June 10, 2013

Two out of every three people face hunger as Haiti woes mount.

The hardship of hunger abounds amid the stone homes and teepee-like huts in the mountains along Haiti's southern coast.

The hair on broomstick-thin children has turned patchy and orangish, their stomachs have ballooned to the size of their heads and many look half their age - the tell-tale signs of malnutrition.

Mabriole town official Geneus Lissage fears that death is imminent for these children if Haitian authorities and humanitarian workers don't do more to stem the hunger problems.

"They will be counting bodies," Lissage said, "because malnutrition is ravaging children, youngsters and babies."

Three years after an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and the U.S. promised that Haiti would "build back better," hunger is worse than ever. Despite billions of dollars from around the world pledged toward rebuilding efforts, the country's food problems underscore just how vulnerable its 10 million people remain.

In 1997 some 1.2 million Haitians didn't have enough food to eat. A decade later the number had more than doubled. Today, that figure is 6.7 million, or a staggering 67 percent of the population that goes without food some days, can't afford a balanced diet or has limited access to food, according to surveys by the government's National Coordination of Food Security. As many as 1.5 million of those face malnutrition and other hunger-related problems.

More at the Miami Herald.

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