Over the last two decades Haiti has been repeatedly affected by political crises and a series of severe natural disasters, the worst of which was the devastating earthquake on the 12th of January 2010.
Poverty, depletion of the environment and the limited capacity of the authorities to respond to a crisis means that Haiti is highly vulnerable to even moderate climatic shocks. Three quarters of Haitians live on less than US$2 per day and half of the population earns less than US$1 per day. Access to education is low, with illiteracy rates almost 50%. In rural areas, almost 90 percent live below the poverty level and basic social services are practically nonexistent. Haiti ranks 161 out of 187countries in the 2012 United Nations Human Development Index (HDI).
In 2012, Haiti was marked by a series of natural disasters that threatened the livelihoods of more than 1.5 million people. Droughts, tropical storm Isaac and hurricane Sandy all added to Haiti’s challenges.
The latest government food security surveys show that by the end of 2013 the situation has improved and the number of food insecure people has halved to 3 million.
However, Food insecurity is persistent in Haiti and today nearly a third of the population is considered food insecure; of these 600,000 need external food assistance to survive. Currently, one in every 5 children suffers from chronic malnutrition, 6.5% percent from acute malnutrition, while more than half of women and children suffer from anemia.
For the next 3 years, WFP plans to work closely with the Haitian government to find long-term solutions to hunger and malnutrition in the country by building resilience. From 2014, the focus will be on creating assets and improving infrastructure so the most vulnerable can be protected from potential shocks. To support the government in the goal of increasing food security, WFP will help develop a food safety net system to protect the most vulnerable and will support local markets across the country. Working with the government, local authorities, UN and NGO partners, WFP is implementing programmes to provide food assistance to 1.4 million Haitians.