Oct 23, 2016

1.4 Million People in Haiti Need Food Assistance After Hurricane Matthew

Grand'Anse Department
Haiti
by
Catherine Thornebecke
,
ABC News
Coconut palms toppled by Hurricane Matthew lay in the countryside near Jeremie, southwestern Haiti, Oct. 14, 2016. Photo: Rebecca Blackwell, AP
Coconut palms toppled by Hurricane Matthew lay in the countryside near Jeremie, southwestern Haiti, Oct. 14, 2016. Photo: Rebecca Blackwell, AP

Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Matthew roared through Haiti, killing hundreds and leaving behind a trail of destruction, officials fear the nation could face a food crisis.

An estimated 1.4 million people are in need of food assistance following the hurricane on Oct. 4, according to a joint statement today by the government of Haiti, the Haitian National Coordination for Food Security, the U.N.'s World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Of those, nearly 800,000 are in "dire need of immediate food aid," the statement said.

"There has been a massive loss of crops in some areas of Grand Anse [in the island nation's southern peninsula] up to a 100-percent loss, just everything is gone," Alexis Masciarelli, a World Food Program worker in Haiti told ABC News today. "What's striking is that all the food trees are gone, a vast majority of them. The coconuts, the bananas, the mangoes."

"Bananas usually grow back in about a year, but coconut and mangoes take years to come back," he said.

...

In addition, many farmers in that region of the country have lost their tools, and so will not be able to plant during their traditional planting season in November, Masciarelli said.

"Before, this was an area where people were mostly self-sufficient," he said.