Haiti: Food Assistance Rebuilds Lives

As Haiti raises itself from the rubble of the January earthquake, WFP is helping survivors start again by giving them cash and food in return for work to rebuild the country. Johnny, who lost his family, and Florence, who dreams of starting a business, are among those reclaiming their lives. Watch the clip

PORT-AU-PRINCE – When the earth shook beneath Haiti five months ago, Johnny’s wife, two children and sister were among the victims. One of thousands of bereaved survivors of the quake, Johnny is now hard at work to rebuild the life he lost.

Every day, he helps clear debris from the streets in return for about USD $5 in cash and food rations. The temporary employment keeps him clothed and fed, and even allows him to save up money to help his elderly mother.

The rubble that workers like Johnny are collecting goes to pave roads and build walls to combat erosion and protect farms around the country.

It’s among several Food for Work projects underway in Haiti that provide families with the food and basic necessities they need to survive in return for work repairing earthquake damage and building infrastructure.

As with any community-building programme, engaging women is the key to success. Surveys showed women to be among the most adamant supporters of food and cash for projects as solutions to their families’ short-term needs.

Most importantly, these projects are offering hope to people like Florence, who are looking beyond the ruins to a better future. Florence hopes one day to open a soda store, a small dream and part of the much greater task of getting Haiti on its feet.