WFP battles storms to bring urgent aid to Haitian families

Published on 09 May 2008

WFP is battling the elements to bring a lifeline to Haitian families hit by the impact of successive deadly storms, which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed scores of homes and plantations.

WFP is battling the elements to bring a lifeline to Haitian families hit by the impact of successive deadly storms, which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed scores of homes and plantations.

“WFP has first-rate logistics, and this storm system is putting us to the test,” said Myrta Kaulard, WFP Representative in Haiti. “We are sending food, water and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea while anticipating further emergency needs from approaching storms.”

WFP has already distributed food to some 14,000 people affected by Hurricane Gustav, which hit southern Haiti last w

WFP has first-rate logistics, and this storm system is putting us to the test.
Myrta Kaulard, WFP Representative in Haiti

eek. WFP teams were evaluating the impact and distributing food to victims of Gustav when Tropical Storm Hanna battered northern towns on 2 September, leaving families stranded on rooftops and blocking all roads to the main town of Gonaives, the site of the heaviest damage.

On Friday, a boat loaded with WFP food and other life-saving humanitarian supplies such as UNICEF drinking water and hygiene kits arrived in the flooded port city of Gonaives. This is the first of several vessels and aircraft set to arrive in the coming days, including helicopters carrying high-energy biscuits and other emergency relief supplies.

WFP is working closely with the government, sister UN agencies, donors and NGOs to distribute aid. However, with two tropical depressions approaching Haiti, the weather continues to hamper operations.

“Right now these storms are threatening the gradual progress we were making in helping the most vulnerable communities better cope with high food and fuel prices,” Kaulard said.

This series of natural disasters comes as Haitians are still reeling from food and fuel price hikes, which have dealt a severe blow to the island nation, where people already struggle to eat adequately. Over 50 percent of the population live on less than US$1 a day and 4.3 million are undernourished.