Media Factsheet

2013 Global Hunger Index - Country Case Study: Haiti

Nov 11, 2013
United States

Although undernourishment in Haiti is still high, it has fallen by almost one-third since 1990. Haiti’s 2013 GHI score of 23.3 was more than one-quarter lower than its 1990 score, yet it is still considered “alarming.”

More than 44 percent of Haiti’s population is undernourished and more than half of the households live on less than one dollar a day.

By 2011, Haiti had experienced 34 major shocks in just one decade.

The Haitian government reaffirmed a commitment to agrarian reform and announced plans to increase Haiti’s capacity to meet 60–70 percent of its food security needs by 2017.

But so far, Haiti’s government mainly supports large-scale agribusiness development, while little investment goes into restoring Haiti’s environment and into sustainable agriculture that benefits small farmers and helps feed local communities.

Harmful policies, such as low import tariffs for rice, have made it difficult for local farmers to compete with cheap imports.

In Haiti’s North-West Department, where Welthungerhilfe has been working since 1993, more than 90 percent of the inhabitants depend on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.

Welthungerhilfe helped strengthen community resilience to food and nutrition insecurity by consistently addressing its structural root causes and simultaneously making thoughtful use of emergency instruments, such as food- and cash-for-work.

Despite recurring shocks and stresses in this period, 4,800 households sustainably improved their food security. Household incomes grew thanks to agricultural yields that rose by 50–200 percent. Food deficits during acute crises were reduced by an estimated 30–50 percent.

Between 2000 and 2011, Welthungerhilfe implemented 21 projects in the North-West financed by a variety of donors. The interventions reached 37,000 households.