Diaspora

World Bank approves funds for Haiti to improve food security and road infrastructure – Jamaica Observer


WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The World Bank has approved a grant financing of US$102 million for the Emergency Resilient Agriculture for Food Security Project in Haiti.
In addition, the Washington-based financial institution also approved US$30 million for the Haiti Rural Accessibility & Resilience Project.

It said that the agriculture project will support approximately 75,000 agricultural households to improve access to increased supply of nutritious food, secure rural livelihoods and strengthen resilience to climate change and weather events.

The transportation project will increase all-weather road access in the earthquake-affected areas and improve the resilience of the road network.

“The massive earthquake of 2021 caused significant damage to the southern region. It deepened the already concerning food insecurity crisis as thousands of farmers lost productive assets and access to markets,” said Laurent Msellati, World Bank Country Manager for Haiti.

“This investment in smart agriculture and landscape management practices, as well as the rehabilitation of rural infrastructures, will support resilient food production systems locally and help promote inclusive economic growth,” said Msellati, adding that “the World Bank is contributing to enhance food security and reverse the setback to poverty reduction in Haiti, particularly in remote rural areas”.

Haiti’s population is suffering from very high food insecurity and malnutrition levels. According to the most recent estimates by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), as of September 2021, an estimated 4.4 million people were facing crisis conditions or worse. This number is projected to increase to 4.6 million by June 2022 due to reduced access to food as incomes remain depressed and food prices soar.

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Furthermore, the frequency and intensity of climate-induced natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, and storms, has a deleterious effect on crops, agriculture infrastructure and assets, affecting rural livelihoods.

The Emergency Resilient Agriculture for Food Security Project will stimulate the agricultural sector through the rehabilitation of productive infrastructures and the provision of temporary employment opportunities, in-kind subsidies, and technical support to promote increased access to and availability of nutritious food.

The project will strongly target women as beneficiaries, as they play a prominent role in agricultural production and sales. The project will be implemented both in the Departments facing severe food security challenges and the earthquake-affected areas. It will therefore cover the Departments of the South, Grand’Anse, Nippes and the Centre.

The additional financing of the Haiti Rural Accessibility & Resilience Project will focus on the road segments that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including floods and landslides in the South Peninsula.

The August 2021 earthquake affected more than 850 km of the road network in the country’s southern region resulting in damages of up to US$160 million and leaving more than 450,000 people isolated. This situation has increased the vulnerability of the rural population as parts of the country remains poorly connected, often for day or weeks, after natural disasters.

Additionally, the project will incorporate nature-based solutions as part of the technical design where feasible, with a focus on solutions proven to be effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, the World Bank added.

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