WASHINGTON, May 12, 2020 — The World Bank activated US$9.5 million on April 23 to provide immediate funding for Haiti’s agriculture sector to support food security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The World Bank is working closely with the Haitian authorities at the central and local levels, along with development partners, to help the country address the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The local agriculture sector supplies up to 45% of Haitian food needs. Safeguarding agriculture will be essential to mitigating the impacts of this crisis, particularly for the rural poor,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Director for Haiti.
Nearly 35% of Haiti’s population already needed urgent food support before the crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic can worsen this situation, due to external threats such as fluctuation of the global markets, decreased remittances from overseas, and the closure of the border with the Dominican Republic, which will further limit access to basic food supplies. Locally, social distancing measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus, loss of income, and disruption of supply chains will exacerbate this issue.
The financing will be used to safeguard production for the next two cropping seasons, maintain purchasing power of the rural and urban poor, and preserve the food markets and value chains. This funding will allow 21,500 farmers in the Southern and Nippes regions to finance inputs and materials such as seeds and fertilizers, and will support plowing and land preparation. The CERC also includes communications campaigns to promote social distancing and sanitation measures during implementation.
These funds were mobilized under the Haiti Resilient Productive Landscape Project using the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC). CERCs allow funds to be reallocated from the project to be used for emergency response activities. This initiative complements the US$20 million support to the COVID-19 health response under the Haiti COVID-19 Response Project, approved on April 2, 2020.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. We are increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. Over the next 15 months, we will be deploying up to $160 billion in financial support to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery, including $50 billion of new IDA resources in grants or highly concessional terms.
In Port au Prince, Peleg Charles, +509 4891 6327, Pcharles@worldbank.org;
In Washington, Hannah McDonald-Moniz, (202) 250-4498, email@example.com;
For more information, please visit: www.worldbank.org/haiti