Rising food and fuel prices have led to growing civil unrest in Haiti, the World Food Programme (WFP) and other UN agencies warned.
Jean-Martin Bauer, Country Director in Haiti for the WFP, told a press briefing on Friday through a video link that the country is facing worrying trends in food insecurity and even humanitarian catastrophe.
In the country, the official said, inflation amounting to 30 per cent is the worst in 20 years, and food inflation is particularly bad, with the price of the food basket in August being 63 per cent more than a year before, Xinhua news agency reported.
He cited the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report issued on Friday as saying that the severity and extent of food insecurity in the country are getting much worse.
According to the report, he said, 4.7 million people are facing acute food insecurity and 1.8 million are facing emergency levels of food insecurity in the country, an increase of 200,000 and half million people respectively than six months ago.
James Elder with the United Nations Children’s Fund told a press briefing on Friday that in Haiti, nearly 100,000 children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition.
Margaret Harris, the WHO spokesperson, said that as of Friday, according to the data of the Haitian Ministry of Health, there were 357 suspected cholera cases, 35 confirmed cases and 21 confirmed deaths.
“It was probable that the number of cases would be much higher,” she added.