WFP is rapidly expanding operations in Haiti, reaching more hungry people thanks to a US$23 million allocation from funds raised through the organisation’s high food price appeal.
Our food is critical to helping people cope with high prices - a daily burden on people who were already very poor
Pedro Medrano, WFP Regional Director
WFP is currently assisting more than 800,000 people in Haiti, including 40,000 vulnerable families – most of them headed by females – in urban areas. Over the summer months, WFP will give 200,000 school-age children hot meals and take home rations to prevent them from joining street gangs or searching for work.
In the months ahead, more and more people will receive food assistance – 2.3 million by the end of the year. “Our food is critical to helping people cope with high prices - a daily burden on people who were already very poor,” said WFP Regional Director Pedro Medrano.
WFP family food rations allow hope to return to households struggling to make ends meet and which buy less and less food as food prices increase. Beneficiaries receive a basket of food that will feed their family for one month.
Better access to food for the most hungry will also help stabilize Haitian society, which was rocked by fatal food riots earlier this year. The Haitian population is highly vulnerable to food price increases: Haiti imports over 50 percent of its food including rice -- its staple diet; three-quarters of Haitians live on less than US$2 per day. Households spend more than half their incomes on food.
Donors to WFP operations in Haiti include: the United States (US$ 23.3 million); Canada (US$ 19.8 million), France (US$ 3.7 million), UN Central Emergency Revolving Fund –CERF (US$ 3.3 million), Switzerland (US$ 1.4 million) and several others. Overall they have provided more than US$ 62 million, which is enough to cover augmented needs for 2008. However, WFP still needs more than US$ 61 million to cover Haitian beneficiaries’ needs for 2009.