In Haiti, Local Food Production + Preservation of Local Crops Can Mitigate the Food Crisis
The looming global food crisis has already arrived in Southern Haiti. Here, the global forces driving up food prices are compounded by the skyrocketing logistics challenges of transporting goods through the gang-held roads connecting the sourthern penninsula to the capital.
People can't eat electricity. Kilowatt-hours make for empty meals. But EarthSpark is active on two fronts to help the communities where we work weather this growing food insecurity.
First -- see below -- EarthSpark is joining agricultural and health experts in calling upon the international aid community to focus on local solutions. Local food security, like local energy security, should be the long term goal. Support for local farmers should be paramount in food aid efforts.
Second, EarthSpark is launching a campaign to increase our direct support of people working in agriculture and food preservation in the towns we serve. While electricity by itself cannot feed people, electric-powered machines and mechanized processes, "productive uses of electricity", can preserve foods and expand livlihoods for people to increase their ability to feed their families through this crisis and beyond.
We recognize that energy is a small part of the solution, and we all must do all we can. Please share the following letter and the sentiment widely with decisionmakers in the US and international institutions forming policies on food aid:
Open Letter About food aid to Haiti
Dear Development Aid Agencies and International Institutions Active in Haiti,
Our respective organizations provide a wide range of services in agriculture, healthcare and community development throughout Haiti. While there are many challenges facing our country, we come together to appeal to you in particular regarding food aid arriving in Haiti.
The world appears to be on the precipice of a global food crisis of historic proportions. While years in the making, it has been triggered by the war in Ukraine disrupting crucial grain exports. Whereas nations the world over will face this new crisis while still reeling from the pandemic, economic disruption and supply chain slowdowns, Haiti will have the added burden of responding in the midst of political instability and the aftermath of the August 2021 earthquake in the southern region.
The United Nations has warned that close to half of Haiti’s entire population will be confronting severe hunger no later than June, with 1.3 million Haitians one step further to the emergency stage of hunger which is just short of outright famine. This is the result of the domestic situation in Haiti even before the added pressures of a global food crisis, which will then further exacerbate the situation as international food prices continue to spiral. This will have a disproportionate effect on a country like ours that imports approximately 40 percent of its food.
When the food emergency is manifest and new commitments of international aid are directed to our nation in response, the Haitian community has two requests that are accompanied with thanks, in advance, for your generous support:
While the first priority will be to reach the most vulnerable with food during the emergency, we have two additional requests:
All of us stand ready to help in the spirit of “konbit”, a Haitian tradition whereby neighbors help neighbors. May we rise together as a community united.
José Andrés, World Central Kitchen
Allison Archambault, EarthSpark International
Skyler Badenoch, Hope for Haïti
Conor Bohan, HELP
Steve Brescia, Groundswell International
Beaver Brooks, Much Ministries Inc.
Kathy Brooks, 2nd Story Goods
Ben Burke, Manzanita Outreach
Sue Carlson, Raising Haiti Foundation
Reginald Cean, Association Zanmi Agrikol
Nathan Chariot, Mission Bon Berger d'Haiti
Sheila Davis, Partners in Health
Jean Raymond Delinois, ACAPE
Jean Marc deMatteis, Hôpital Albert Schweitzer
Patrick Dessources, CASELI
Lucia Di Poi, Centre Haitien du Leadership et de l’Excellence
Ulrick Gaillard, Batey Relief Alliance
Timote Georges, Smallholder Farmers Alliance
Frank Giustra, Acceso
Cassandre Honore-Paul, Partners Worldwide
Cantave Jean Baptiste, FOHMAPS/PDL
Sasha Kramer, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods - SOIL
Suzanne Langlois, Meds & Food for Kids
Ann Lee, Community Organized Relief Effort
Michael Leland, New Generation Ministries
Renee Lewis, Project Medishare
Louise Lindenmeyr, Hispañola Health Partners
Troy Livesay, Heartline Ministries
Hugh Locke, Impact Farming Foundation
Guerda Nicolas, Ayiti Community Trust
Ann Piper, North Coast Development Corp.
Danielle Saint Lot, Danielle Saint Lot Haiti Women's Foundation
Ony Saint-Hilaire, ASSOADEK
Leslie Sosnowski, BoulderShares
Jean Thomas, Haiti Christian Development Fund
Daniel Tillias, Jaden Taptap
Loune Viaud, University of Global Health Equity Haiti
Carole Wakefield, Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin
Rainn Wilson, Lidè Haiti
Jane Wynne, Foundation Wynne pour l'Environnement
The above letter was sent on April 7, 2022 under the leadership of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance.
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