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Haiti - Agriculture : The country hit by the worst drought in 35 years !
15/02/2016 09:42:17

Haiti - Agriculture : The country hit by the worst drought in 35 years !
Since the beginning of 2015, Haiti faces the worst drought in the last 35 years, reports the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA). The phenomenon "El Niño", which began in early 2015, one of the strongest ever recorded, could persist in 2016 and have an impact on food security in Haiti.

This drought has resulted in considerable losses of crops and reduced availability of local food on markets, combined with a dramatic increase prices of these. Furthermore, significant water shortages were reported in the most affected departments (West, Central, South and Southeast). Agricultural losses amounted to over 50% (70% in some areas) compared to normal on the spring campaign of 2015, which represents nearly 60% of the annual production of the country.

"If it does not rain before the 2016 harvest, it will mean that many farmers will lose their third consecutive harvest and can not meet the needs of their families," said Wendy Bigham, Deputy Director of the World Food Programme WFP in Haiti "We have to help them cover their immediate needs while helping them build their resilience. "

According to CNSA, 3.6 million Haitians are currently in a situation of severe food insecurity and 200,000 (or 40,000 families) in extremely food emergency. With the persistence of El Niño, and if nothing is done by July 2016, food insecurity could affect about 5 million people (half of the Haitian population).

In addition, for the 5 departments affected by drought, it is expected about 76,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition, including 37,500 with severe acute malnutrition. A situation that could worsen if the necessary measures are not taken in the short and long term.

In response to this alarming situation, the CNSA has drawn up an emergency response plan for the fight against hunger and save the crop of spring 2016. An amount of 2 billion gourdes is necessary to meet the urgent needs among others of 40,000 families living in the 20 communes in situations of acute food insecurity and ensure the nutritional management of target groups in the affected areas.

For its part, based on its new studies, WFP will intensify its emergency operation to meet the immediate needs of 1 million people in a situation of severe food insecurity by making money transfers as well as distributing food rations.

These immediate distributions will be complemented by programs of "Money for Work", where 200,000 people will receive money in exchange for their work on water management projects or soil conservation set up to promote the development at long term. WFP has already implemented of projects "Working against money" for more than 30,000 people in the areas most affected by drought.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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