Avoiding a food crisis in rural Haiti

By Coco McCabe
Oxfam Quebec’s Yves Gattereau says food shortages threaten Haiti’s rural areas. Photo: Oxfam. Photo: Oxfam.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line. Food is a particular shortfall: Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector—mainly small-scale subsistence farming—but they remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters like droughts and flooding, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. While the economy has recovered in recent years, four tropical storms in 2008 severely damaged the transportation infrastructure and agricultural sector.

In this short interview from January 19, Oxfam Quebec’s Yves Gattereau talks with Coco McCabe about the threat of food shortages in Haiti’s rural areas. Reports indicate that thousands of urban earthquake survivors from Port-au-Prince have fled to already poor rural communities. "We’re going to see how much food … we can provide to them ahead of time," says Gattereau, “so we won’t have to intervene in another crisis in the countryside."

Listen to the interview

Source:  CIA – the World Factbook

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