Above: Haitians waiting for food assistance (UN Photo/Elio Rujano)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Around 1.5 million people in Haiti require some form of food assistance, due to last year’s extreme weather conditions and poor harvests, according to the UN.
The UN was echoing its warning last year that nearly as many people could face food insecurity in Haiti, after a season of crippling tropical storms, including Hurricane Sandy.
Another 6.7 million in Haiti “are struggling to meet their own food needs on a regular basis,” the UN said.
The World Food Programme has pre-positioned supplies to cover the needs of as many as 300,000 people for two days ahead of this year’s hurricane season.
There are 44 communes in Haiti that have been identified to have a prevalence of “severe food insecurity” that is above 50 percent of the rural population, according to the National Coordination for Food Security.
The WFP said it needed $17.2 million in funding to meet the needs of that population, as it faces a reported shortfall of $1.5 million.
Last year, Haiti First Lady Sophia Martelly spearheaded the launch of an anti-hunger programme called Aba Grangou, pledging to reduce hunger in Haiti by 50 percent by 2015, although it’s not yet clear how much progress has been made on that front.