After the storm: Haiti’s coming food crisis

After the storm: Haiti’s coming food crisis

The 2012 hurricane season generated profound impacts on Haiti’s population by reducing food security and limiting basic service provision. This paper highlights a number of possible entry-points to mitigate future risks of hunger.

The author clarifies that agriculture is the backbone of Haiti´s economy, particularly outside of the country´s primary cities; thus, when disasters hit, Haiti´s rural population is especially exposed to food insecurity. Nevertheless, the looming crisis can be mitigated by interventions that strengthen Haiti’s agricultural infrastructure from the ground up while promoting sustainable solutions that build on the strengths of Haiti’s rural communities.

Policy implications encompass:

  • strategies that promote cash in exchange for work and facilitate remittances are extremely effective at reducing prolonged hunger
  • micro-insurance for small farms and creative methods of distributing seeds and farming supplies as partial payment for participants in “cash for work” programs are also viable options
  • indigenous leaders and forms of community organising can be integrated into assessment and planning activities, and resources can be fairly distributed to the intended beneficiaries without excessive waste

However, the document underlines that this demands the will of international donors, NGOs, indigenous community associations, and the Haitian government to act, rather than react, to prevent the coming food crisis.

 

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