Haiti Faces Food Shortages As Hurricane Season Begins, WFP Says

“Poverty-stricken Haiti faces a new crisis amid fears of a poor harvest as hurricane season looms in the Caribbean nation, the World Food Programme [WFP] warned Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost reports. “Launching an appeal for $17.2 million, Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the U.N. food agency, said 1.5 million people in Haiti currently relied on food aid to survive,” and “[a] further 6.7 million people in the nation of 10.2 million struggle to feed themselves on a daily basis, she said,” according to AFP (6/11). “Before the hurricane season, which runs from June to November, the [WFP] had pre-positioned emergency supplies to cover the needs of 300,000 people for two days with ready-to-use food and for four weeks with staple food rations,” the U.N. News Centre writes, adding, “The agency also had established agreements with 15 partners and had begun emergency distribution to 200,000 beneficiaries through schools in the worst-affected communities.” The news service continues, “However, Ms. Byrs noted that WFP urgently needs $17.2 million in funding to meet these needs, and added that the agency is currently facing a shortfall of $1.5 million to cover emergency preparedness” (6/11).

The Associated Press/Huffington Post reports on hunger in Haiti, writing, “Three years after an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and international donors promised to help Haiti ‘build back better,’ hunger is worse than ever. Despite billions of dollars from around the world pledged toward rebuilding efforts, the country’s food problems underscore just how vulnerable its 10 million people remain.” The news agency focuses on how food insecurity is affecting the country’s children. “Child malnutrition rates have been high for years,” the AP writes, adding, “The [WFP] reports that nearly a quarter of Haiti’s children suffer from malnutrition, though the figure is higher in places such as Guatemala and the Sahel region in Africa” (Daniel/Luxama, 6/10).