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Haiti faces disaster amid poor harvest, hurricanes


Poverty-stricken Haiti faces a new crisis amid fears of a poor harvest as hurricane season looms in the Caribbean nation, the World Food Programme warned Tuesday.

Launching an appeal for $17.2 million (13 million euros), Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN food agency, said 1.5 million people in Haiti currently relied on food aid to survive.

A further 6.7 million people in the nation of 10.2 million struggle to feed themselves on a daily basis, she said.

"This is a humanitarian disaster that we need to stop in its tracks," Byrs told reporters.

"The situation remains very worrying, and dramatic," she added.

She said the WFP needed the emergency funding to preposition food aid before the impact of the poor June-July harvest is deepened by what is expected to be a tough hurricane season.

Like other nations in the region, Haiti is traditionally on hurricane alert from June until November.

In addition to regularly having to pick up the pieces after hurricanes, Haiti is still recovering from the January 2010 earthquake that killed 250,000.