Haiti: Operational Update

WFP has now provided food to more than half a million victims following the series of deadly cyclones and tropical storms that battered the island of Haiti last month.

WFP has completed its census of the population of the flood and storm-hit city Gonaives, finding among other things that there are now an averag of three families living in every home.

Recent storms and cyclones destroyed thousands of buildings in the city and made thousands more uninhabitable.

The final aim of the door-to-door census, which visited 26,731 houses, was to ensure every single family affected by the disaster last month is a beneficiary of WFP food assistance. The fact-finding operation was carried out by WFP, community and Department of Civil Protection volunteers and NGOs.

WFP has started to allocate ration cards for a neighborhood distribution that will make it much simpler for people to carry the food home. The first such distribution was carried out on October 28 in collaboration with CARE. Some 103 metric tonnes of food commodities were handed to 17,250 beneficiaries in the Gonaives district of Trou Couleuvre.

Isolated island

Elsewhere in Haiti, WFP completed the final delivery by helicopter of 39 tonnes of food to the previously un-served Isle de la Tortue, an isolated island to the north of Haiti. Around 7,500 people will be given food assistance in a distribution that will start on Thursday in partnership with Caritas.

In the south of Haiti, WFP has been delivering food along the coast with a special landing craft able to stop and deliver food to isolated coastal communities. As of October 24, almost one thousand metric tonnes of food has been delivered to storm-hit communities in the south.

Twenty-three 6x6 special off-road trucks have arrived in Port-au-Prince kindly donated to WFP by the Norwegian Red Cross. Another 23 are due to arrive shortly and will be used to transport food to isolated and hard-to-reach places in Haiti.

Food for schools

More than fifty schools in Gonaives have been cleared of mud by a WFP food-for-work scheme in collaboration with the NGO Amurt. In all a total of 100 schools will be cleaned before term begins in Gonaives on November 10, one month later than in the rest of Haiti. Elsewhere in the country, WFP has restarted delivering food to schools to provide hot meals for around 400,000 schoolchildren.

Three helicopters have been leased by WFP to transport food and humanitarian equipment from other agencies as well as humanitarian workers in the country. More than 30 non-governmental organizations and UN and government agencies have used WFP’s humanitarian passenger service to enable them to assess their own relief work. The helicopter service will end at the end of November.

Regular food rations

In total almost 600,000 hurricane victims in Haiti are now receiving regular food rations from WFP. WFP estimated it would require US$33 million for the food component of the United Nations $US107 million appeal to help the hurricane victims of Haiti. However, despite the generosity of many donors, WFP has still only received 35.25% of its funding requirements for food.

Nations that have already given money to WFP’s food assistance programme for hurricane victims in Haiti include: United States (US$6.6 million); Japan (US$1 million); Switzerland (US$547,000); Ireland (US$220,000); Andorra(US$10,000); Italy (US$1.6 million); Luxembourg (US$279,000) and Sweden (US$1.38 million).