First Community to Receive Food Aid in Derac, Haiti

Haiti is on the verge of a national food crisis. Ministry of Public Health and Population has issued warnings to government of Haiti (GOH) an impending food shortage is threatening to afflict millions of poor Haitians across the nation. In response, GOH, with help from welfare-assistance agency, Ede Pép, is starting a food-canteen program.


Its first beneficiary, Derac village, received a visit from Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Charles Jean-Jacques, in April. Accompanied by Northeast Departmental Delegate, Charles Hugo, they handed out food-pantry items to slightly more than a thousand inhabitants of the community. A food canteen serving one hot meal a day will follow as soon as Petrocaribe releases funding to Ede Pép.

Jean-Jacques told the Derac gathering President Martelly had sent him to reassure them GOH will not let them down. He promised the food canteen is just the first in a series of programs that will improve their lives.

GOH seems well-intentioned in its efforts to respond to the food shortage in dozens of rural areas (90 in all), but it is not enough. One hot meal a day is better than none, and certainly the Derac community is grateful. But GOH needs to work harder for its poorest. They can begin by satisfying international aid donors' reasonable demands GOH institute transparency in contract negotiations. Billions of funding dollars are pending until GOH complies. Surely some funding can go towards permanently ending the food shortage by addressing the underlying reasons for its existence.

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