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Haiti - Social : Call to scaling up the response to the drought in the Northwest
06/04/2014 09:59:40

Haiti - Social : Call to scaling up the response to the drought in the Northwest
An important joint delegation of the Government of Haiti and the United Nations went ​​this week in the area of ​​Mosquito Bay (Baie des Moustiques), in Port-de-Paix in the northwest of the country. The delegation was composed of Peter de Clercq, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Resident humanitarian coordinator, representatives of the Haitian government including the Secretary of State for crop production, Mr. Fresner Dorcin, of the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Hébert Docteur, of Delegate Northwest, Emmanuel Remy, as well as several representatives of United Nations system in Haiti, including the World Food Programme (WFP), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Fund UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and a representative of the Department of Development UK (DFID).

The delegation participated in the last day of food distribution organized from March 15 to April 3 in the area by WFP and departmental and local authorities. These distributions have benefited 164,000 vulnerable people including women and children. Each recipient received a 45-days family food ration, including cereals, fortified oil and iodized salt. This effort is part of a broader responseof the Government of Haiti and the United Nations to the increasing food insecurity and malnutrition in this area.

The Government and its partners, said they were particularly concerned about the situation developing in the Northwest. Assessments conducted in February 2014 by the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) reported a further deterioration of food security in the region, particularly in the municipalities of Baie de Henne, Bombardopolis, Jean Rabel and Mole St Nicolas. The combined effects of the poor performance of winter and spring growing seasons, prolonged drought since November 2013 and the period of early and prolonged "soudure" period severely affected the food security of the population.

"We work with the Haitian authorities to implement actions in the short and medium term with for objective to increase the resilience of the most vulnerable populations in order to give them the ability to better cope with potential crises in the future," said Peter de Clercq.

Following the recommendations of the CNSA, several national and international organizations have mobilized to provide emergency response to affected populations. The response includes distributions of emergency food rations, distribution of coupons to purchase food commodities and the implementation of activities cash for work targeting the most vulnerable families. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture supported by FAO will put food seeds available to most affected family farms and a assistance in drought-resistant seeds will be given to several groups of artisanal production, to reduce future risk of loss of production. Other actors, such as the National Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation (DINEPA) and UNICEF are studying interventions in the field of water and sanitation through construction programs of latrines, rehabilitation of water networks and wells drilled in the affected areas.

However, the response to this emergency situation and global food insecurity in the country is very limited due to a lack of resources. "We appreciate the support of humanitarian actors who helped us to make a first immediate response to the needs of the population in this area. We call for a greater contribution of Haiti's partners to provide a sustainable response to the situation in the Northwest in the overall context of the fight against food insecurity still affects 600,000 people in the country," declared the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for Food Security.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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