Yesterday morning a woman approached me on the street here in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, begging. She lifted her shirt, revealing a gaunt stomach, and repeated the word "Clorox," over and over. She was referring to an expression here, "eating bleach," that people use to describe burning hunger pains.
This week Haiti descended into chaos. Thousands took to the streets, looting, smashing windows and burning tires. The gates of the Presidential Palace were stormed. At least five were killed and 20 injured. "We are hungry," said one woman I spoke to.
Haiti is ground zero of a possible emerging food crisis. It's the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and the price of food has risen 50 percent in the last year. People are going hungry because they simply can't afford to buy food.
But this problem is global. In addition to this week's riots in Haiti, we've seen unrest over food prices in Indonesia and Egypt. Experts say things could get much worse. During an interview today, I asked Haiti's director of the World Food Program what would happen worldwide if this crisis isn't addressed now. His answer couldn't have been more direct: "It will be a disaster."
Watch Mara's web-only footage from Haiti.