IMF approves $105 million to fight food shortages in Haiti

MEXICO CITY — The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board approved $105 million to help Haiti address severe food insecurity, the institution said on Monday, as the Caribbean country faces widespread shortages amid a humanitarian crisis.

The payment, under the IMF’s Food Shock Window program, is set to address “urgent balance of payment needs related to the global food crisis”, the fund said in a statement.

“Record price inflation … worsened Haiti’s fragility and compounded the suffering of Haiti’s population already affected by a severe malnutrition,” said deputy managing director Antoinette Sayeh, pointing to “spillovers” from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine early last year.

It said funds would be allocated to those most affected by food price increases through feeding programs, cash and in-kind transfers to vulnerable households and other measures.

Authorities should carefully control, track, record and publish all spending related to the emergency response, it added, to ensure it is used appropriately.

The $105 million – 0.5% of Haiti’s gross domestic product – corresponds to an expected financing gap in 2023 as the country battles a cholera crisis and severe food shortages, compounded by widespread violence from criminal gangs in parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince. — Reuters