A Special Message from our Founder Regarding the Unrest in Haiti
As I continue to hear disturbing reports about the deteriorating situation in Haiti, I am reminded of my conversation with my good friend and former prime minister of Haiti, Jack Lafontant, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. I called to make sure things were ok in Haiti, but Jack’s response shared a painful reality. He said, “Mitch, we live in terror every day.”
Sadly, the horror we felt that September day is an all too familiar feeling for our Haitian brothers and sisters. The global community is quick to respond to Haiti’s earthquakes and hurricanes, but often fails to respond to the daily terrors of insecurity and economic collapse, which cause a host of consequences, including malnutrition and starvation. Fuel and food shortages have reached a crisis point in Haiti. The Haitian Gourde has experienced rapid devaluation, dropping from 45 to 96 Gourdes to the dollar. Fuel prices are up by over one-third. Violent protests continue in Port-au-Prince and the effects are felt nationwide. The communities where we work are suffering and we are seeing increased rates of malnutrition as compared to recent years.
As an organization, The Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti is significantly impacted by the turmoil. Over 2.5 million Haitians live in extreme poverty and many die from conditions that would be preventable elsewhere. Malnutrition presents a significant threat to the health and well being of Haitians, where 22% of children under five years are stunted. The fuel and food shortages have increased our cost to provide services, putting a strain on our budget and ability to deliver vital support to combat child malnutrition in Leogane.
In light of the current situation in Haiti, I would like to ask for your support as we address the tremendous suffering in Leogane. To ensure we are able to continue providing these indispensable services, we need to bolster our fundraising efforts. This will allow us to continue to prevent and treat malnutrition for children living in dire circumstances. In many, many cases, our support is the only lifeline available to families and communities. Will you partner with us by donating to support CNP’s work?
Thank you for your continued investment in Haiti over the years. For over 20 years, I’ve seen the resiliency of the Haitian people as they respond to hardship after hardship. They will continue to move forward, one step at a time. I see the potential that exists for Haiti to rise from poverty, but today, we must walk with them on that journey. Together, we can raise a healthy generation of Haitian children, who can in turn raise Haiti from poverty. Will you join us?
Dr. Mitchell Mutter
Founder, Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti