Advice on Food Crises in Haiti

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Subsequent to the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti had five additional disastrous events in 2012 that drastically reduced its ability to grow and distribute food. These disasters, which included a severe drought, rising global food prices, hurricane Isaac, hurricane Sandy, and extreme flooding, “generated a loss of more than $250m, excluding the huge damage inflicted on infrastructure and livestock.” In 2011, “8% of Haitians (about 800,000 people) were living with chronic malnutrition; now, that number has leapt to 1.52 million.”

A guardian article from the development blog proposes advice on how to heal these reoccurring food crises. The biggest suggestion here is to start a seed bank in Haiti. The idea is that investing at the grassroots level would be a relatively easy and fairly non-interventionist way to make growing easier. Another idea is to get the Haitian government more involved with water-based infrastructure that would aid agriculture, for although Haiti has plenty of water resources, they currently aren’t being managed efficiently. This means full support of farmers on the part of the government, which would prove they value the agricultural community and its tribute to the national economy.

If food prices remain high, only real change to the current situation will save Haiti’s food problems. This means local and foreign government realization and activity. Otherwise inaction will prove to “destabilise the already tense political situation and throw [Haitians] all into yet another emergency, with programmes that simply cannot provide long-term solutions.”

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