Day by Day: Mon, Feb 25

“If there was something in the gardens–even just some sweet potato or root vegetables or beans that people could eat–then everyone would just say, ‘Forget rice!'”

This is what Mme Celisa said today after returning from market.

Monday is market day. For months, food prices have been steadily and rapidly rising due to an alarming inflation rate. And unfortunately, there isn’t anything in the gardens, because of prolonged dry conditions.

The cost of staples like rice, flour, and oil seems to increase every time a person goes to market, and it has become unaffordable for many families. This was one of the many entangled motivations behind the recent rioting. Ironically, the rioting only exacerbated matters by making goods even more rare and difficult to transport. The price of gasoline skyrocketed from $45 Haitian dollars/gallon at the pump to $200/gallon minimum on the black market.

For the school cafeteria, Ronyl has been facing prices with the following trend: ItemOct 2018Dec 2018end of Feb 2019Rice (Ti Goute)–$260/sack$320/sackOil$455/case–$530/caseFlour$90/small sack$100/small sack$150/small sackSugar–$225/sack$320/sack

Bagay yo vann tèt nèg!” This is a Kreyòl expression, which is difficult to translate exactly. It means something like, “Things are selling for human heads!” In other words, they’re expensive.

The government has promised that it will lower the price of staple commodities in the coming days, although we have yet to see this reach us.

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