WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLFY) — Unrest on the island nation of Haiti — especially after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse — has La. Rep. Clay Higgins concerned about the state of U.S. rice shipments to the country.
Higgins sent a letter to the U.S. State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor “calling for increased assistance in securing U.S. rice and other food shipments in Haiti,” according to a press release from Higgins’ office today.
“Haiti is the top market for U.S.-grown milled rice and has been a loyal and growing market for many years, and the people of Haiti have a strong demand for our product,” stated Higgins in his letter. “In recent years, we have shipped about 450,000 metric tons of rice valued at more than $200 million to Haiti annually. Unfortunately, the unrest has made unloading rice shipments in Haiti difficult and dangerous. Because of the value of rice as a staple food in Haiti, shipments are prioritized as targets by local gangs and even hired, armed security is unable to prevent theft. These armed robberies often result in the shipment not being delivered to its intended destination.”
Higgins said food insecurity in Haiti could lead to more conflict and violence. He asked the State Department to work with the United Nations to intervene in Haiti to “establish peace, or at the very least, better secure the delivery of all critical food inland to the people of Haiti.”