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.
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
42% of the Haitian population has no access to drinking water
As part of World Water Day, celebrated this Tuesday, March 22, the UN in Haiti reiterate their support for the country in its efforts to improve access of the population to safe drinking water and sanitation and alert to the fact that 42% of the Haitian population still lacks access to safe drinking water.Regarding sanitation, the UN welcomes the increase of 18% to 28% of percentage of population with access to improved sanitation between 1990 and 2015. However, still 7.6 million Haitians lack essential facilities for good health and the prevention of waterborne diseases. According to recent studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), in Haiti, the death rate in children under 5 is 88 per 1,000 children . Water scarcity and water-borne diseases are among the leading causes of death and worsening child malnutrition, causing a hindrance to their intellectual and physical development.The United Nations Country Team and the Minustah stressed that universal access to safe water and sanitation is a critical development challenge in Haiti. This right is recognized as a fundamental right by the United Nations General Assembly since 2010 and priority in the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, the UN supports Haiti's efforts to develop a national policy on water and sanitation and to reform the legal framework based on the rights of citizens to have access to public water services and sanitation.Moreover, the UN said that women, girls and young children are most affected by lack of access to clean water in a context where about 56% of the population needs more than 30 minutes walk to get water, a task predominantly conducted by children and women. Women are also more vulnerable to lack of water which causes impact on reproductive health and maternity.Finally note that safe access to water is limited to 35% of the population living in urban areas (1.7 million of the 5 million people living in urban areas) and the risk of waterborne diseases remains high because of the population concentration. Access to clean water is even more limited in rural areas (48%) and also among the most vulnerable, including displaced people living in extreme poverty and those affected by the migration issue with the Dominican Republic.HL/ HaitiLibre
50% of Haitian children suffer from waterborne diseases
As part of World Water Day, commemorated this Tuesday, March 22, Jean Métanier the Interim Representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Haiti, revealed that nearly 50% of children suffer of waterborne diseases due to poor water quality underlining the importance of investing in water supply and promote better health conditions for the population recalling that UNICEF-Haiti provides economic assistance between 10 to 15 million US dollars per year in the fight against cholera and support for access to water.
Recall that in 2015, according to the Survey of mortality, morbidity and service utilization (EMMUS V), Haiti had a water coverage rate estimated at 54% and only 49% of the rural population had access to a safe drinking water.