|Rosemene standing knee-high in her lush garden, layered with spinach and okra. Rosemene’s garden is so robust she has enough to share with neighbours and sell in the market!|
In Haiti, food insecurity has always been a concern for organizations working in the humanitarian sector long before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indeed, the country cannot produce enough to meet the food needs of the population. However, this problem has been exacerbated by the fear of the spread of COVID-19. On the economic front, inflation passed the 20 percent mark in August 2019, while the national currency in one year has lost one-third of its value against the US dollar. This has eroded the purchasing power of the poorest people, so many of them are unable to meet their basic needs. According to the health ministry, mortality cases due to food shortages are recorded in both urban and rural families.
To respond to this urgent matter FH distributed vegetable seeds in order to create resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent the most vulnerable families from falling into acute hunger. Rosemene Jean was among the 200 households who received short-cycle vegetable seeds. She is a 30-year-old mother living in the community of Cachiman with her two kids. Though she was pregnant at the time she received the seeds, she planted a small spinach and okra plot.
“While I was pregnant I didn’t have enough money to consume adequate vitamins. I have become severely anemic. I was urgently hospitalized at the Mirebalais hospital. Unfortunately, I lost the baby; my health condition was really poor. The spinach garden really helped me; it replaced the beans which are really expensive. I ate it almost every day, now I feel great, that’s why I don’t go to the doctor anymore,” said Rosemene. She even shared spinach with her neighbours and sold the surplus at the local market to gain a bit of income.
Balanced nutrition is key for a healthy pregnancy period; there many “Rosemenes” in the communities, and our mission is to continue empowering them in these practical ways.