Haiti Food Security Update, April - September 2009

Originally published


Executive summary

- Currently, staple food prices and transportation costs are comparatively low as a result of positive trends in supply and demand on the world market and the good February/March harvest in Haiti. This helped cut the inflation rate from 5.9 percent in February to a mere 1 percent in March. As a result, the estimated size of the food-insecure population shrank from 2.8 million in February to 2.4 million, or by roughly 14 percent. Despite this improvement in food security conditions, parts of the Artibonite, the Northwest, the Southeast, Nippes, and Grand' Anse, and urban slum areas are still moderately or highly foodinsecure due to the heavy damage caused by last year's hurricanes and the serious effects of poverty.

- The variables examined as part of the prospective study of the food security outlook for the next two quarters include staple food and oil prices, expected rainfall between April and July, hurricane activity between June and November, employment, emergency programs, and migrant remittances. According to the study, there should be very little change in food insecurity levels between April and the end of June. The size of the food-insecure population is expected to grow to 2.5 million between July and September, but could be much larger in the event of major hurricane damage.

- This food security outlook includes a number of suggestions for the Haitian government and its partners (donors, United Nations agencies, civil society, NGOs, etc.), including but not limited to:

(1) the implementation of existing sector-wide contingency plans, better coordination of emergency response programs, and the pre-positioning of resources earmarked for the upcoming hurricane season;

(2) the acceleration of drain-clearing works in high-risk cities;

(3) the implementation and strengthening of household resilience-building and vulnerability-reducing programs; and

(4) the extension of emergency response programs.