Haiti: Food Aid Helps Small Towns Rebuild

Residents from rural Monnonville face a daunting task in rebuilding after the earthquake, which caused severe damage to their homes and farms. WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran saw first hand how food aid can be used to help get the job done.

PORT-AU-PRINCE – While much of the media’s attention after the earthquake has been focused on Haiti’s shattered capital, nearby towns like Monnonville were hit just as hard. For many Haitians in rural areas, WFP Food for Work programmes provide a lifeline of food and income while they work to rebuild their communities.

“We’ve seen homes that are cracked and falling apart, and farms that were badly affected,” said Ms Sheeran, who also visited Haiti in January, when the emergency operation was in full swing. 

Projects like the one in Monnonville, where walls and gullies are being built to protect farmland from flooding come hurricane season, are part of an evolving strategy that’s shifting focus from emergency food aid to long-term recovery.

Among the first results of over 20 Cash and Food for Work programmes around the country, these projects employ around 20,000 people to clear debris, dig canals and build roads that will leave Haiti better able to feed itself in the future. 

Working in tandem with the UNDP and ILO, WFP hopes to give work to a total 70,000 people by year’s end with projects that will benefit 350,000 more. “We want to partner with the people of Haiti. This is their destiny and their project, and we’re proud to support it,” Ms Sheeran said.