[Translation of an article from AlterPresse of Haiti for September 13. See the original article here.]
Port-au-Prince, September 13 – The number of children suffering from acute malnutrition has increased noticeably in the department of l’Artibonite (1), where thousands of displaced persons still live eight months after the earthquake, a local branch of the international organization Action contre la Faim (AcF – Action against Hunger) reports.
Without specifiying the total number of cases, the international NGO confirms in a report furnished to AlterPresse that 166 new cases were registered between June and September of 2010 in Gonaïves, Ennery, Anse-Rouge and Terre-Neuve.
The presence of displaced persons in differenct municipalities increases the pressure on prices in the public markets, with an increase of between 10 and 15 percent, AcF reports.
In addition to that reality, vulnerable families who have provided shelter to displaced persons have contracted “heavy debts to supply their nutritional needs, as well as the basic needs of their children and of those they have taken in.”
AcF teams, which work in support of the Ministry of Health and Population to control acute malnutrition in Gonaïves, 171 kilometers north of the capital, and in rural areas in the department of l’Artibonite, fear that floods during the present hurricane season, from June 1 to November 30, will aggravate even more the nutritional situation in the region.
A significant number of families in l’Artibonite have not yet recovered from the hurricanes that struck l’Artibonite hard in 2008, surveys AcF took in 2009 show.
Despite its vulnerability and the weakness of its infrastructure, the department of l’Artibonite gave shelter to around 140,000 displaced persons in the few day after the earthquake of January 12, which resulted in 300,000 deaths and more than a million homeless in the departments of l’Ouest, Sud-Est and Nippes, in southwestern Haiti.
(1) L’Artibonite is the largest of Haiti’s ten departments, or states. On the western coast, it is an important agricultural region. The capital is Gonaïves.