IFAD to invest $11M in Haiti to support hurricane-affected farmers
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said it will invest $10.8 million in Haiti to help many rural areas in the island nation recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
United Nations said in a statement that the funds will be distributed through the Agricultural and Agroforestry Technological Innovation Programme, known by its French acronym PITAG, to eight additional municipalities in Haiti’s South Department.
The fund will help these areas to have sustainable agricultural practices and technologies.
UN said that while the situation in Haiti has improved since the hurricane hit, deep-seated vulnerabilities persist.
“Haiti’s rural population suffers from a vicious circle of low agricultural productivity, high environmental degradation and poor nutrition,” said Lars Anwandter, who leads IFAD’s programme in Haiti.
Over the past few decades, Haiti has seen its soils, water reservoirs and woods severely degraded.
World Bank data shows that 59 percent of the total population lives below the poverty line and the figure rises to 75 percent in rural areas.
Today, Haiti produces only 45 percent of the food that Haitians need.
“[PITAG] aims to break this cycle and help small farm families improve their productivity, food security and income levels,” said Anwandter.
For example, the programme proposes the combinations of fruit trees and vegetable cultivations as a means to achieve larger harvests and feed more people, all in an environmentally-sustainable manner.
As of February 2018, some 622,100 people in Haiti are reportedly still in need of food security assistance.