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Food crisis in Haiti reaches critical point

Deadly riots erupt in Haiti's capital as the cost of food skyrockets, giving way to widespread hunger in this impoverished country. World Vision gathers resources to provide food to desperate children and families.

April 21, 2008

Roseline, 18 months, feeds herself spoonfuls of enriched porridge at a World Vision mothers' club in Haiti.
Roseline, 18 months, feeds herself spoonfuls of enriched porridge at a World Vision mothers' club in Haiti.
Photo ©2007 Andrea Dearborn/World Vision
The riots in Port-au-Prince — which broke out earlier this month and left five dead with hundreds more injured — stemmed from several months of increasing food insecurity driven by dire economic and climatic conditions in Haiti.

World Vision is preparing to provide relief to hungry children and families affected by the crisis.

A perfect storm for misery

Rising global prices for food and fuel, which have put a dent in the budgets of many Americans, have also hammered Haiti, which survives largely on imported goods. Food is unaffordable to many families in a place where the unemployment rate is high and most residents earn less than $2 per day.

To make matters worse, severe weather last fall — including Tropical Storm Noel in October — wiped out livestock and crops across the country just before harvest time and the start of the dry season. This caused severe shortages of locally produced food. Shortages are expected to continue even if there is good weather for the next planting season, scheduled to begin this month, because farmers lack seeds to produce another harvest in June.

Widespread hunger

World Vision staff members warn of severe consequences arising from the current food crisis, including increased child mortality, lawlessness, and political instability. Our planned relief response is focused on:

  • Food for the most vulnerable, especially children: World Vision already operates a food security program in Haiti funded by USAID Food for Peace that focuses on malnourished children and pregnant mothers. But the next scheduled food shipment is not until June, and the current supply needs to be replenished. Our first priority is to secure immediate food relief for hungry children and families.
  • Seeds and tools for farmers: The rainy season has arrived in Haiti. With quick action and proper resources, local farmers can produce a new harvest by late June or early July.
  • Cash-for-work: Local residents will earn desperately needed funds to restore irrigation canals for food production and build rock walls in mountain gullies, which reduces flood damage.

World Vision is seeking funds to support these hunger-reducing measures.


Learn more


>> Read about Tropical Storm Noel , which caused severe damage in Haiti last fall and contributed to the food crisis.
>> Read about World Vision's food aid programs.
>> Read a BBC country profile of Haiti.

Two ways you can help

>> Please pray for the children and families suffering because of the current food crisis in Haiti. Pray that their hunger pains will be quelled and that farmers in Haiti will be able to grow enough food for their families and nation.
>> Donate now to help provide desperately needed food for hungry children and families in Haiti. Your gift will multiply five times in impact to help save lives.

Forward to a friend

Learn more

Read about Tropical Storm Noel , which caused severe damage in Haiti last fall and contributed to the food crisis.
- -
Read about World Vision's food aid programs.
- -
Read a BBC country profile of Haiti.

Two ways you can help

Please pray for the children and families suffering because of the current food crisis in Haiti. Pray that their hunger pains will be quelled and that farmers in Haiti will be able to grow enough food for their families and nation.
- -

Donate now to help provide desperately needed food for hungry children and families in Haiti. Your gift will multiply five times in impact to help save lives.

 





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