Three times as many people, or 4.9 million people, in Haiti are struggling to eat on their own as in 2016, the UN’s food agency said on Thursday.
The World Food Programme (WFP) said that rising inflation has rendered many essential food products expensive in the poorest nations in America.
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Additionally, the WFP stated that the expansion of armed groups into agricultural regions “is another cause for anxiety” due to the fact that gang violence in the capital city of Port-au-Prince has hampered transportation and access to food, water, and sanitation.
The UN human rights office said on Tuesday that gang violence in Haiti had claimed the lives of more than 530 individuals this year.
The WFP claimed that help was having an impact but made a $125 million donation request to fund its programs in Haiti for the next six months.
“Haiti can’t wait” noted the director for WFP, Jean-Martin Bauer.
“We cannot wait for the scale of the problem to be expressed in deaths before the world responds. But that is where we are heading.”
According to the most recent WFP assessment, 31% of Haiti’s population is classed as Phase 3 on the globally recognized Acute Food Security scale, meaning they have very limited access to food and have high rates of malnutrition.
Another 18 percent fall into Phase 4, which is just one rung above starvation and is classified as an emergency.