Haiti has long been the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Since 1992, I have seen “poverty” up close. But, for most of those years, people here in our community were able to piece together a few things and build a bit of a life. Parents who did not finish school, were able to push their kids through school. Families who lived in a thatched hut were able to build a two-room cement home. Well, that was the first thirty years.
Since 2020 and a little bit before, Haiti has spiraled into a dark place. With the capital city paralyzed by gangs, the countryside is peaceful but unable to acquire supplies. Fuel prices have been high enough to reduce availability of supplies as well. The $20 that bought a full meal just a few years ago can’t even buy a chicken leg now.
Diets have changed here in our town. People who ate one good meal a day, are now only getting that meal every few days. Meat has always been a bit of a luxury. Instead of real meat, people were eating questionable varieties of salami and other ground meat. Now, that is out of reach. Fruits and vegetables are pricy, and they have become another diet casualty. People are filling their bellies instead of eating meals. Bread and water have become a way to temporarily fill a belly. Fried flour in diverse forms is what is keeping people upright. Evenings provide fried bananas, if you have money to purchase them.
This is not a diet for the future. I was able to bring vitamins along when I came back this time. I don’t know if they are helping, but I hope they are able to fill a void to some degree for a few people.
I, like you, see hunger and want to help…quickly. There is not a lot we can do, though, in this situation. Money is only a band-aid that doesn’t even stick for more that few minutes. Planting is a part of the solution. Haiti needs to feed itself. Prayer is key. God can change hearts and minds…and societies. Pray for Haiti.
Missionary in Haiti.