Haiti faces hunger catastrophe after hurricane Sandy destroys harvests

From Aid | The Guardian Mon Nov 12 2012, 12:03:23

Thousands could die from malnutrition as storms Sandy and Issac devastate farmlands and trigger severe food crisis

Relief groups have launched fresh appeals for funds to feed over a million Haitians after hurricane Sandy devastated farmland, compounding agricultural damage from tropical storm Isaac which destroyed 40% of the harvest in August.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said up to 450,000 people, including at least 4,000 children under five, are at risk from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition that requires urgent treatment. With harvests destroyed in most of the country, Haiti's entire food security situation is threatened, it added.

Although Haiti was not directly in Sandy's path, the storm last month triggered heavy rains and severe flooding in the west and the south. Rivers which flooded during the storm washed away topsoil, fruit trees and cultures. Eroded banks gave way and protective walls were shattered. Of the country's 140 communes, 70 were affected by the storm. Water levels are receding, but several areas remain inaccessible due to damaged bridges and roads.

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