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Haiti - Humanitarian : WFP announces emergency food aid for 700,000 Haitians
09/12/2019 09:39:03

Haiti - Humanitarian : WFP announces emergency food aid for 700,000 Haitians
Friday, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), announced the intensification of its operations to provide emergency food assistance to 700,000 people in Haiti.

"Haitian poor families are facing a very dramatic situation. WFP and its partners are working to provide emergency assistance to a growing number of vulnerable people," said Miguel Barreto, WFP's Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, who is on mission in Haiti for three days.

According to WFP, several million Haitians have been hit hard by rising prices, weakening local currency and falling agricultural production.

Recall that according to a national survey conducted in August by the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) with the support of WFP and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2.6 million people suffer from "Acute and Critical Suffering from Access to Food with Severe Malnutrition" (Phase 3 on the scale of 5 IPC) and 1.046 million (rural and urban), are in situation "Humanitarian Emergency" (Phase 4 of the IPC) evening a total of about 3.7 million Haitians in food insecurity (approximately 35% of the population) https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29220-haiti-humanitarian-more-than-one-million-haitians-in-emergency-food-situation.html

Social and civil unrest over the last three months has hampered the efforts of all humanitarian organizations. WFP food transport to many vulnerable communities, including the main roads linking the capital Port-au-Prince to Artibonite and southern Haiti, has been affected, further limiting access to household food the poorest.

Recently, the slight improvement in security has enabled WFP to provide food assistance to isolated families since September. In the past three weeks, nearly 23,000 people have received emergency food assistance in the North West Department, defined by the government's report as an acute food insecurity zone. WFP provides families with enough food for a month. and also provides cash to other food-insecure departments. In November, 67,000 people received money to buy food locally as markets recover.

This year, WFP has already responded to the emergency food needs of 138,000 people across the country. The UN agency intends to organize new distributions and deliveries whenever the security situation allows.

"Despite these challenges, we are committed to ensuring the continuity of our assistance. It is comforting to see schools reopen and children attend classes as we also provide them with a hot meal. For poor families, it's often the only meal kids eat in a day, "said Barreto.

It should be recalled that WFP's school feeding program provides meals to 300,000 children a year in 1,200 schools across the country and is considered the largest social safety net in Haiti, but only 60% of children schools have reopened since the beginning of the troubles three months ago.

In order to reach difficult or inaccessible areas by road, WFP launched a three-month air operation at the end of November. A Mi8-AMT helicopter chartered by WFP provides reliable transport of cargo and staff from the entire humanitarian community. It can carry up to 22 passengers or 4 tons of freight.

Finally, WFP has significantly increased support to local agriculture in line with government plans to revitalize the agricultural sector to address food insecurity.

In order to expand its assistance and provide common humanitarian services, WFP is appealing for $62 million.

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