Haiti (MNN) — While the United States is trying to predict how badly Hurricane Sandy will affect its population, Haiti has already felt its impact. A country already beleaguered by other natural and political disasters, Haiti faces yet another problem: soaring food prices.
Eva DeHart with
For Haiti with Love says food prices were already high. She puts it in perspective. "If you take just two cups of rice and a cup of beans, then you're talking basically about 55% of their take-home pay — IF they had a job that day! That wouldn't count the oil, spices, and charcoal that would be necessary to turn that into a meal."
Haiti didn't receive a direct hit by the hurricane, says DeHart. "They didn't have much wind, but they had so much water. And Gonaives–the area about midway up on the west coast of Haiti that got flooded four years ago–is totally underwater again."
The death toll is expected to climb as the water recedes. "The Haitians always say, 'Staying at home doesn't bring food to the house.' They don't have refrigerators. They have no reserves. They live literally day-to-day. So when they're rained in, there's no work. There's no food."
This is just compounding the problems they already had.
The ironic thing is: Haiti was going through a minor drought. They needed rain. "They just didn't need it in that volume [and] for the length of time that they got it."
For Haiti with Love provides food, shelter, and medical needs for Haitians in Cap Haitian. But they're not able to purchase the food in Haiti. "We're using food packs from Feed My Starving Child, because we're feeding so many people that the price of rice and beans exceeded our ability to fund it."
While it's not the preferred food to eat by the Haitians, it is food, and they're eating.
For Haiti not only needs funding to buy food, they also need money to buy burn cream to treat burn victims in their medical clinic. "A jar of our burn cream has gone from $10.47 to $38 a jar. So if somebody would like to sponsor a jar of burn cream, that saves lives."
Is the work they're doing having an impact? DeHart says believers there "understand better than anyone else I've ever encountered that He's their only answer, but their faith just keeps growing stronger through these things." It's also an opportunity for Christians to share Christ was others who don't know Him.