Haiti cereal production down, UN says
Haiti’s cereal production is down 4 percent, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported. This is the result of of “severe and prolonged dry weather,” with the majority of grains affected being maize and rice.
“Preliminary official estimates point to a reduction in the area planted to cereals of at least 50%, largely in the main producing regions of the Central Plateau and South-East,” FAO said. “In the North-West and North-East, chronically dry and low production regions, total loss of crops and livestock have also been reported.”
Cereal imports in 2015-16 are expected to increase to a record level of 698,000 tonnes, driven by “an expected significant increase in wheat and rice imports.”
Jude Celestin adamant on plans to boycott
Jude Celestin, the opposition candidate in the presidential elections, reaffirmed plans to boycott the upcoming Jan. 24 runoff election. However, election officials say his name will still appear on the ballot because he has not officially withdrawn from the race. In a Thursday interview, Celestin said he will officially notify the Provisional Electoral Council soon.
First case of Zika virus confirmed in Haiti
The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Haiti, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) reported.
“The zika virus isn’t a cause to go crazy. The diagnosis is for monitoring,”PAHO’s Communicable Disease and Health Analysis director Marcos Espinal, said. “The main thing here is to control the vectors (mosquitoes). The virus shouldn’t cause alarm among the population.”
Espinal said there will be many people who may contract the virus and not be aware of it. The main thing however is to focus on “prevention and education, trash collection and control the vectors in the water.”
Haiti truck drivers to protest
Truck drivers in Hinche and Thomassique held a press conference this week to denounce corruption, after two truck drivers were killed by custom agents in December. The protesters are demanding justice for the victims, as local officials have yet to apprehend the suspects.
They are demanding an explanation from customs officials and calling for an official inquiry into the incident.