Inflation in Haiti is out of Control!
Dixie Bickel R. N., the orphanage director and co-founder, writes about what is happening in Haiti, new kids at GLA, the progress on Ft. Jacques and the challenges of life in Haiti.
We are living with double digit inflation in Haiti! We bought a sack of onions last week and it cost $67 USD buying it in the vegetable market. In January that same sack of onions cost us $37 USD! A 5 pound bag of rice costs about $5.50 USD today and a year ago it was $3.30! Prices just keep going up and up. Many of the prices that go up do not come down when the exchange rate comes down. Everyone in Haiti is finding it difficult to buy the same amount of food that they bought a year ago. Normally, many Haitian families only eat meat once a week or once every two weeks so I am sure today they maybe eat meat once per month!
A year ago, we were able to buy a month's worth of food and cleaning supplies for around $8000 USD. This food fed 130 children and adults 3 meals per day and Today, 2 weeks of supplies cost us $5,000 USD! That is just crazy! All of our vegetables and fruit are bought in the street markets. Cleaning supplies are bought in the big Depot shops where things are wholesale prices or in the supermarket. Our meat is bought in the SuperMarket where it is less likely to be contaminated but it's local meat. Our driver/purchasing agent is always trying to find cheaper prices for powdered milk, beans, rice, etc. We are very thankful that we just received several pallets of rice and beans from Kid's Against Hunger. That will help bring our costs down.
My administrative Haitian staff and I have decided to pay the staff based on the US Dollar and not the Haitian gourdes. We are hoping that this will help them buy more food and pay for their children to go to school. We were very fortunate to have school sponsors willing to assist some of our staff who are widows/single to pay for school.
We are very thankful that it is the rainy season although that will end by the end of October. Daily rains help fill our cisterns so we do not have to buy as much water for bathing and washing as we do during the dry months. We pay between $1200 to $1500 USD per month for water during the rainy season and much more during dry season.
Diesel when we can get it costs us about $1000 USD for 500 gallons and that lasts us about 10 days if we do not have to use the generate day and night. Recently, due to the political rioting, the power company has been giving us a lot of city power. We have run the generator a lot less in the last month which helps save money. We do not have many babies who are in critical condition so we can use the power from the city. Sometimes it is too weak to run all of the incubators and the oxygen concentrators all at once.
The country is still in turmoil. The opposition movement refuses to stop protesting and this past weekend there was a huge crowd, many thousands of people, marching down by the airport road. The opposition keeps blocking roads. One of our workers was down in Petionville on Canape Vert Road and as he was leaving the store, the opposition protesters was building a blockage behind him! It is difficult to buy supplies and get things delivered due to road being blocked or rioters throwing rocks at cars in Petionville and throughout the city.
Schools are open one day and closed the next. The children are not able to get to school to get their lessons. One of the staff said that some schools are giving online lessons but not everyone can do this. So some children can do online classes and others sit at home and wait. Families are coming one by one this week to get money to pay for schooling for children in our sponsorship program. It has taken us this long to get the funds here and safely to the mission. It has not been safe for families to travel up to GLA to get the funds and then try to get them to the school to pay. I worry so much for these families to be carrying money on the streets with rioters everywhere.
Please If you want to help, can you pray daily for:
- Pray for this protesting to end soon.
- Pray for inflation to go down so families can afford to feed their children. (The exchange rate is 91 gourdes for each $1 USD. In January it was 60 gourdes for each $1 USD. Big difference!)
- Pray for the staff and children at GLA that things will stay safe and that workers and teachers can come daily to care for the children.
- Pray for finances for GLA for food, water, diesel.
- Pray for the children here for assistance that they will be well enough to go home soon.
- Pray for the government and the opposition forces to find a resolution to the problems.
- Pray for God to cover Haiti with his loving hands and bring peace to the country.
Matthew 7:7 - 12
God wants us to ask him for help. He wants us to come to him with our needs. As our faithful Father, he is eager and able to meet our needs.
Haiti has a lot of problems, but if God is made first and He rules through the leaders here then there can be peace.
And Life In Haiti Goes On...
( All photos are from FaceBook)