Many families in Haiti are struggling to get by and meet their basic needs, amidst a rising food shortage months after Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in the southern part of the country. Experts warn that the situation could be approaching a famine, and it will continue to deteriorate in the coming months if production does not increase this growing season. Authorities have not done enough to alleviate the crisis; the availability of shelter and food is still far below the demand. And, while initial humanitarian responses did help with providing food and water, the efforts did not focus enough on rebuilding agricultural capacity and helping Haitians regain their livelihoods. Now, months after the storm, many worry that Hurricane Matthew’s destruction will continue to be felt for a long time to come.
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Six months after Hurricane Matthew, food, shelter still scarce in Haiti
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
April 12, 2017
Six months after Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti’s southern peninsula, shelter and food remain scarce especially in remote, difficult-to-reach areas.
El-Mostafa Benlamlih, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator and head of the U.N. Development Program for Haiti, said he would not describe the situation as a famine but “it could get close to that” if nothing is done and the hurricane-ravaged areas miss another planting season.
“If now we miss this one, this season, which is the main season for agriculture … then we will be in deep trouble in May, June and July,” Benlamlih said in a Miami Herald interview. “There are pockets of food insecurity particularly in remote areas…[People] don’t eat enough. They have to use coping strategies like drop one meal or send the kids to the uncle or family in Port-au-Prince. That’s what they are trying to do to survive.”
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