The lack of money affects agriculture in Haiti and exacerbates social problems such as early and forced marriage and sexual violence against women and girls, revealed a study released by the humanitarian organization Plan International.
“As poverty and lack of access to livelihoods worsen, families increasingly resort to negative coping mechanisms, an example of this is the increased risk of girls marrying early and forced, and as a result they become pregnant prematurely, drop out of school or work,” explained Daphne de Bodes, director of Plan International in Haiti.
Bodes added that girls and women face a high risk of sexual violence as they collect the water and fuel needed to prepare food.
According to the National Survey for Monitoring Food Security and Nutrition, 89% of the population works in agriculture to survive, but cannot farm due to lack of money, the high cost of inputs, hand problems of labor and the lack of seeds and support.
“Farmers invest what little they have to try to rescue their crops and feed their families. People sell what’s left of their crops hoping to get a little money in return despite droughts and shortages,” lamented Stephanie, a young Haitian activist, during a Plan International event.
The basic basket (rice, wheat flour, corn, beans, sugar and vegetable oil) increased by 88% last October, a rise that was accompanied by a shortage in local markets.
With information from Sputnik