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  HOME | Caribbean

Food Distribution in Haiti Sparks Violence, Leaving 2 Minors Dead

PORT-AU-PRINCE - An unidentified young boy has been killed in the Haitian city of Les Cayes while food was being distributed to the victims of Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the country earlier this month.

The hurricane swept through Haiti on Oct.4, leaving 546 dead and 175,000 displaced in Haiti, according to data from the Haitian Civil Protection Agency.

Gabriel Fortuné, the mayor of Les Cates, Haiti's third-largest city in the southwest of the country, confirmed the incident and called for calm to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

Local residents burned tires in protest of the young boy's death, blaming the Haitian National Police for not ensuring public safety and order.

This is the second fatality to occur during the distribution of humanitarian aid, following an incident one week ago when a 16-year-old teenager was killed and three other were wounded by police gunfire in Dame Marie town, also in the southwest.

Police said that the food distribution spiraled out of control as a result of the chaos among the people.

Hurricane Matthew also exacerbated the cholera epidemic that plagues the Caribbean nation.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently warned that food security of 800,000 Haitians has been seriously jeopardized since the hurricane devastated most of the country's crops.

"The winter season crop is fast approaching. Agricultural producers have lost everything. If we don't act now to provide them with seed, fertilizer and other materials they need, they will not be able to plant and will be faced with persisting food insecurity," said Nathanael Hishamunda, FAO's Representative to Haiti.

Last week, the Haitian Minister of Economy and Finance, Yves Romain Bastien, estimated property damages caused by Hurricane Matthew at some $1.89 billion.

 

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