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The depreciation of the national currency continues. Between January 2022 and January 2023, the gourde lost over 45 percent of its value against the US dollar, reaching 147.3 gourdes on January 20, 2023, an all-time high. This depreciation, in a context where foreign exchange reserves are mostly allocated to fuel bill payments, tends to intensify and keep food prices high and rising. The scarcity of petroleum products at petrol stations continues to amplify inflation in the country. According to the World Bank, Haiti is one of the ten countries in the world most affected by food inflation.
The socio-political situation has not improved since December. Despite a slight drop in gang activity in early January, which is still beyond the control of the current authorities, the security situation remains volatile. In the last two weeks of January, there were shootings, kidnappings and panic incidents in the capital. Martissant, Cité Soleil, Pétion-Ville, Croix des Bouquets and Canaan remain the areas most affected by the distortion of markets created by this security crisis.
Below-average rainfall was recorded from September to December 2022. This rainfall deficit greatly affected the fall cropping season and, in turn, the launch of the winter season, despite a marked improvement in rainfall in the first dekad of January 2023. Fall harvests contributed to a slight improvement in local food availability, particularly in December. However, this slight improvement had little impact on the overall rise in food prices and on food access for poor households.
The sharp depreciation of the gourde, amplifying inflation, is putting a strain on the incomes of the poorest households, reducing their access to food. As a result, most of the country remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with affected households resorting to crisis strategies. In Cité Soleil, the resumption of economic activity in the city center has helped to improve access to income for poor households, but only in the short term. As a result, the food and nutrition situation remains highly precarious, and the use of emergency strategies continues, with poor households remaining in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity.
This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.