Monday, April 7, 2014

Drought threatens population in the northwest of Haiti

Amelie Baron at the Thomson Reuters Foundation: Only cactus grows along the dirt road fringing arid fields on the way to the isolated village of Bas des Moustiques, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Port-de-Paix in Haiti. A lack of rain in recent months has killed crops in Haiti's poorest region, and left people struggling to survive.

...The drought follows two years of poor harvests in the region. ... Historically, food has been sparse in northwestern Haiti, where chronic malnutrition is common among the young, stunting their physical and intellectual growth.

Now the drought is directly affecting an additional 143,000 people, say international relief experts, prompting a major emergency operation by the U.N.'s World Food Program.

"They are now in a terrible situation," said Georg-Friedrich Heymell, the Program's director in Haiti. "They cannot survive without support. The food we give them will help them for the next six weeks."...

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