Haiti is the only low-income country in the Americas and is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Three quarters of the population lives on less than $2 per day, making Haiti extremely vulnerable to price spikes in the global food market and natural disasters.
Haiti remains susceptible to environmental shocks, such as Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, whose impact continues to drive food insecurity across the country. In localized areas of Artibonite, Sud, Sud-Est, Nippes and Grand-Anse, communities most affected by the storm are expected to continue to experience Stressed (IPC 2)* levels of acute food insecurity, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
According to FEWS NET, local and imported foods remain available in most markets and food prices are currently stable. As a result, most communities in Haiti are expected to experience Minimal (IPC 1) levels of acute food insecurity through January 2018.
Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017 resulted in flooding and crop damage in northwestern Haiti. As of mid-October, assessments of the agricultural losses and livelihood disruptions resulting from the storms were ongoing.
In response to Hurricane Matthew, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partnered with non-governmental organizations and the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide life-saving emergency food assistance to hurricane-affected communities across the country. This assistance—including U.S. in-kind food aid, locally procured food aid, cash transfers for food, cash-for-work activities, and agricultural inputs—has reached more than one million people in Haiti.
In preparation for the 2017 hurricane season, FFP partnered with WFP to pre-position approximately 2,860 metric tons of emergency food assistance—enough to feed more than 150,000 people for one month—in strategic locations around Haiti.
In collaboration with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), FFP supports Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to improve the capacity of 40 Haitian community-based and faith-based organizations to more effectively respond to emergencies.
FFP partners with CARE and the Government of Haiti to develop a social safety net program that improves vulnerable household access to locally produced, nutritious foods. Aimed at both boosting food security and reducing malnutrition, this multi-year development program provides 18,150 households with monthly food vouchers and 205,000 households with maternal and child health and nutrition services. In FY 2017, USAID’s Bureau of Food Security and USAID’s Haiti mission also supported this social safety net program.