Food insecurity is a long-standing challenge in Haiti. Even before the 2010 earthquake, Haiti suffered from one of the heaviest burdens of hunger and malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere: 40 percent of households were undernourished and 30 percent of children suffered from chronic malnutrition. The earthquake not only aggravated existing difficulties, it lessened the government’s ability to manage the situation. In the six years since the earthquake, Haiti has made progress but still ranks “alarming” in the 2015 Global Hunger Index. For example, the 2012 Demographic and Health Survey showed that, between 2005-2006 and 2012, stunted children under five years of age decreased from 23.8 to 21.9 percent; wasting decreased from 9.1 to 5.1 percent; and underweight children decreased from 22.2 to 11.4 percent. Still, roughly 50 percent of Haiti’s population is undernourished, which has been exacerbated by the longstanding drought and El Niño, leaving 1.5 million Haitians at risk of food insecurity. Haiti cannot achieve economic growth and national stability if food security is not addressed.
USAID Haiti announced the launching of Konbit —a five-year Cooperative Agreement— recently awarded to Papyrus S.A. and its three partners—Ayiti Nexus, Steve Kroll and Associates, and Tetra Tech under USAID’s Local Solutions program to strengthen Haitian civil society organizations and service providers.
In order to foster sustainable development results in Haiti, USAID, in addition to working with government, is implementing a strategy which focuses on Haitian civil society organizations and business service providers to build their institutional capacity and longevity. Konbit- Creole for teamwork or coming together for a common goal - is a key component of USAID’s Local Solutions initiative.
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.
Political instability, chronic poverty, and crime all contribute to a high prevalence of gender-based violence and discrimination against Haitian women and girls. While Haiti’s Constitution protects women from workplace discrimination as well as physical and sexual abuse, and guarantees the right to political participation, in practice women routinely face exclusion and harassment in public and private life. Haiti has an active women’s movement, yet women face higher rates of unemployment, are more likely to suffer poor health outcomes, and are less likely to own land or hold political office than men. Women seeking political office face considerable obstacles, including patriarchal attitudes toward leadership, lack of financial support, and threats of violence and intimidation. However, some progress has been made. In 2012, the Parliament passed an amendment instituting a 30 percent quota for women in all elected and appointed positions at the national level, and the 2015 Electoral Decree added the same quota for local councils and political candidates.
Last updated: February 17, 2017