The latest IPC analysis shows that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, followed by Tropical Storm Grace, has left nearly 980,000 people in four departments of southern Haiti with a high level of acute food insecurity. The IPC analysis was conducted in the Grand-Sud departments affected by the August 14 earthquake, and the August 16 tropical storm destroyed homes and markets and uprooted thousands of families.
For the current period, from September 2021 to February 2022, 320,000 people (or 15% of the population analysed) are experiencing critical levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) and 660,000 (30% of the population analysed) are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). This means that 980,000 people (about 45% of the population analysed) are highly food insecure. Despite the planned and funded humanitarian food assistance (HFA) during this period, it requires urgent action to save lives and protect livelihoods. Although there have been delays in the provision of HFA due to security and logistical constraints, it is expected that 25% of households will receive HFA, covering at least 25% of their caloric needs. The South HT07 and Nippes HT07 zones, the most affected by the earthquake, are in Emergency food insecurity (IPC Phase 4), with almost half of their population in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and above. The rest of the areas analysed, including the two urban areas of Jérémie and Les Cayes, are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Among the least affected, the Grand ‘Anse areas HT07 and HT08 have the highest percentages of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4), at 35% and 15%, respectively.
For the projected period, approximately 991,000 people (45% of the 2.2 million people analysed) are likely to be in high acute food insecurity (IPC Phases 3 and 4) between March and June 2022, of which 291,000 people (13%) are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). During this period, persistent gang-related insecurity and possible social and political unrest could make it even more challenging to get food into the areas, increasing transportation costs and consumer prices. Combined with the lean season, household access to food could be more difficult during this period. Humanitarian and recovery interventions initiated during the current analysis period could, however, mitigate the situation. All areas would be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). It should be noted that the HFA considered in the analysis is intended to cover the period from September to February. Still, no funds were committed from March onwards, and therefore no HFA is included in the analysis.
Background: Acute food insecurity in Haiti
Haiti is the poorest country in the Caribbean and one of the most food insecure in the world, with some 60% of the population living in poverty. The island nation that occupies the western third of Hispaniola, Haiti, is home to some 4.4 million Haitians, or nearly half of the population, facing high levels of acute food insecurity between March and June 2021 [IPC 2020].
The high levels of acute food insecurity have been attributed to economic decline, political instability, poor production and frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes and tropical storms. The island lies on the edge of a large geological plate of rock just below the earth’s surface, called a tectonic plate; when the plate shifts, it can cause an earthquake. In 2010, an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and caused significant damage to infrastructure and the economy