The United Nations World Food Program has stated that an increasing number of Haitians are at risk of being driven deeper into poverty and hunger. This is definitely true for the people we serve in southwestern Haiti.
Persistent drought conditions have resulted in up to 70% crop losses in our mountain villages and have doubled the number of food insecure people. To further add to the problem, the local currency in Haiti has devalued at an alarming rate – jumping from 46 to 56 since September of 2014. Over just the last three weeks, we have seen the exchange rate increase up to 61 gourdes.
This devaluation has increased the cost of everything, leaving the poor even more unable to purchase sufficient food for their families. There is no question that malnutrition rates are dramatically increasing and HHF is seeing an increase in the number of malnourished children and pregnant women. We have recently identified almost 1000 malnourished children and 850 pregnant women.
Although they do all they can to feed their families, for most, there is simply not enough money for food and rent. They turn to us (HHF) for assistance. And, it is through your generous donations that we are able to provide that assistance.