UN: Without Adequate Help, 1.5 Million in Haiti at Risk of Food Insecurity in 2013

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Above: small children are most vulnerable to the residual impact of Hurricane Sandy (World Food Programme Photo/Elio Rujano)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

More than 1.5 million people in Haiti could be at risk of food insecurity in 2013 if adequate assistance is not given, according to the United Nations.

The risks are the continued impact of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed more than 70 percent of Haiti’s crops.

An estimated $19 million will be needed for WFP programme that seek to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition for 100,000 women and children in Haiti, the body said.

“At the moment, one of our biggest worries is in areas that are still isolated after Hurricane Sandy, where women and children face worsening nutrition,” said Myrta Kaulard, the UN World Food Programme’s Haiti director. “At the same time, it is crucial to help Haitian farmers so that they can plant crops for the small December season and for the main agricultural season in the spring.”

The programmes will be carried out in cooperation with Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, NGOs, UNICEF and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

One of the initiatives is the WFP’s “Cash for Assets” project, which will look to provide income to 170,000 vulnerable people working in agriculture, watershed management, flood control and other areas.

“Our donor support is crucial not only to ensure that we maintain our emergency reponse capacity in Haiti, but also to support rural people to get back on their feet quickly,” Kaulard said. “Without immediate cash contributions, the situation of these rural food households will continue deteriorating until the next main crop in mid-2013.”

The WFP said it had distributed food to 14,000 people a week after Sandy hit the country, and will help 20,000 of the worst-affected households in November with nearly 800 tonnes of food.

 

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