A widespread acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Cité Soleil persists, given the current context of socio-political unrest and worsening acts of violence, particularly in the capital. Social unrest and insecurity have increased considerably, both in the capital and in provincial towns, due to repeated calls for the resignation of Haiti’s head of government. This situation creates a climate of fear, with repercussions on the typical functioning of educational institutions, markets, and fuel distribution outside the capital.
The worsening insecurity maintains commodity prices higher than average due to increased transaction costs caused, among other things, by the payment of illegal crossing fees to traders, as well as the scarcity of basic food products on the markets caused by disruptions in the market supply chain.
The national currency, the gourde, appreciated by more than 10 percent year-on-year against the US dollar and stabilized month-on-month (December 2023-January 2024). However, the annual appreciation and monthly stability have little impact on food prices, particularly imported products, which remain high compared to annual (January 2023/2024) and five-year (2019/2023) averages, whose positive fluctuations are close to 100 percent. This is due to the disruption of the market supply chain, a direct consequence of insecurity. The current situation makes warehouse owners indecisive about replenishing their warehouses and pushes them to keep their prices high. Additionally, the main private warehouse in the city, SHODECOSA, is closed after several scenes of looting due to insecurity.
Below-average rainfall, with an irregular distribution, was recorded in December and January. This rainfall deficit, coupled with the irregular distribution, led to delays in the planting of winter crops (beans, maize), which are hard to reach maturity in most of the country’s agroecological areas, while harvests were to be start, for the most part, in January and peak in February. The downturn in winter campaign activities could also affect the launch of the 2024 spring campaign.