Nutrition And Incomes: Two Urgent Challenges In Haiti Until Mid-2013

Published on 13 November 2012

PORT-AU-PRINCE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that more than 1.5 million vulnerable people are at risk of continued food insecurity well into 2013, following a series of weather emergencies in the past six months: a drought, followed by tropical storm Isaac and hurricane Sandy.

“At the moment, one of our biggest worries is in areas that are still isolated after hurricane Sandy, where women and children face worsening nutrition.  At the same time, it is crucial to help Haitian farmers so that they can plant crops for the small December season and for the main agricultural season in the spring,” said Myrta Kaulard, WFP director in Haiti.

WFP activities will focus on nutrition -- prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition for 100,000 women and children -- as well as on “Cash For Assets” projects to provide an income to 170,000 vulnerable people working on rehabilitation and management of agricultural land, watershed management, flood control, gullies and irrigation systems, and rural roads.

An estimated total of US $19 million will be needed for these programmes, to be carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR), the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), partner NGOs, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Thanks to the support of donors, WFP has been able to maintain its logistical operation through its own fleet of trucks and build stocks of food and humanitarian material in WFP warehouses in the country, in coordination with the national Direction for Civil Protection (DPC).
The emergency response to Hurricane Sandy was swift, with food distributions to 14,000 people carried out in the first week after it hit the country. In November, WFP will continue to assist 20,000 of the worst-affected households with almost 800 tons of food, including cereals purchased locally from small holder farmers.

“Our donors’ support is crucial not only to ensure that we maintain our emergency response capacity in Haiti, but also to support rural people to get back on their feet quickly. Without immediate cash contributions, the situation of these rural households will continue deteriorating until the next main crop in mid-2013,” concluded Kaulard.
For more information please contact (email address:
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 8241112
Rene McGuffin, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1 202 6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1 202 4223383
Alejandro Chicheri, WFP/Panama, Tel. + 507 317 3900 ext. 3936, Mob + 507 6671 5355
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570