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Haiti floods misery

Haiti's main rice-producing region has been ruined after hurricanes and tropical storms brought flooding, landslides, high winds and sea surges during a recent one-month period. The string of storms struck the Caribbean nation between August and September, leaving many regions under water. Up to 800 people were killed, thousands remain missing and a further 850,000 are still affected. Tropical Storm Faye, Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna struck first, followed by the devastating Hurricane Ike. The entire Artibonite Valley, the country's main rice-region, was submerged.

The country, which has suffered massive deforestation and extensive land degradation, was unable to contain or divert flood waters, resulting in all ten administrative regions being affected. The World Bank is to provide US$25 million in emergency grants to help rebuild damaged infrastructure, while FAO and sister agency IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) have announced details of a separate US$10 million emergency package to boost the country's battered farming sector.

Date published: November 2008


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