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Literature Review

Wan Rashid, Connor Jeffries, Doreen Flaherty, Jack Strevell

Though the worlds technology continues to progress, and agricultural techniques


continue to be updated, many people across the globe continue to go hungry. The root of the
hunger problem varies from country to country, but no matter how advanced or primitive one
particular culture may be, hunger affects all nations. The problem is not a lack of food. You may
be surprised to learn that the world produces more than enough food to feed the global
population. However, the problem is that the food thats produced spoils before it can be entirely
consumed, resulting in disposal. This is only one side of the hunger epidemic. Third World
Countries, such as Haiti, that face the hunger epidemic at substantial levels are often due to
fundamental issues within the nations government. A nation might also be met with an
environmental catastrophe that damages agricultural output, severely impacting the economy.
Damages to a countrys infrastructure results in the possibility of a cycle of poverty, in which
education levels and productivity drastically decrease. While hunger is a concept to most, food
insecurity even exists in the United States. Domestically, food assistance programs exist to aid
those who do not know where their next meal is coming from. Yet for Third World Countries like
Haiti who are plagued with natural disasters, the solution to the hunger epidemic would be a
miracle.

Wan Rashid
Economics
To run a country, we must first be educated. This education will provide us doctors,
teachers, politicians and growth. This growth will come in form of our economy, children, and
infrastructure. Haiti's economy has seen a lot of unrest. Examples such as low literacy rate,
natural disasters and corporations has created a dilemma with in the country regarding to the
structure and economy.
Education
The connection between economics and education can vary from country to country.
Dean T. Jamison in the article Education and Economic Growth discusses how there are diverse
systems across countries and to level all of them is not possible. He explains how a country such
as China could have different requirements than a country such as Papua New Guinea. What
matters overall is if the student is learning to contribute to the economy. To analyze this, you will
be able to understand where a country resides in the Education Index. Yet as we look at countries
such as Haiti their Educational Index is the lowest of the western hemisphere. The adult literacy
rate in Haiti is roughly 61% with a life expectancy of only 63 through Find the Data. Of that 61%
only 29% had received a secondary education (Haiti Statistics). Now, as children attend school
30% of the 50% of children that attend do not make it past 3 grade. On top of that 60% of
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children will abandon school before reaching 6 grade. To compare Haiti on the Education Index
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is hard because 80% of teachers receive no certification to teach and half of these teachers lack
the essential qualifications to work in education (Haiti Statistics). The importance of education
is to educate, to educate for a purpose and that is to survive. To increase retention rates of
children in these school it is important to understand that 90% of schools are run privately and
have tuition fees (Four Things). Through the World Bank and the Caribbean Development
Bank fee forgiveness program for low income Haitian families, it has created an increase in
attendance from 78% to 90% (Four Things). Education is just one of the many ways to tackle
the economy and poverty of a country. The increase of education will give new generations the
ability to set a foundation even when going in a recession. For instance, when America went into
recession roughly 5% of people were unemployed with bachelor's degree compared to the 13%
that did not have secondary education as stated in Education Indicators in Focus. Though
America is a developed country and Haiti is a developing country, it is important understanding
that some education is better than none. Overall, this education will create a structure that will
help eliminate poverty to some extent.

Connor Jeffries
Hunger Universally
The notion that there are people who are going hungry in the twenty-first century is
something that easily can be pushed into the back of the mind if it is not witnessed first-hand.
However, ones personal experience does not define what is universally true, and within third
world countries especially, hunger is not something to be ignored.
Hunger in Haiti
Hunger is one of the most critical issues that the world faces today, but is often
overlooked. After focusing on Haiti, in particular, it is clear that hunger does not exist simply
because there is not enough food, but because the country is plagued with internal and external
conflicts. The following will discuss the causes and the aftermath of Haitis hunger crisis,
focusing on economic distress caused by those in power, and the natural disasters that plague the
tropical state.
Structural Issues.
Haitis government leaders are credited as contributors to the hunger insecurity that the
country is currently met with. In an interview with the National Post, Haitian economist Claude
Beaboeuf stated that hunger within the country is the result of, decades of bad political
decisions, arguing, You cant address the hunger situation in one year, two years (Trenton
2013). According to Transparency Internationals Corruption Perception Index, as of 2016, Haiti
is rated as one of the worst countries in the world in terms of corruption. In the group's annual
ranking, Haiti came in 159 out of 176 countries (Haiti" 2016). It is because of the poor decision
making along with the corruption of government leaders that renovations have been at a
standstill. According to the United Nations, over 13 billion dollars has been allocated to Haiti
through the year 2020. Yet Haiti has had little improvement to show for when compared to the
amount of aid they have received. JT Larrimore, a Council on Hemispheric Affairs Research
Associate stated that after the 2010 earthquake, Much of the money allocated to Haitian relief
efforts were given to the hands of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)a majority of
relief and development from the international donor community is disbursed to private
organizations and independent contractors, which undermines the capability of the government
and underscores the pervasiveness of foreign influence in Haiti (Larrimore 2013). No matter
how much foreign relief is designated to rebuilding Haitis infrastructure, there will be no end to
the recovery stage they are currently in if the Haitian government does not address the political
corruption with the goal of implementing real solutions. When money is given to NGOs rather
than political leaders, it deprives those in power of gaining experience regarding distribution of
currency. As a result, the little money that the Haitian government does control is spent unwisely.
Haitis leaders must make it their primary responsibility to construct a recovery plan, so that they
are able to end the cycle of poverty that is currently in place. While money is in the hands of
those who dont know how to use it wisely, the majority of citizens will continue to live hand to
mouth, scraping by through whatever means possible. It is unclear if any significant
improvements to the economy will be made in the near future, but until a plan of action is
implemented, and an economic system is devised, citizens will be begging, stealing, and toiling
for the food that is so precious in their society.
Natural Disasters.
Since the 2010 earthquake, there have been aftershocks, tropical storms, and agricultural damage
that has negatively affected food production. This has made it incredibly difficult to produce
food, as well as to stabilize the anxious society. When a natural catastrophe has the possibility to
arise at any moment, anxiety fills the atmosphere of the culture. But the earthquake only marked
the beginning of a series of events that would make foreigners take notice of the disparity in
Haiti. Three years after the 2010 earthquake, Haiti continues its struggle to rebuild. An
expanding cholera outbreak and food shortages following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 have
hampered earlier relief efforts (Larrimore 2013). While a lack of food supply is a focus on the
death toll in Haiti, it is clear that a lack of clean water also is a factor. The lack of clean water
sources has led to an epidemic of the bacterium, cholera, which has been accounted for in the
deaths of thousands of Haitian citizens since the earthquake. A recent study conducted by
Doctors Without Borders suggests that cholera outbreaks in Haiti have nearly tripled since the
2010 earthquake (Gladstone 2016). Aside from unclean water, Haiti will have to learn to deal
with ongoing weather irregularities, as their location in the Pacific region is unideal for raising
crops. Located in Haiti, Jacqueline Charles is the Caribbean Correspondent for the Miami
Herald. She comments, The U.N. agency, which is launching an $84 million appeal to help
stave off extreme malnutrition and deaths in an already fragile Haiti, is blaming the emerging
crisis on the El Nio weather phenomenon. Already blamed for some of the worst drought
conditions around the globe, the weather event has left some Haitian farmers facing up to 70
percent crop losses and has doubled the number of food insecure people in the country since
September (Charles 2016). Haiti was already crippled from the 2010 earthquake along with
hurricane Sandy in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti with more than 20 inches of rain for
over three days, a vast majority of the crop supply were destroyed in multiple towns. More
recently, Haiti must deal with the agricultural aftermath that Hurricane Matthew left in its wake.
Cholera had slightly been reduced to a level of manageability, but food insecurity remains at
unprecedented levels. Marilyn Allien, President of Transparency Internationals Haiti chapter
indicated that, When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on 5 October, the fields where crops were
grown were washed away; houses were flattened like cardboard boxes and hundreds of people
were killed. The number of dead is now close to 1000 and cholera is once again a fatal danger on
our shores. UNICEF says more than 600,000 children are threatened with food shortages
(Haiti 2016). The effects that Natural Disasters have had on Haitis agricultural climate are
critical, and recovery seems distant at best. Haitian farmers would need a miracle on top of the
foreign aid in order to produce enough food for the country.

Doreen Flaherty
Natural Disasters Worldwide
Any major negative environmental crisis can affect the state of a countrys economy
because it can clear out entire industries without warning. Haiti is often a victim to natural
disasters that can flatten farms for livestock and crops, pollute rivers, destroy whole villages, etc.
All of these are the main sources of life for the citizens living there.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis states that since 1989, insurance companies have
paid more than $44 billion in tangible assets (Sharkey). Within just minutes of a disaster,
millions of dollars are lost because of mother natures temper tangents. This, in most cases,
causes a huge strain in the areas affected. Over 160 million people are affected internationally
and 90,000 people die from natural disasters (Bennett). Earthquakes, for example, hurt the eco
structure of a country and affect entire communities. Hurricanes and other catastrophes have very
similar effects.
However, some countries believe that Earthquakes and some other natural disasters can
be considered an advantage. The New York Times states in their article, Do Natural Disasters
Stimulate Economic Growth, that China could have a natural disaster but could still profit from
the catastrophe: Rebuilding efforts provide a short-term boost by attracting resources to the
region (Bennett). This in turn creates jobs, new structures, and resources in the region. The
growth of this destruction can create more wealth than it took from the people. Many argue that
China has a strong economic structure in place that can succeed in environmental crises but in an
underdeveloped country such as Haiti, it relies on outside assistance for many things. Haiti is
trying to grow from their shortcomings by focusing on agriculture, basic infrastructure,
manufacturing, and other sectors to foster economic growth (Bennett).
Natural Disasters in Haiti
The mortality rate of children in Haiti under the age of five is 8.8% (Haiti Statistics).
These deaths are a result of the poor agricultural yield of Haitis farms. The article Haiti by the
Numbers outlines the nutritional barrier prevalent across Haitian families and how that affects
the mortality rate in this country (Haiti Statistics). The relationship between Haitis mortality
rate and the recurring natural disasters in this country is extensive when comparing information
from Haiti by the Numbers and another article posted by the Miami Herald. Author Jacqueline
Charles reports that Haiti has been cast into its very fragile state in regards to health due to the
many natural disasters and weather phenomenons (Charles). These complications make it next
to impossible for natives to farm and grow crops to feed their families. Like earlier stated, in
response to the meager condition of Haitis agriculture, The U.N. agency is launching an $84
million appeal to help stave off extreme malnutrition and deaths (Charles). It is clear that natural
disasters play a very large role in the tillage that provides food and jobs for citizens (Larrimore).
Earthquakes are the most lethal of haitis weather phenomenons due to their unexpected
occurrences (Sharkey). Haiti was hit in 2010 by a 7.0 Earthquake that left regions across Haiti
annihilated. Before these cities and villages were able to rebuild, Hurricane Sandy of October
2012 destroyed what was rebuilt after relief efforts tried to rebuild the broken communities
(Sharkey). Over the course of only 2 years, there has been over $20 million donated and/or
allocated to help patch together the scrambling country of Haiti. Seven years after the earthquake
and four years after Hurricane Sandy, a vast majority of Haitians citizens still live in poverty,
relief aid has dried up and reconstruction efforts have produced dismal results (Sharkey).

Jack Strevell
Hunger Statistics in the United States
In 2015, 42.2 million Americans, including 13.1 million children, lived in food insecure
households. That number represents 13% of all U.S. households. Food insecurity is defined as
any lack in quality or quantity of food for a family being caused by poverty. The most food
insecure state in the nation is Mississippi, where a staggering 20.8% of all households experience
food insecurity. Tennessee ranked 12 , with 15.1% of households categorized as food insecure
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(Feeding America). Americans are likely to believe that hunger is mainly an issue in
underdeveloped countries, but the numbers prove that there is a significant percentage of people
experiencing food insecurity right here in America.
Food Assistance Programs
There are three major federal government food assistance programs. They are the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly Food Stamp Program), the
National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). In 2015, 59% of all food insecure households participated
in at least one of those three programs. Over 41 million Americans receive benefits from SNAP.
However, the average benefit from the program is $255 per month, an average of approximately
$1.40 per person per meal (Feeding America). Government assistance from SNAP does little to
assist those who suffer from food insecurity. Organizations such as Feeding America do much to
help alleviate hunger within the country. Feeding America, which is the third largest charity in
the United States and the largest dedicated to U.S. hunger relief, provides assistance to 46.5
million people annually.
Reasons for Hunger in the United States
As in Haiti, hunger in the U.S. is not caused by a lack of food. On the contrary, the U.S.
is capable of producing more than enough food to feed the entire population. According to
Feeding America, higher unemployment and underemployment, lower household assets, and
certain demographic characteristics also lead to a lack of access to adequate, nutritious food.
In the current economy, it can be hard to find a job, or certainly the type of job necessary
to support a family. Underemployment is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as the
condition of being employed at a job that is inadequate with respect to your training or economic
needs. Many people are struggling to find full-time work that they are qualified for or work that
pays enough to meet their needs. As a result, they are unable to provide enough food for their
family. Underemployment is a large and growing problem that is contributing to hunger among
U.S. families.
Race is one of the most important predictors of food insecurity in America. Statistics
show that 26.1% of hispanic households and 25.2% of African American households experience
food insecurity, compared to only 10.8% of white households (The National Coalition for the
Homeless).
Comparing United States to Haiti
The United States is not immune from the problem of hunger as 13% of Americans
experience food insecurity. The citizens of Haiti suffer from this problem to a much greater
extent, as 30% of the population of Haiti is food insecure, almost 2.5 times the rate of the United
States (Haiti Partners). Haiti suffers from corruption, a poor education system and literacy rate,
and frequent natural disasters. The combination of these problems has compounded the issue of
hunger in Haiti.
Works Cited
Bennett, Drake. "Do Natural Disasters Stimulate Economic Growth?" The New York Times. The
New York Times, 08 July 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/08/business/world
business/08iht-disasters.4.14335899.html Web. 03 May 2017.
Charles, Jacqueline. Haiti Faces Worst Food Insecurity Crisis Since 2001. Miami Herald, 9
Feb. 2016, miamiherald.com/news/nation- world/world/americas/Haiti/article59399683
.html. Accessed 24 March 2017.
Daniel, Trenton. They Will Be Counting Bodies: Malnutrition Ravaging Haitis Children.
National Post, 10 Jun. 2013, news.nationalpost.com/news/they-will-be-counting-bodies-
malnutrition-ravaging-haitis-children. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.
"Four Things You Need to Know About Education in Haiti." World Bank. N.p., n.d.
worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2015/03/12/four-things-you-need-to-know-about-
education-in-haiti. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
Gladstone, Rick. Cholera Deaths in Haiti Could Far Exceed Official Count. The New York
Times, 18 Mar. 2016, nytimes.com/2016/03/19/world/americas/cholera-deaths-in-haiti-
could-far-exceed-official-count.html?_r=0. Accessed 10 April 2017.
Haiti. Transparency International, 25 Jan. 2017, https://www.transparency.org/country/HTI.
Accessed 10 April 2017.
"Haiti Statistics." Haiti Partners. N.p., n.d. https://haitipartners.org/about-us/haiti-statistics.
Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
Hunger and Food Insecurity. National Coalition for the Homeless, November 2011.
nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/hunger.html. Accessed 20 March 2017.
Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. Feeding America, 2017.
feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/hunger-and-poverty/hunger-and
-poverty-fact-sheet.html. Accessed 23 March 2017.
Larrimore, JT. Haiti Continues to Struggle Three Years After the Earthquake. Council on
Hemispheric Affairs, 18 Jan. 2013. coha.org/haiti-continues-to-struggle-three-years-after-
the-earthquake/. Accessed 9 April 2017.
Sharkey, Brielle. "Haiti Continues to Struggle Three Years After the Earthquake." COHA. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.

Connor Jeffries Works Cited


Charles, Jacqueline. Haiti Faces Worst Food Insecurity Crisis Since 2001. Miami Herald, 9
Feb. 2016, miamiherald.com/news/nation-
world/world/americas/Haiti/article59399683 .html. Accessed 24 March 2017.
Daniel, Trenton. They Will Be Counting Bodies: Malnutrition Ravaging Haitis Children.
National Post, 10 Jun. 2013, news.nationalpost.com/news/they-will-be-counting-bodies-
malnutrition-ravaging-haitis-children. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.
Gladstone, Rick. Cholera Deaths in Haiti Could Far Exceed Official Count. The New York
Times, 18 Mar. 2016, nytimes.com/2016/03/19/world/americas/cholera-deaths-in-haiti-
could-far-exceed-official-count.html?_r=0. Accessed 10 April 2017.
Haiti. Transparency International, 25 Jan. 2017, https://www.transparency.org/country/HTI.
Accessed 10 April 2017.
Larrimore, JT. Haiti Continues to Struggle Three Years After the Earthquake. Council on
Hemispheric Affairs, 18 Jan. 2013. coha.org/haiti-continues-to-struggle-three-years-after-
the-earthquake/. Accessed 9 April 2017.

Connor Jeffries Works Consulted


Cholera-Vibrio Cholerae Infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Nov. 2016,
cdc.gov/cholera/index.html. Accessed 10 April 2017.
Connor, T., Rappleye, H., & Angulo, E. What Does Haiti Have to Show for $13 Billion in
Earthquake Aid? NBC News, 12 Jan. 2015, Nbcnews.com/news/investigations/what-
does-haiti-have-show-13-billion-earthquake-aid-n281661. Accessed 9 April 2017.
Ferreira, Susana. In Haiti, Hurricane Sandy Leaves Behind Death and Devastation. Time, 29
Oct. 2012, world.time.com/2012/10/29/in-haiti-hurricane-sandy-leaves-behind-death-
and-devastatio n/. Accessed 8 April 2017.
Haiti Earthquake 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
fao.org/emergencies/crisis/haiti-earthquake-2010/en/. Accessed 9 April 2017.
Kale Je, Ayiti. Why is Haiti Hungry. TruthOut, 14 Oct. 2013, truth-out.org/news/item/19410-
why-is-haiti-hungry. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Wan Rashid Works Cited


"Four Things You Need to Know About Education in Haiti." World Bank. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr.
2017.
"Haiti Statistics." Haiti Partners. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Wan Works Consulted


"Human Development Reports." Education | Human Development Reports. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr.
2017.
Jamison, Dean. "Education and Economic Growth." Education Next. N.p., 27 Feb. 2017. Web.
03 May 2017.
Helmer, Kendra. EDUCATION. Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, vol. 15, no. 2,
1991, pp. 174180., Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.
Smith, Meredith M. "Ecology of Food and Nutrition: Vol 56, No 2." Taylor and Francis Online. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Jack Strevell Works Cited


Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. Feeding America, 2017.
feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/hunger-and-poverty/hunger-and
-poverty-fact-sheet.html. Accessed 23 March 2017.
Hunger and Food Insecurity National Coalition for the Homeless, November 2011.
nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/hunger.html. Accessed 20 March 2017.

Jack Strevell works Consulted


Definitions of Food Insecurity United States Department of Agriculture, 4 October 2016.
ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-s
ecurity.aspx. Accessed 23 March 2017
Underemployment Merriam Webster Dictionary. 2017.
merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underemployment. Accessed 1 May 2017.

Doreen Works Cited


Bennett, Drake. "Do Natural Disasters Stimulate Economic Growth?" The New York Times. The
New York Times, 08 July 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/08/business/world
business/08iht-disasters.4.14335899.html Web. 03 May 2017.
Charles, Jacqueline. Haiti Faces Worst Food Insecurity Crisis Since 2001. Miami Herald, 9
Feb. 2016, miamiherald.com/news/nation- world/world/americas/Haiti/article59399683
.html. Accessed 24 March 2017.
"Haiti Statistics." Haiti Partners. N.p., n.d. https://haitipartners.org/about-us/haiti-statistics. Web. 27
Apr. 2017.
Larrimore, JT. Haiti Continues to Struggle Three Years After the Earthquake. Council on
Hemispheric Affairs, 18 Jan. 2013. coha.org/haiti-continues-to-struggle-three-years-after-
the-earthquake/. Accessed 9 April 2017.
Sharkey, Brielle. "Haiti Continues to Struggle Three Years After the Earthquake." COHA. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.

Doreen Works Referenced


"Haiti." World Health Organization. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.
Smith, Meredith M. "Ecology of Food and Nutrition: Vol 56, No 2." Taylor and Francis Online. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.