FAO and Haiti seek $74 million to rehabilitate agricultural sector

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Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Haiti

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Haiti are appealing for $74 million to help the country's agricultural sector recover from colossal damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva made the appeal at a press conference at the UN agency's headquarters in Rome on Thursday.

The FAO chief said Haiti depends heavily on its agricultural output.

"Sixty per cent of the population of Haiti is rural, and Haiti is one of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that deeply depends on agricultural production. Twenty-five per cent of the GDP of Haiti comes from agriculture. Also, agriculture is the main source of employment in a country that has one of the highest unemployment rates."

FAO said Hurricane Sandy was one of three natural disasters this year which have caused more than $250 million in losses to Haiti’s agricultural sector, representing one-third of annual production.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

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