Before Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, it had already proved to be deadly in Haiti. Laura tore through Haiti on August 23, killing at least 21 people, and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people.
Many local farmers' crops were destroyed, crippling an already fragile food supply. A Jacmel plantain plantation planning a November harvest was destroyed. Locals are experiencing the most severe food catastrophe in recent history.
Haiti remains one of the most impoverished countries in the world and the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. With roughly 33% of the total population already requiring immediate food aid, more than 4.6 million Haitians are projected to need help during 2020.
In December 2019, Dr. Rob Freishtat, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., reported that within one week eight of his patients died in the Sacre Coeur Hospital in Milot, Haiti. All the patients who passed away were under 2 years old and died of severe malnutrition.
The conditions observed by Dr. Freishtat are only a snapshot of the emerging food catastrophe in the country of Haiti. Rice, black beans, maize, and cooking oil are among the most important food items for Haitians. However, the 2020 planting seasons for maize and beans experienced delays due to moisture deficits and prices for locally produced rice skyrocketed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Haitian partners are gracious and grateful for the aid they receive. In July, Midwest Food Bank Haiti receive a beautiful message from a local partner ministry:
"We were able to get the food today. Our hearts are happy. This food will be used to help the most vulnerable parents in the program. It breaks my heart knowing many of them do not have much to eat over the weekends. Many of the students eat at the school during the school day but weekends are tough."
At Midwest Food Bank Haiti – we are feeding more than hunger. We are feeding souls.
Please consider supporting Midwest Food Bank Haiti as we ease the suffering in Haiti. Your aid can save a child on the brink of starvation, feed a pregnant mother, or provide warmth and comfort for a family in need. If you would like to support the work of MFB Haiti, click here.