Please, hear the cries and help. Widespread hunger covers the region and the country.
Starvation whittles away once strong and vital adults and so many die. Malnutrition claims the lives of young children.
It is heartbreaking to hear the screams of poor mothers when a child dies — and this happens many times every day.
—Sister Ann Crawley, CSJP
Starvation Has Now Reached an Unconscionable Level and
Created the Greatest Humanitarian Emergency Since the 2010 Haiti Earthquake
Prior to the 1980s, Haiti enjoyed a high level of food self-sufficiency. No longer. An influx of US subsidized food in the 1980s and 1990s drove farmers out of business and planted hunger as a fixture on the Haitian landscape. In the past 3 years, changes in climate brought extreme drought cycles broken up with intense storms and hurricanes. Once full and predictable fruit trees are virtually nonexistent. Inflation has risen to 21% and current political unrest has drastically cut short supplies and supply routes. A once underlying condition has overtaken the country and spiked to emergency levels.
According to the World Food Programme, more than 1 in 3 Haitians — 3.7 million — need urgent food assistance. The numbers explode exponentially. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) predicts 40% of Haiti’s total population will require urgent humanitarian assistance in 2020.
Rob Freishtat, MD, long term CRUDEM medical volunteer and chief of emergency services at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., witnessed 8 patients — all under age 2 — die of hunger during his recent visit to Milot.
When interviewed in December 2019 by CNN for a special report on hunger in Haiti, Freishtat said, “Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of kids in Haiti with malnutrition get sick with infections or something else and die. Sad but not unusual. This is the first time that I have seen them literally starve to death.” Freishtat further noted, “The under-2 group of kids is particularly vulnerable because formula is exorbitantly expensive there. Breastfeeding would be great, but the moms are starving too, so their milk dries up.”
Regrettably, experts predict the deaths of these children will be the first of many, with 4 million+ Haitians facing severe food insecurity this year.
Goal: One Million Meals in 2021
The CRUDEM Foundation and Hôpital Sacré Coeur have initiated a food program that that answers the greatest need in Northern Haiti. The goal is to pack one million meals — through nationwide, safe-distanced food packing events staffed by PPE equipped volunteers — to be distributed in the coming year, in the Milot region. This project acts as a buffer between the very harsh realities of the current situation and the need for those most at risk to survive this temporary crisis and partner for affective change.
Extreme food insecurity and famine relentlessly overtake more of Haiti. People are hungry, not in the aching way someone feels when they miss a couple of meals. On the verge of starvation, people sense the encroachment of a darkening shadow that signals the end is near and there is no promise of a tomorrow. Daily, many parents face a Sophie’s Choice: which child has the greatest likelihood of survival and therefore gets the abysmal amount of food available. The blind, the infirm, orphans and infants are particularly vulnerable. As a time tested, compassionate, effective community, CRUDEM, Hôpital Sacré Coeur, and their supporters, can turn around this dire trajectory.
Anchoring Hope and Reaping Success – in the Most Inhospitable of Circumstances — is Our Divine Call … and Our Privilege.
To Successfully Meet this Grave Challenge … We Need Your Help
Please, Make a Generous Donation to Buy Meals. Sign Up to Pack Meals