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Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Haiti News & History

Drought Makes Food Scarcer and More Expensive

In a country wrought with economic and political instability, the Haitian people are fighting desperately just to survive. And now a drought is drastically affecting their ability to find food.

Girls praying over food

Girls pray over their afternoon meal of beans and rice at the Glory Glory Center.

According to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), nearly 600,000 of Haiti’s 10.4 million people already rely on international food aid to provide for their basic dietary needs, and the problem only continues to worsen.

As the poorest country in the Americas, Haiti’s geographical location makes it especially vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of extreme weather. Haiti is in the midst of a serious drought, going on three years of below average rainfall, linked in part to the impending El Niño season. This drought has led to withered harvests, a spike in food prices on what minimal food is available, and as a result, a widespread and worsening hunger epidemic.

Adding insult to injury, the withered harvests have limited the need for farm workers, cutting jobs in the agricultural industry which makes up about 50% of jobs in Haiti. With food prices up as much as 60% and job availability down, Haitian’s meals are getting smaller and less frequent.

School meals, Haiti’s largest food safety net feeding some 500,000 children annually, has been hit too. In May and June 2015, nearly 20% of schools in the southeast and northeast could not provide meals for students due to a shortage of clean water.

Boys eating

Two young boys from the Glory Glory Center enjoy their home cooked meal.

Around that same time the Haitian government began asking the international community for help in areas affected most by the drought. As if they weren’t desperate enough, times are getting worse and solutions are dwindling.

As the Haiti Ministry and other partners continue to invest in long term sustainability initiatives at the Glory Glory Center, there is still a significant and rising cost involved to feed, clothe and care for the 52 orphans we’ve all come to love so dearly. Given the current drought and food crisis, it’s as important now as ever to continue investing financially in the lives of these children and the future of Haiti. 

Boys eating 2

Older boys at the Glory Glory Center eat their afternoon meal together after school in the shade of their porch.

Donors to Mariners’ 52FIRST program choose how and what to donate…monthly, annually, or one-time…in any amount. A student’s $10 monthly donation is as valuable as a CEO’s $10,000 gift. Funds raised in excess of what is needed to care for the children each month will be used to implement sustainability initiatives aimed at generating income for the Glory Glory Center. As income is generated in-country, less will be required from outside sources (like Mariners) to fund the children’s needs, which will result in funds that will become available for the future development of the Glory Glory Center (e.g. kitchen/dining hall, library, trade school).

Click the link below to start donating today!

Donate to 52 First

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