PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – Heavy rains have brought more misery for waterlogged Haitians who are now facing yet another crisis – increased risk of malnutrition.
Floods at the start of the weekend caused extensive damage in the north of the country. Hundreds of people have taken refuge in emergency shelters. The floods come on the heels of Hurricane Sandy just over two weeks ago.
Plan Haiti said that the immediate concerns are water and sanitation issues and potentially an increase in cholera infections.
Country Director John Chaloner said that Plan, which has sub-offices in some of the affected areas, provided hygiene kits, mattresses and blankets for those displaced by the new floods. Plan is also providing psychological support for children in the shelters.
“A food security crisis is now emerging as 1.5 million people in the most insecure households are now at heightened risk of malnutrition in the coming months because of displacement and losses of crops and livelihoods due to Sandy and exacerbated by the storm,” said Chaloner.
Crop loss due to Sandy is estimated at more than 100,000 metric tons, or one quarter of the annual national production, according to government figures.
“It’s not easy being a child in Haiti; since the earthquake three years ago children here have faced challenge after challenge. Given its fragile infrastructure, the country is vulnerable to the many natural hazards which impact here, and is in need of solid development and emergency aid,” he added.
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