Statement by WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran on How Cash and Food for Work Are Helping Haiti Recover

Published on 18 June 2010

This week Haitians in Jacmel who have been clearing rubble, installing drainage and making other community improvements are receiving cash and food wages as part of WFP’s new food and cash for work programmes.  For most people these are the first wages they’ve earned since the earthquake struck on January 12. 

This month WFP will be reaching  30,000 workers in Food and Cash for Work programmes and aims to increase that to 70,000 in the month ahead.  As each labourer receives rations for a family of  5, this programme will be reaching 350,000 Haitians.

Initially the workers – many of whom had no food and no access to food in local markets – were receiving food rations for the work they did, but input from women we surveyed told us that they wanted a combination of food and cash.  This allows their families to eat, and have some cash to spend on essentials such as education, medicine and clothing.   The daily rate of  200 Gourdes (roughly $5) per worker is divided 60 percent cash, and 40 percent food. 

This programme, which was designed in partnership with the Haitian government and with input from beneficiaries, is a win-win-win for the people of Haiti – people are employed, families get the food they need, and the economy gets a vital boost from the cash being spent in local markets.  

These temporary job programmes are crucial as Haiti rebuilds.  Since the phasing out of  large-scale food distributions in May, WFP has been creating and scaling up programmes like Food and Cash for Work that focus on rebuilding infrastructure, agriculture and food security over the long term, while preparing for future potential rains and hurricanes. 

WFP is committed to working with its many partners - government, NGOs and local communities – on innovative solutions that will get more Haitians back to work and keep hunger at bay as they rebuild their lives.


For Further Information:

Emilia Casella, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob.  +41-792857304
Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112