Wyclef Jean

A month after food riots and an outbreak of violence rocked Haiti and resulted in at least six deaths, island-born performer Wyclef Jean is reaching out to help his homeland.

Jean launched a new initiative “Together for Haiti,” with a goal to raise $48 million over the next six months. It will create jobs and assistance for farmers and help feed the impoverished country.

At a news conference in New York City this week, Wycleff said that his foundation, Yele Haiti, was joining forces with the World Food Programme and the Pan American Development Foundation to create “Together for Haiti.”

The Grammy Award-winning recording artist says rising food prices have created a crisis unlike any he’s seen in his native country – one of the poorest in the developing world.

“We have come together to launch this new initiative because I believe we can do more and better for Haiti when we act together,” Jean said at the Manhattan news conference. “We are not only interested in feeding people in response to the current crisis, but we want to offer them an alternative that can help them in a sustainable way.”

The program aims to provide jobs for 1,800 people everyday, distribute food to 1.5 million people and provide fertilizers to 55,000 farmers. It also aims to offer 9,000 grants to families to start their own small businesses.

“We want to give them the opportunity to set up a small business which they can live on instead of assisting them every time there is a crisis,” Jean said.

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