FOND-DES-BLANC, HAITI (November 8, 2012) – Before Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast of the United States, it hammered parts of the Caribbean, including Haiti, where it wiped out an estimated 70 percent of the nation’s agriculture, including a project sponsored by Covenant World Relief.
“The wind blew both corn and millets down and washed away the beans. Now rats and dogs are eating the just-formed corn stalks,” said Jean Thomas, director of the Haiti Christian Development Fund.
The farmers had hoped to double their crop this year using hybrid seeds made available through the project and new farming techniques they have been learning, Thomas said.
Fifty-four Haitians died from the storm, but no one connected with the project was killed. “It is in the months to come, when farmers should be harvesting their field and reaping the fruits of their labor, that the pain is going to be felt,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the storm was the worst the area had experienced in the last 30 years.
Haiti already is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is still reeling from the earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas in 2010. With the latest storm, “One and one half million Haitians are now at serious risk of hunger,” said George Ngwa, spokesman for the U.N.’s humanitarian mission.
To read more comments by Thomas, visit the Covenant World Relief blog.