Via ReliefWeb, a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Haiti Humanitarian bulletin - Issue 57, January 2016. Click or tap through to download the PDF. The summary:
• The National Food Security Coordination Committee (CNSA) alerts on the situation of nearly 4 million people affected by food insecurity;
• In 2016, the humanitarian response to the cholera outbreak remains a priority for the United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners;
• The UN Under - Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs has allocated to Haiti nearly US $ 2 million from the CERF to meet the humanitarian and protection needs of people crossing the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic;
• The heavy rain that fell on the town of Port de Paix (North-West) caused the death of 8 people, damaged hundreds of homes and affected more than a thousand families.
Number of IDPs in camps Source: DTM, January 2016 59,000 Cumulative cholera cases (1st Jan. to 31 December 2015) Source: MSPP 36,045 Fatality cases (1st Jan. to 31 December 2015 ) Source: MSPP 322
Haiti is facing unprecedented food insecurity
The producers have lost more than half of their spring crops, which represents 60% of annual production in the country
Since the beginning of 2015, Haiti has been facing a persistent drought in various agroecological zones. This drought has resulted in the loss of more than 50% of the 2015 spring campaign in comparison to a normal year. The spring campaign represents nearly 60% of the annual production of the country.
Due to drought and climate change, the 2015 agricultural production was the worst registered in the last 35 years, according to CNSA (National Food Security Coordination entity). The considerable crop losses and reduced availability of local food in the markets elevated the prices of local products. Furthermore, significant water shortages were reported in the most affected departments (West, Central, South and Southeast).
Furthermore, the price of red and black beans presented the most significant increase over the last five years. Thus, the poorest populations are experiencing the most degrading food insecurity of the past three decades. It is important to note that this deterioration is not only due to the underlying causes related to climatic variables, but also to structural factors.
The situation is likely to worsen in 2016
"El Niño", which could persist in 2016, has had a strong impact on the food security in Haiti. According to CNSA, 3.6 million Haitians are currently food insecure, including 1.5 million in severe food security and 200,000 in extreme food emergency situations. With the persistence of El Niño, the CNSA estimates that, by July 2016, food insecurity could affect about 5 million people (half of the Haitian population) if no assistance is provided.
In response to the last CNSA alert, in October 2015, UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health and Population have conducted a thorough assessment of the nutritional situation of children between 6 months and 5 years old in the 20 municipalities that are the most severely hit by the drought.
The results of this survey showed that 4 municipalities are in an emergency situation (Phase 4), with global acute malnutrition rates between 16% and 27.7%. Other 2 municipalities are in crisis situation (Phase 3), with global acute malnutrition rates between 11% and 13%.
In response to this alarming situation, the CNSA has drawn up an emergency response plan aiming to fight hunger and to save the spring crop of 2016. For a total amount of 2 billion Gourdes (equivalent to US$ 35 million), the plan aims to meet urgent needs of 200 000 vulnerable people in situation of acute food insecurity. The plan will also ensure the required nutritional assistance to the targeted groups in the affected areas.
This strategy also includes the general food distribution or cash transfer to the most vulnerable households, nutritional support for children in chronic and severe malnutrition and high labor intensive works in the most affected municipalities.