ROME – One month after a devastating earthquake shattered the lives of millions in Haiti, the World Food Programme (WFP) is partnering with the Haitian government to roll out an urgent early recovery strategy for the millions affected by the disaster by using food and cash to empower local populations to rebuild their lives.
“We are deploying tools to dramatically improve the lives of those who survived the quake, by ensuring access to food, getting people back to work so they can buy food, supporting Haiti’s reconstruction, and addressing the nutritional needs of the very young,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. “We are partnering with Haiti to rebuild society from the ground up and providing a nutritional foundation for the country’s long term future.”
The announcement came today during a High Level Meeting, “Supporting a Haitian-Led Food Security Programme” hosted by WFP, where a Task Force to be jointly led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) was also announced. The Task Force will support the Haitian government as it strives to implement immediate and long term food security strategies that integrate agricultural production and social safety nets.
WFP said it is also ramping up its logistics support for the entire humanitarian emergency supply chain, including support for the Haitian government’s work with FAO and IFAD on providing seeds and fertilizer.
Since the earthquake struck, WFP has delivered rations to more than 2.5 million people in Port au Prince, and outlying areas. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, WFP met urgent hunger needs through mobile distributions in areas where people had settled temporarily. WFP then scaled up its operations, distributing two week rice rations from a number of fixed sites in the capital.
WFP’s food assistance will now evolve as follows:
- As the lead agency providing logistics support for the entire humanitarian community, WFP is available to partner agencies like FAO and IFAD to deliver seeds and fertilizer so that crops can be planted;
- WFP is assisting the Haitian government, enhancing government capacity in logistics and supply chain management, warehousing and food assessment;
- In urban areas, WFP will roll out food and cash for work initiatives that will focus on the immediate restoration and protection of livelihoods, including the removal of debris from schools, and the reconstruction of dwellings, streets and drainage systems;
- In rural areas, WFP will ramp up cash and food for work activities which are needed to rehabilitate rural roads, irrigation systems, storage facilities, and initiatives aimed at preventing soil erosion;
- Food assistance will become increasingly targeted on vulnerable groups, and vouchers will be introduced as market systems become established;
- WFP is seeking to deliver targeted nutrition particularly to children under 5 years of age through its food rations, and will introduce complementary feeding programmes for vulnerable groups;
- A highly nutritious peanut paste, Plumpy Doz will be provided to children under 2 years of age to prevent an increase in acute malnutrition and to support growth;
- Moderately malnourished children between 2 and 5 years of age will be provided with Supplementary Plumpy, another ready to use nutritious food product that comes in the form of a peanut paste;
- Micronutrient powders that can boost the nutritional content of staple foods will be provided to families with children between the ages of 2 and 5 years and also to pregnant and lactating mothers;
- WFP will boost its school meal programmes to bring stability to the lives of the young, attracting children to school and helping to lift the burden of some of the nutritional needs of the young from the shoulders of parents who are struggling to cope in the aftermath of the quake.
For further information:
Caroline Hurford, WFP/London, Tel. +44-20-72409001, Mob. +44-7968-008474
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