First time ‘catastrophic’ hunger has been reported in Haiti, the UN warns

Date:

First time 'catastrophic' hunger has been reported in Haiti

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Saturday, October 15, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The population of Cité Soleil is currently 65 percent food insecure, with 5 percent of the population—especially the poorest and most vulnerable—urgently in need of humanitarian aid.

  • Nearly a death sentence: choleraAdditionally, nearly 100,000 young children under the age of five who already have severe acute malnutrition, often known as severe wasting, are particularly at risk for the ongoing cholera outbreak in Haiti, according to a warning from UNICEF.Acute malnourished children have weaker immune systems and are at least three times more likely to die if they get cholera, further underlining the need for urgent action to contain the illness at a time when much of the country is dealing with severe food insecurity.

  • There have been 357 suspected cases since the disease was first reported on October 2, 2022, with more than half of those cases involving children underst age group for children is one to four years old.

  • Due to a lack of fuel, there are currently only three ambulances operating in Port-au-Prince, with almost none working elsewhere in the nation.

  • The vulnerable groups, such as girls and pregnant women, are the most affected by limited access to health services, are the most affected by limited access to health services.

In the Cité Soleil neighbourhood of the city, hunger has reached a catastrophic level, ranking at level 5 on the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification index (IPC).

According to the most recent IPC analysis, a record 4.7 million people are currently suffering from acute hunger (IPC 3 and above), including 1.8 million people who are in the Emergency phase (IPC 4) and 19,000 people who are experiencing the Catastrophe phase, phase 5, for the first time in Haiti.

The population of Cité Soleil is currently 65 percent food insecure, with 5 percent of the population—especially the poorest and most vulnerable—urgently in need of humanitarian aid.

Port-au-Prince no longer has access to jobs, markets, health care, or nutrition services due to the rising violence caused by armed groups competing for control of the area, which is now large and chaotic. Many people have been compelled to leave or stay inside and hide.

Unrest in rural areas

Rural communities’ food security has also worsened, with some moving from Crisis to an emergency.

Beyond the political and economic problems, other severe effects include harvest losses from below-average rainfall and the 2021 earthquake that damaged areas of the Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud departments.

“WFP supports the people of Haiti by assisting the most vulnerable and impoverished. According to Jean-Martin Bauer, WFP Country Director in Haiti, “We are here to ensure that schools have a nutritious meal each day, families fulfil their basic food needs, and communities are empowered.

“Time of turmoil”

“Haiti is going through a turbulent time. However, there is a path ahead. We must all remain consistent and focus on providing immediate humanitarian aid and promoting long-term development.

José Luis Fernández Filgueiras, FAO Representative in Haiti, says, says, “We need to help Haitians grow better, more nutritious food to secure their livelihoods and futures, especially in the context of a rising food crisis.” Resource mobilisation measures must be scaled up to boost the self-reliance of the households receiving emergency food assistance.

Haitians who were already in need in rural and urban regions have suffered for years due to natural disasters and political unrest. With the advent of the global food crisis and rising food and fuel prices, there has been an increase in public unrest, which has thrown Haiti into total anarchy and paralysed all transportation and commercial activity.

The primary food basket is out of their price range for many Haitians. 33 percent inflation and a doubling in the price of gasoline are alarming statistics.

Providing remedies

Despite the explosive security situation in Port-au-Prince, the WFP supplied emergency aid to more than 100,000 persons in the metropolitan region in 2022. The national social protection and food systems, crucial to the nation’s recovery efforts and long-term development, remain the WFP’s primary areas of concentration.

WFP needs US$ 105 million over the next six months for crisis response, addressing underlying issues, and strengthening Haitian resilience.

The FAO has been helping small-scale, vulnerable farming households with their emergency livelihoods. FAO plans to provide close to 70,000 individuals with cash for labour, aid with food crop production, goat and poultry breeding assistance, and support for food storage and processing for school feeding programmes during the autumn agricultural season, which begins this month. To help more than 470,000 of the most vulnerable individuals, FAO urgently needs $33 million.

Humanitarian activities, which are crucial for the most vulnerable Haitians, are being hampered by growing insecurity, violence, and fuel shortages even as the agencies continue to work in Haiti as the security situation permits.

Nearly a death sentence: cholera

Additionally, nearly 100,000 young children under the age of five who already have severe acute malnutrition, often known as severe wasting, are particularly at risk for the ongoing cholera outbreak in Haiti, according to a warning from UNICEF.

Acute malnourished children have weaker immune systems and are at least three times more likely to die if they get cholera, further underlining the need for urgent action to contain the illness at a time when much of the country is dealing with severe food insecurity.

There have been 357 suspected cases since the disease was first reported on October 2, 2022, with more than half of those cases involving children underst age group for children is one to four years old.

The UNICEF representative in Haiti, Bruno Maes, stated that “the catastrophe in Haiti is increasingly a children’s problem.” “Cholera affects one in three people under the age of five.

“Getting cholera and experiencing its symptoms, such as diarrhoea and vomiting, is almost a death sentence for youngsters who are already weak from a lack of nourishing food. They need to be found quickly, treated, and action must be taken to stop the spread of cholera in the local populations.

Up to 8,000 children under the age of five in Cité Soleil, where the first case of cholera was reported, are in danger of passing away from cholera and concomitant malnutrition if immediate action is not taken to stop the threat.

Devastated healthcare system

As a result of the gang blockade of the main petroleum terminal in the nation, Haiti’s health system has collapsed.

Most of the nation’s leading hospitals that depend on diesel generators for energy report being unable to offer routine services. Due to a lack of fuel, there are currently only three ambulances operating in Port-au-Prince, with almost none working elsewhere in the nation.

The vulnerable groups, such as girls and pregnant women, are the most affected by limited access to health services, are the most affected by limited access to health services.

Nearly 30,000 pregnant women, according to UNFPA, the UN agency for sexual and reproductive health, are at risk of not being able to get necessary healthcare, and nearly 10,000 could have life-threatening, if not fatal, obstetric complications without qualified medical support. By the end of the year, almost 7,000 survivors of sexual assault might not have access to medical and mental help.

Assistance for displaced people

“UNFPA and our partners are often conducting mobile clinics at internally displaced person camps surrounding Port-au-Prince despite the tough security situation and fuel shortages,” said Sadou Kaboré, UNFPA Representative in Haiti.

“Our skilled community workers are doing everything they can to ensure pregnant women and survivors of abuse, in particular, can receive the services and assistance they need to be healthy and survive.”

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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