Drop In Exchange Rate
When I first came to Haiti in 1992, a US dollar was worth about 5 or 7 Haitian dollars. That rate increased over the years. In early 2020 we were getting up to 23 Haitian dollars for each US dollar. With no real warning, the exchange rate fell during the month of September. In the space of a few weeks, the exchange rate has settled at about $11 Haitian dollars for each US dollar.
I won't try to explain the how or why of this change. I don't understand it, even after reading and listening to people who try to explain it. "They" said that prices would be coming down so that everything works out. Well, no so much.
The price of motorcycles has dropped dramatically. That's true, and it's good news if you are in the market for a bike. The price of some food items has lowered a bit, but not by 50%. Everything else (transportation, supplies, communication...) has remained the same.
What this means is that the money I have each month will now go about half as far as it used to go. In October, in spite of some serious cutting back, our food money ran out around my birthday on the 23rd. The money that I pay people who do work for me, the money I spend on transportation and fuel, the money I spend on almost everything else has remained the same. When I fill out my monthly report, the US dollars needed to cover the costs is about double.
We made it through October okay. I am now looking into November. I don't yet see any real chance for things to improve.
I plan to limp as best we can through the remaining months of 2020. After that, if things don't change, we may need to consider some serious changes in the ministry here. ASAPH is not the only mission affected. Many organizations who function on exchanged US dollars are in a bind at this point. I am hoping things will change.
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Missionary in Haiti.