The US Government is actively intervening to mitigate the impact of the ongoing drought induced by a prolonged El Niño event, and, in fact, has been working since the Haitian Government’s CNSA issued an alert and appeal in October 2015. At stake is food security and nutrition for an estimated 1.5 million Haitians.
Our early response has involved:
- Working to assess and mitigate the impact and improve early warning and analysis capacities through the USAID funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET).
- USAID has already awarded $11.6 million in emergency assistance to World Vision, Action Contre le Faim (ACF), and CARE to address acute food and nutritional deficiencies for over 135,000 people in the upper northwest, La Gonave, the central plateau and southwest areas hard hit by the drought due to the ongoing El Nino. This assistance will address immediate emergency food needs as well as assist the most vulnerable in their early recovery and build resilience to future shocks.
- Providing food and support valued at $500,000 for 10,000 children in 32 orphanages and 19 schools in the West, Centre, Artibonite, South East and South departments.
- Continuing USAID support to our four-year non-emergency food and nutrition social safety net Kore Lavi program, implemented through CARE and its partners ACF, World Vision, and the World Food Programme, to support 239,000 extremely vulnerable people in La Gonave in the West and South East, North West, Centre and L’Artibonite departments.
- In the South East Department, one of the hardest hit by drought, as well as migration from the Dominican Republic, and cholera, we are working with partners to provide emergency water for drinking, hygiene and sanitation for 13,000 in communities where returned migrants place additional strain on already limited water resources.
Through the US Feed the Future Initiative, our ongoing agricultural development programs are working on mid to longer term solutions with farmers to distribute pumps, clean irrigation canals to increase access to dwindling water supply, use less water-intensive seed for rice, and other solutions for water conservation.
Ambassador Peter Mulrean expressed his concern and solidarity for those whose livelihoods and food security have been threatened and noted: “In this time of distress, the United States stands with Haiti as a true partner, contributing to international and Haitian efforts to provide relief now and for however long it is needed. At the same time, we continue our work on building Haiti’s capacity to withstand such future shocks and protect those most vulnerable and in need, especially mothers, infants and children in rural communities across the country where livelihoods, livestock, and, with no response, lives are at risk”.