Haiti 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, as well as natural disasters.
Haiti also remains susceptible to environmental shocks, such as Hurricane Matthew, which devastated western Haiti in October 2016, and Hurricanes Irma and Maria in early 2017, which caused significant flooding in the north of the country.
Recent drought conditions in northern Haiti have resulted in significant reductions in corn and bean production and some households are engaging in negative coping strategies, such as eating less preferred foods, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). However, fruit and root crop harvests are expected to be near normal. As a result, communities across Haiti are expected to face Stressed (IPC 2) or Minimal (IPC 1) levels of acute food insecurity through January 2019, FEWS NET reports.*
*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).
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, cashfor-work activities and agricultural inputs—reached more than one million people in Haiti. In preparation for the 2018 hurricane seasons, FFP supported the pre-positioning of emergency food stocks in Haiti.
FFP and USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) jointly support Catholic Relief Services to improve the capacity of 40 Haitian community-based and faith-based organizations to respond more effectively 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, the multi-year development program has benefited nearly 86,000 food-insecure individuals to date in FY 2018.