CNSA HAITI Food Security Alert May 9, 2008 Food availability, access improving, but emergency measures remain essential Imported rice prices fell by approximately 15 percent Figure 1. Trends in weekly prices for basic foodstuffs on the Croixnationwide following the April 13 announcement by de-Bossales market, Port-au-Prince the Government of Haiti’s (GoH) Head of State of price cutting measures, including a temporary subsidy for rice imports. Prices of most other staple foods have also decreased slightly (Figure 1), due in part to this price subsidy. Despite these recent decreases, prices for most food items remain significantly above‐ average compared to those of last year at this time. These high prices, as well as existing high levels of poverty threaten Haiti’s food security, making this year’s hunger season (April to June) especially difficult. The evolution of food security in Haiti over the next two months is contingent upon: 1) the evolution of international market price trends; 2) the performance of the ongoing spring growing season; and 3) the full implementation of recently‐ developed emergency response plans. Immediate Source: CNSA/FEWS NET implementation of the full emergency response plan that was crafted in mid‐April to cope with these conditions is needed. Thus far, donors (USAID, the European Union, Canada, the World Bank, FIDA, and the IDB, among others) have supplied only about half the funding needed to implement the emergency response plan crafted to cope with the current food crisis. United Nations agencies (WFP and FAO), NGOs (CRS, World Vision, etc.) and the GoH are all mounting emergency response activities in the form of labor‐intensive work programs, food aid programs, and agricultural revitalization programs to improve food access, particularly in the nation’s most food insecure areas (the Northwestern, Northern, Northeastern, Central, and Southern departments). However, due to funding shortfalls, the scale of these programs is insufficient to meet identified needs. Farmers have finished planting the main crops (corn and beans) for the spring season, and thus far rainfall conditions, crop growth, and development are normal. Provided these growing conditions persist for the remainder of the season, the June harvest of spring crops is likely to help improve food availability and decrease prices for local foods. However, adverse climatic factors such as excess rainfall or transitory rainfall deficits and flooding, especially during the hurricane season (June through November), could further threaten the country’s food security. Green corn and bean crops are already being harvested in irrigated and mountainous areas, slightly improving food security conditions in these areas. Increased supplies of mangoes in April and fruit from breadfruit trees in May have also improved the availability of alternative and less expensive food products nationwide. To help the country overcome its current food crisis, it is recommended that the GoH and the donor community disburse the funds necessary to fully implement the recently‐completed emergency response plan as quickly as possible. It is also recommended that stakeholders update existing contingency plans and begin routine preparations (clearing drainage ditches in cities, etc.) for the upcoming hurricane season. FEWS NET is a USAID-funded activity. The authors’ views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the view of the Agency for International Development or the United States Government. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cnsahaiti.org or www.fews.net.