Haiti – Agriculture : The scarcity of the dollar and socio-political instability affect food access
In its last bulletin on Haiti of November 2020, the International Organization Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) the international network of early warning systems against famine reports “After rains very below normal between September and October, especially in the northern region, heavy precipitation was observed everywhere the first 10 days of November, on the fringes of the tropical depression “Eta”, but the spatial and temporal distribution of these precipitations were irregular. Thus, apart from irrigated areas and semi-humid mountains, this irregularity, added to the decline in cultivated agricultural areas, has led to below-normal autumn harvests.”
In addition, FEWS NET notes that the security climate has deteriorated further and cases of kidnapping for ransom, assassination and socio-political demonstrations continue, which further deteriorate the conditions of food availability and access, by disrupting market supply.
In addition, FEWS NET points out, “[…] despite large and regular injections of tens of millions of dollars by the Central Bank into the foreign exchange market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire them. The exchange rate on the informal market goes up to 85 gourdes for one dollar while the reference rate of the Central Bank was in the order of 66 gourdes as of 23 November. This is starting to reverse the downward trend in the prices of imported products observed since September, negatively impacting the purchasing power of the poorest and those directly or indirectly dependent on transfers from abroad.”
The bulletin concludes that “[…] livelihoods are still disrupted, despite a slight improvement in availability due to the fall harvests. Poor and very poor households will therefore continue to adopt crisis or stress strategies to maintain their current level of food consumption. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stress (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity will therefore persist in most regions.