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El Niño Adds Food Shortage to Ongoing Political Crisis in Haiti

LADB Article ID: 79955
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2016-04-21
By: George Rodríguez

In its habitual crisis scenario, Haiti is facing the imminent prospect of a massive shortage of food, its worst in 15 years, which could add to the ongoing political chaos caused by a repeatedly postponed runoff to the October presidential vote.The outlook for the impoverished majority of the people of this French- and Creole-speaking Caribbean nation is bad. Almost 80% of Haiti’s 10.6 million nationals live in poverty, and just around 70% in extreme poverty, miraculously surviving on less than US$2 a day. In rural Haiti, where a little over half of Haitians live, poverty is almost 90% and extreme poverty reaches around 70%.According to a recent warning by the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations’ specialized anti-hunger agency, the grim outlook derives from the global El Niño weather phenomenon, which has intensified the three-year drought that has severely hit Haitian farmers, who are about to lose their fourth consecutive harvest. Estimates released by the WFP on Feb. 9 indicate that up to 70% of the crops were lost last year.The warning and the figures were included in the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) the WFP conducted along with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the government’s Coordination Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire (National Food Security Coordination Unit, CNSA).

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