Damaged crops, lack of supplies, drown Haiti in misery

Haiti (MNN) — According to the World Food Program (WFP), more than five million Haitians are facing food insecurity, and 1.5 million are facing severe food insecurity, which is twice the amount from last autumn, Mission Network News reported.

“This is the first time in my life that I’ve seen things this bad,” Mirene Raymond, a 69-year-old rice farmer, told ThinkProgress “We’ve had droughts before, but never like this.”

Triggered by the food shortage, prices have started spiking, starving citizens’ financial budgets.

“With the monetary exchanges being the way they are, everything is just too expensive to buy,” says For Haiti with Love’s Eva DeHart. “So, you’ve got a level of hunger in the country that we haven’t seen for a while and for years, actually.”

Don’t dump peanuts on Haiti, campaigners tell the U.S.

As part of its “Stocks for Food” program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haitian schools, which could destroy Haiti’s peanut market and the livelihood and income of 150,000 peanut farmers and their families, warned the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a non-profit based in Boston, Massachusetts, TeleSur reported.

“This is the latest in a long history of U.S.-sponsored programs which have destabilized Haiti’s agricultural sector, further impoverishing the nation and increasing its dependence on foreign aid,” the group said in a statement, noting that “President Clinton had to apologize for one such misguided program in the 1990s.”

Echoing a message from the “Haitian diaspora,” the human rights group urged U.S. citizens to call their representatives and demand them to pressure the Department of Agriculture to immediately call off the program.

At least 9 Haitians dead after boat capsizes in rough seas

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — At least nine Haitians have died after a small boat they were traveling in capsized in rough seas off the northern coast.

Interior Ministry spokesman Albert Guillaum-Meleon says the bodies of four men, four women and a child have been recovered.

He said Monday that it was not known exactly how many people were on the rickety boat and the death toll could be higher.

The vessel was carrying passengers and food items from the northwestern Haitian town of Bombardopolis to the coastal city of Gonaives when squall-like conditions hit.

Heavy downpours in recent days have increased the perennial danger of flooding and landslides. Last month, six people were killed in Port-au-Prince by floodwaters.

Guillaum-Meleon urged people not to attempt crossing a flooded street or gully.

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