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Caribbean: Drought - 2015-2017

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In Haiti, about 200,000 families (1 million people) have been affected by drought conditions since the beginning of 2015, especially in Sud-Est, Nord-Ouest and Artibonite regions. These prolonged conditions aggravated the situation of 3.8 million food-insecure people in the country. (ACAPS, 21 Jul 2015)
In July 2016, (OCHA) reported that 2015-2016 drought has caused losses of up to 70 percent of local production and has worsened the situation of food insecurity. It also highlighted that of the 193 million US dollars requested in April 2016 as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan, about 105 million (nearly 60 percent) were allocated to the sector, although about 30 percent (31 million) of the total amount requested were received at the time.
An assessment conducted by the CNSA and WFP in December 2016 shows the number of people facing hunger and food insecurity in Grande-Anse and Sud - the most affected areas - has declined steadily from approximately 1 million to 400,000. However, in the North West, Artibonite, Nippes and La Gonave, although the impact of Hurricane Matthew was smaller, its effects coupled with three years of drought and severe flooding have led to a hike in the levels of food insecurity with one million people affected. In total, more than 1.5 million people are food insecure in those six areas following this series of shocks. (CNSA/WFP/FAO 18 Jan 2017)
In late January 2017, FEWS forecasted that emergency food assistance needs will remain high until "Printemps" harvests in July 2017, further claiming that unless agricultural assistance is provided, many in southwestern Haiti will likely be unable to cultivate, limiting improvements from the harvest. (FEWS 25 Jan 2017)
As of March 2017, UNICEF informed that 20 communes and localities have been selected and validated, in conjunction with OREPA/DINEPA, to benefit from the WASH/USAID drought project in the departments of South and Grand’Anse was carried out in conjunction with the Southern Prioritization Matrix. The project will cover 90,000 individuals of which almost 38,000 are children. (UNICEF, 7 Mar 2017)

From March to June 2017, FAO-Haiti has been implementing some activities of cash-for-work in the South, South East and Grand'Anse departments, as response to the effects of Hurricane Matthew. More than 2 000 temporary jobs in plant nurseries for the production of 1.8 million seedlings are expected. In addition, 3 670 temporary jobs will be also created by cleaning primary, secondary and tertiary irrigation canals (33 km), agriculture land and watershed. (FAO, 12 Apr 2017)

In Cuba, the water crisis is the most severe since 2004, with 144 municipalities affected and some 100,000 people depending on water delivered by tanks. (OCHA, 6 Oct 2015)
By February 2016, 27% of the Cuban territory was affected by water deficits. (Gov't of Cuba, 8 Feb 2016)
In August 2016, the DREF operation was extended for 3 months as the Cuban Red Cross continued to have difficulties accessing drinking water in the province of Santiago, and the risk was increasing because the levels in the dam and the tributaries continued to decrease. (IFRC, 26 Aug 2016)
As of 28 October 2016, WFP declared that despite the heavy rains brought by Hurricane Matthew, hydraulic drought continues to represent a challenge to public water supply and agricultural production. (WFP, 30 Oct 2016)
On 2 December, the IFRC DREF operation was extended by 15 additional days as the Cuban Red Cross (CRC) continues to have difficulties accessing drinking water in the province of Santiago. (IFRC, 2 Dec 2016)
In January 2017, WFP highlighted that the Cuban Institute of Hydraulic Resources recently stressed that drought continues to represent a challenge to public water supply and agricultural production in the whole country, particularly in the eastern region. (WFP, 31 Jan 2017)
In March 2017, WFP stated that it continues assisting the populations affected by hurricane Matthew in eastern Cuba through rice, beans, and vegetable oil distribution. Furthermore, WFP has also been strengthening food storage capacities in the hardest-hit municipalities with mobile storage units and lightning. (WFP, 31 Mar 2017)

In the Dominican Republic, planting of the main 2017 first season rice crop concluded in March 2017, while planting of the main 2017 maize crop is underway and will be completed in May. Although official planting data is not yet available, preliminary reports point to a normal start to the season with some localized dryness. (FAO, 8 May 2017)