and seed vouchers to more than 26,000 food-insecure people in the North-East and Centre departments of Haiti in exchange for participation in communal asset creation and rehabilitation activities aimed at improving food security in vulnerable areas.

• FFP also partners with CARE and the Government of Haiti to develop a social safety net program that improves the access of vulnerable households to locally produced, nutritious foods. Aimed at both boosting food security and reducing malnutrition, the multi-year development program benefited nearly 86,000 food-insecure individuals in FY 2018. In addition, in close coordination with relevant government authorities, the program has developed a powerful information database for mapping and targeting the most-vulnerable households throughout the country.