Statement by WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran on Anniversary of Haiti Earthquake

Published on 11 January 2011

Almost one year ago, the ground began shaking in Haiti and the lives of millions were changed forever.  What came after the quake was a disaster that stretched WFP’s humanitarian expertise to the limit, challenged our response through its complexity and daunted us with the sheer scale of its impact on the Haitian people.

In the six weeks immediately after the quake, WFP delivered food to some 4 million Haitians and we continue to provide food assistance to around 2 million people through our school meal programmes, our cash for work programmes and nutritional support to pregnant and nursing mothers and their children.  While much has been achieved in the year since the earthquake, much still remains to be done.  Working with other UN agencies, with civil society, with the Haitian government, and with non-governmental organisations, we are engaged in a joint humanitarian project that is far from finished.

We are so grateful that our emergency food distributions, our logistical support and our telecommunications expertise in the immediate aftermath of the quake supported the international humanitarian response and prevented widespread hunger and malnutrition.  

Our ongoing food assistance programmes that nourish the very young, provide cash for work, and include the local purchase of food from Haitian farmers, are part of a massive recovery effort that will continue to need international support in the months ahead.  Access to nutritious food is essential if Haiti is to build back better, and WFP will continue its work providing the right food at the right time to those – like the very young – who still remain vulnerable.

WFP is committed to providing the support that is required to support Haiti’s long-term recovery.  As an agency that has a long history of feeding the hungry in Haiti, WFP was there before the quake, and we will remain for as long as it takes to provide a firm and sustainable nutritional foundation for a future free from hunger