IMF to work with Preval on Haiti

April 26, 2008 at 12:48 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, April 26 (UPI) -- The International Monetary Fund will work with the Haitian government and donors to relieve the food crisis in Haiti, the mission chief for Haiti said Friday.

Andreas Bauer visited Port-au-Prince from Tuesday through Thursday. He met with President Rene Preval and members of his cabinet.

"As a large net importer of food, Haiti has been particularly affected by the sharp rise in international prices, which continues to impose enormous hardship on the country's population," Bauer said in a statement Friday. "This shock has also had a significant impact on domestic inflation and caused a widening of the trade deficit."

Rapidly rising food prices have threatened to plunge Haiti into chaos. A donors' conference scheduled for this week was canceled after six people, including a U.N. peacekeeper, were killed in food riots, which also forced the prime minister out of office.

A delegation from the Organization of American States and top officials from the United States, Canada, the European Union, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina met Thursday with Preval in Port-au-Prince, the Miami Herald said.

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