- Title: Hunger crisis in Haiti grows after devastating earthquake
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: LES CAYES, HAITI (RECENT - AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOTING A TRUCK CARRYING FOOD CAMP-PERRIN, HAITI (RECENT - AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) WOMAN QUEUING TO RECEIVE FOOD AID HAND OF ELDERLY MAN ON WALKING STICK, AS HE WAITS FOR FOOD ELDERLY MAN WAITING TO RECEIVE FOOD PEOPLE QUEUING, WAITING FOR FOOD SUPPLIES HAITIAN POLICE OFFICER TELLING PEOPLE TO KEEP QUEUE IN ORDERLY MANNER WOMAN IN QUEUE LOOKING INTO CAMERA LENS MEN CARRYING SACKS OF GRAINS WOMAN PLACING SACK OF GRAINS ON HEAD WOMAN CARRYING SACK OF GRAINS, RECEIVING OIL AND ANOTHER BOTTLE (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) RESIDENT, SALOMON YVANE, SAYING: ''We don't have work. We don't do anything. They are giving us a chance so that we can survive. An old man who can't walk lives with me. He can't walk. I'm going to get food for him." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE FOR FOOD MEN CARRYING SACKS OF FOOD NAN KONSEY, HAITI (RECENT - AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) AERIAL OF TENT VILLAGE VARIOUS OF WOMAN EATING CORN COB CORN COB ON FIRE WOMAN HEATING UP CORN COB (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) TENT VILLAGE RESIDENT, MIMOSE DANGER, SAYING: ''We took refuge here because our houses were destroyed. We do not have anything. We settled in this place hoping to get help." MARKET WHERE ANIMALS ARE SOLD MAN HOLDING A GOAT GOAT VARIOUS OF MONEY BEING EXCHANGED FOR A GOAT (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) GOAT-SELLER, MICHEL PIERRE, SAYING: ''My house was destroyed by the earthquake. Several of my family members died. I had 13 goats, 11 died. I have two left. I came to the market to see if I can sell the two that remain. We have nothing. We need help." WOMAN TYING FABRIC TO STICK TO MAKE A ROOF WOMAN HOLDING BABY AND DAUGHTER NEXT TO HER (SOUNDBITE) (Creole) TENT VILLAGE RESIDENT, MIMOSE DANGER, SAYING: "The children are crying because they need food and water. We are walking everywhere, but without getting anything." MAN BUILDING A BED WITH STICKS CHILDREN UNDERNEATH A TENT CHILDREN AND WOMAN LOOKING ON WOMAN SLEEPING IN TENT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LIVING UNDER TENTS BOY WITH SCABS ON HEAD VARIOUS OF CHILDREN PLAYING CARDS CHILDREN PLAYING IN DIRT
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 00:58
- Keywords: Haiti earthquake food hunger
- Location: LES CAYES, CAMP-PERRIN AND NAN KONSEY, HAITI
- City: LES CAYES, CAMP-PERRIN AND NAN KONSEY, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Health/Medicine,South America / Central America
- Reuters ID: LVA001ESH17BB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Haiti's hunger crisis is growing after a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the southern peninsula on August 14.
The quake has further exacerbated the crisis destroying crops and livestock, levelling markets, contaminating waterways used as sources of drinking water and damaging bridges and roads crucial to reaching villages.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, has long had one of the world's highest levels of food insecurity. In September, the United Nations said 4 million Haitians - 42% of the population - faced acute food insecurity. In 2020, Haiti ranked 104 out of the 107 countries on the Global Hunger Index.
The number of people in urgent need of food assistance in the three departments hardest hit by the earthquake - Sud, Grand'Anse and Nippes - has increased by a third since the quake, from 138,000 to 215,000, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
In the town of Camp-Perrin, the quake decimated many homes leaving people defenceless. The country is also still reeling from the political chaos following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July.
In a tent encampment in the mountains of southern Haiti, where hundreds of villagers took shelter after their homes were destroyed in the quake, a single fire-charred cob of corn was the only food in sight.
People in the tent village said they have only eaten intermittently since the 7.2-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of Nan Konsey, a remote farming village not far from the epicentre.
The earth's convulsions tore open the villages' cement cisterns used to store drinking water and triggered landslides that buried residents' modest subsistence farms.
The community were camped out alongside the main highway, about a 40-minute walk from their village, hoping to flag down the rare passing truck to ask for food and water.
Just off the highway leading to Nan Konsey, a few dozen men gathered at a goat market, where they sold off their remaining livestock in order to secure cash to feed their children or to pay for family members' funerals.
Michel Pierre, a farmer who before the quake had tended 15 goats and cultivated yams, potatoes, corn, and banana trees, arrived with the only two animals that survived the earthquake.
With his crops also buried underneath landslides, he hoped to earn about $100 from the sale in order to feed himself, his wife and his children.
When that money ran dry, he said, he wasn't sure what he would do. He was still in debt from the last weather-related disaster when Hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti in 2016.
Haiti was largely food self-sufficient until the 1980s, when at the encouragement of the United States the country started loosening restrictions on crop imports and lowered tariffs, then imported surplus U.S. crops, a decision that put Haitian farmers out of business and contributed to investment tailing off.
In more recent years, climate change has battered the island, which is vulnerable to increasingly extreme droughts and hurricanes. Spiralling food costs, economic decline and political instability have further exacerbated the crisis.
(Production: Robenson Sanon, Geraldine Downer)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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