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Haiti - FLASH : 18% of the population in serious food insecurity, gloomy prospects
24/11/2017 06:46:28

Haiti - FLASH : 18% of the population in serious food insecurity, gloomy prospects
According to the harvest assessment in Haiti of the CFSAM (Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission) conducted in August 2017 by the National Coordination of Food Security (CNSA) and the Agricultural Statistics and Informatics Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture (USAI) with support from the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) Haiti has experienced near-normal harvests for the spring agricultural season (March / August 2017).

However, despite a relatively good performance of the spring agricultural season, the level of inflation at the end of August 2017 was higher than in the same period of the previous three years. While there has been a seasonal decline in local prices, prices have nevertheless remained higher than last year.

In addition, last September, the North region, particularly the North-East department, was badly affected by hurricane Irma where more than 50% of the plantations were affected according to the rapid assessment report of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Under the leadership of the CNSA, analysts of the technical working group of the Integrated Classification of Food Security (IPC) bringing together the main actors of the food security sector, have made an update of the food security situation for the period from October 2017 to February 2018 and a projection for the period from March to June 2018.

According to the Directorate General of European Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the National Coordination of Food Security, the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA - UN)

  • Between now and the end of the lean season expected mid-2018, more than 1.3 million individuals, representing nearly 18% of the population, will face severe food insecurity according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis (October 2017) and struggle to ensure a minimal food intake. They require immediate assistance to cover their basic food needs.

  • This acute situation results from a combination of factors, including the severe crops losses registered after the passage of Hurricanes Irma in September 2017 and Matthew in 2016. Erratic precipitation patterns characterized the 2017-18 spring season, notably in the South, Nippes, North and Nord-Est departments, triggering flooding and dry spells. As a consequence, retail prices of local and imported staple food stuffs are high, limiting the poorest households’ purchasing power and economic access to markets.

  • According to a nutritional SMART survey conducted in 20 municipalities located in Matthew-affected areas in August 2017, five municipalities in the Grand’Anse department and two communes in the South present Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rates above the emergency threshold.

  • In the areas hit by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, mostly located in Grand’Anse, South and North West departments, 1 million out of the 2.1 million people initially affected are still in need of humanitarian assistance. Among them, an estimated 400 000 individuals still live under tarpaulins, are highly exposed to the impact of future shocks and require immediate shelter assistance.

Prospect :
According to analysts from the IPC Technical Working Group, we can expect a deterioration of the food security situation for the projection period from March to June 2018 in some areas due to the lean season. As a result, in addition to the two zones classified as Crisis Phase for the current period (North-East Department and the mountainous areas of Grand-Anse), the coastal communities of Grand-Anse are likely to enter the crisis phase. Apart from the 3 zones mentioned above, a change of Phase is not expected in the other zones that will be maintained during the stress phase.

However, some factors may change scenarios, including :

  • A deficit or delay in rainfall that would disrupt the establishment of the next spring crop year ;
  • Socio-political troubles ;
  • An acceleration of inflation following a devaluation of the gourde, an increase in the prices of petroleum products or a rise in prices on the international market

SL/ S/ HaitiLibre

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