Upcoming hurricane season will exacerbate persistent violence to increase the risks of famine impacting children in Haiti

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  • Experts predicting 23 named storms, including 11 hurricanes
  • Land erosion and deforestation increasing the risk of flash floods and landslides in extremely vulnerable rural areas
  • World Vision focusing on climate-adapted food production and community preparedness

PORT-AU-PRINCE (May 22, 2024) – Global humanitarian organization World Vision warns that nearly 5 million people in Haiti, half of them children, are at risk of famine as experts predict one of the most active hurricane seasons on record, the impacts of which are likely to worsen hunger and poverty resulting from ongoing violence in the already vulnerable island nation.

Experts predict a “hyperactive” Atlantic hurricane season between June and November, with 23 named storms that include 11 potential hurricanes and five that could reach major hurricane status. These climate disruptions, driven by La Niña and resultant extremely warm temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, could severely affect Haiti, which is highly vulnerable to this and other natural hazards.

The predicted impacts of this year’s hurricane season, which include landslides, floods and increased erosion of intensely deforested lands, threaten nearly 5 million people in Haiti who are already experiencing acute malnutrition. Of these, over 1.6 million are facing emergency (Phase 4) food insecurity, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Thousands of Port-au-Prince and Cité Soleil residents, who are already enduring prolonged gang violence and extreme poverty, are being forcedly displaced to rural areas such as La Gonave and Grand’Anse, where access to food and water is extremely limited,” explained Lesly Michaud, World Vision’s program director in Haiti.

World Vision is working in several rural areas to support the development of sustainable livelihoods, including the establishment of community gardens and climate-adapted crops, to help ensure sufficient amounts of nutritious food for children. Water wells and sanitation services are also being provided to protect children’s lives and health. In other communities, World Vision teams are distributing food baskets and cash vouchers to displaced families.

An estimated 360,000 people in Haiti have been forcibly displaced by the persistent violence and have limited access to food, water and healthcare. Now, the imminent hurricane season is dramatically increasing the risk of famine for children and their families.

In response, World Vision is intensifying its community preparedness operations, working with local faith leaders, authorities and the community to prevent potentially devastating impacts from pending climate-related disasters.

“Our efforts are focused on developing livelihoods which are adapted to climate disruptions,” added Michaud. “However, the extent of deforestation and poverty in Haiti goes beyond our capacities. We urgently need financial assistance to prevent a famine disaster in a country whose supply chain is severely disrupted due to violence in the capital city. We must act quickly.”

About World Vision:

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit worldvision.org or follow on X, formerly known as Twitter, @WorldVisionUSA.