Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Report: Food stocks low in southern Haiti

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this October 10, 2016 file photo, banana and coconut trees are bent and broken along a southern coast road near the town of Roche-a-Bateau, Haiti, left behind by Hurricane Matthew.

Hundreds of thou-sands of people in southern Haiti are facing food shortages three months after Hurricane Matthew destroyed crops and livestock in the region, an international aid organisation said Wednesday.

A "very poor" harvest is expected over the next two months in the South and Grand Anse departments of the southern Haitian peninsula, an area where most people depend on subsistence farming to survive, Oxfam said in a report calling for more support for a United Nations (UN) assistance fund.

The UN announced it would provide US$139 million in assistance to the region, but that programme is underfunded by 38 per cent, the aid group said.

Hurricane Matthew made landfall near Les Anglais on October 4 as a Category 4 storm, causing widespread damage. The storm destroyed 80 per cent of crops and much of the livestock in some of the hardest-hit parts of a region considered the breadbasket of the impoverished Caribbean country. The Haitian government put the death toll at 546.

"Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti in a matter of hours, but has created a long-term catastrophe that will take the country years to recover from," Damien Berrendorf, country director of Oxfam in Haiti, said in the report.

More than 800,000 people are at an "extreme level of food insecurity," and an estimated 750,000 do not have safe water, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.