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21 January 2010

As buildings crashed to the ground around her after Haiti's earthquake, Yolette Etienne reacted as any longtime relief worker would.(..)"Come to the press office," said Alejandro Lopez-Chicheri, a spokesman for the World Food Program, gesturing toward his cot on a grassy spot outside a trailer at the logistics camp.(..)The WFP, which in normal times feeds hundreds of thousands of Haitians, was hit so hard that it could not distribute aid the day after the quake.(..)


21 January 2010

Fuel shortages, impassable roads and ruptured communications in earthquake-stricken Haiti are slowing the distribution of vital aid to survivors - but is poor coordination of aid work compounding these problems?(..)The U.N. World Food Programme is the "master of logistics" and "if they are struggling you can see how difficult it is", he added.


20 January 2010

In five days, more than 300,000 Zynga game players purchased $1.5 million in virtual social goods to support relief efforts in Haiti. Through Zynga’s top four games, users from 47 countries donated to U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) (..). “We are extremely grateful to Zynga for this contribution,” said Nancy Roman, WFP’s director of communications. “Through their donations, Zynga players are helping us to bring urgently needed food assistance to people who have been plunged into hunger by this devastating earthquake. We started distributing food within 24 hours of the earthquake, and in the coming weeks, we aim to deliver weekly rations to 2 million people.”


20 January 2010

The World Food Program said more than 250,000 ready-to-eat food rations had been distributed in Haiti by Tuesday, reaching only a fraction of the 3 million people thought to be in desperate need. There have been anecdotal reports of starvation among the old and infirm, but apparently no widespread starvation yet. The WFP said it needs to deliver 100 million ready-to-eat rations in the next 30 days. Based on pledges from the United States, Italy and Denmark, it has 16 million in the pipeline.


20 January 2010

Troops, doctors and aid workers are flowing into Haiti, while nations pledge millions of dollars in aid. But how do you handle a crisis of this magnitude? (..) International assistance is co-ordinated in "cluster groups" to ensure that essential aspects of the disaster response are properly co-ordinated and monitored. (..) Logistics cluster: chaired by WFP.


20 January 2010

A strong aftershock has rocked Haiti, sending screaming people running into the streets (..). The World Food Programme said it was planning to bring in 10,000 gallons (40,000 litres) of diesel a day from the neighbouring Dominican Republic as Haitian fuel supplies dried up.


20 January 2010

The head of the U.N.'s World Food Program agency will travel to Haiti to assess the country's needs after last week's devastating earthquake. The WFP said Wednesday that Josette Sheeran will meet with survivors and with government and relief agency officials during her two-day mission. It says Sheeran will leave for Port-au-Prince on Thursday.


20 January 2010

Mr. DAVID ORR (UN World Food Program): We estimate that we've reached about 133,000 beneficiaries with some 880,000 rations. A ration is enough food for one person to last a day. And we're distributing mostly high-energy biscuits. These are fortified biscuits, and we have been distributing rice, pulses, oil and salt. Yesterday alone, we estimate we reached 95,000 beneficiaries in various locations in and around Port-au-Prince.


19 January 2010

A further 43 tonnes of food were due to be flown in yesterday according to Josette Sheeran, the WFP's executive director. "In comparison to the other major natural disasters of this scale that we've handled, we are moving at pace. The unique dimension here was the devastation not only to the people and government and ports but also to the humanitarian agencies," she said. "We have seen a dramatic improvement in the efficiency and co-ordination of the flow of goods coming in and a prioritisation of those."


19 January 2010

The head of a U.N. food agency says the United Nations has reached an agreement with the U.S.-run airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince to give humanitarian flights priority in landing. World Food Program executive director Josette Sheeran says an air slot system, similar to one used during the Indonesian tsunami emergency, has been established to ensure that aid flights get priority in landing.