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Haiti - Humanitarian : Food insecurity rate in Haiti, 2nd highest in the world
21/06/2023 10:02:28

Haiti - Humanitarian : Food insecurity rate in Haiti, 2nd highest in the world
Cindy McCain Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP) and Catherine Russell Director General of UNICEF have ended their joint mission in Haiti, calling for much greater support for very vulnerable children and families who are facing a endemic violence, deadly natural disasters and a resurgence of cholera.

“The hunger crisis in Haiti is invisible, unheard of and unresolved. Violence and climate shocks grab the headlines, but we don't hear as much about the 4.9 million Haitians who struggle to eat every day," said Cindy McCain. "Per capita, the proportion of Haitians facing at emergency level food insecurity is the second highest in the world, we cannot abandon them."

“Humanitarian needs are even greater today than after the devastating earthquake of 2010, but with far fewer resources to meet them," said Catherine Russell.

A total of 5.2 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, including nearly 3 million children. Some 4.9 million people are struggling to eat and more than 115,000 children under five are expected to suffer from life-threatening malnutrition this year, a 30% spike since last year. The health system is on the verge of collapse, schools have been attacked by armed groups and civilians are terrorized and deprived of their means of subsistence. In the most dangerous neighborhoods of the capital, women and children suffer staggering levels of sexual violence. Deadly floods and an earthquake in June were stark reminders of Haiti's vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

Russell and McCain held talks with the Prime Ministera.i. Ariel Henry and other senior government officials and visited a school supported by UNICEF and WFP.

In the town of Jérémie, McCain met with farmers and food processors who provide Haiti-grown food to schools and interacted with people who receive monthly cash transfers through a social safety net program. She also visited a food preparation center in Port-au-Prince, where WFP and its partner provide hot meals that are transported daily to schools in areas affected by armed violence in Cité Soleil.

Despite the scale of the needs, only 23% of the $720 million required for the UN response in 2023 has been funded. WFP needs $330 million to reach its goal of helping 2.3 million people in 2023, while UNICEF is appealing for $246 million to reach 1.7 million children this year.

"People in Haiti are in perpetual survival mode, with no safety net," Russell said. “The international community can help put in place the basic needs that Haitian families tell us they need, such as health, education, social and protection services. Above all, what they have told me is that they desperately need to end the violence and the insecurity.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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