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Hunger is tightening its grip on vulnerable Haitians in a deepening humanitarian crisis. The complex emergency situation across the country – which has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the world – has been compounded by insecurity, violence, deepening economic woes and a cholera outbreak. 

Worrying trends shows a steady deterioration of the food security situation, with the number of hungry people tripling since 2016. Latest reports indicate a steady increase in the number of people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance in Haiti, with 4.9 million acutely hungry. This is an increase of 200,000 people compared to the previous analysis. Notably, close to 1.8 million remain in Emergency phase and need urgent assistance.

The security situation has worsened all over the country throughout the past year, especially after the country lockdown (peyi lok) in September 2022. Reaching people needing food assistance has become more challenging. WFP Haiti created an Access Unit to reach people affected by violence and safeguard logistics routes. Despite significant food security improvements in hard-to-access areas, WFP’s emergency activities were underfunded in 2022. As a result, WFP could only reach 60 percent of its initial target of 1.2 million people.

What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Haiti emergency

Emergency assistance
Through its emergency programmes, WFP provides unconditional food and cash assistance to vulnerable households and ensures contingency stocks and preparedness measures are put in place to respond to shocks. In 2022, WFP supported 723,000 people with 5,400 metric tons of food, 325,000 hot meals, and US$22.9 million of cash-based transfers. WFP’s goal in 2023 is to reach 1.47 million people facing emergency level of food insecurity (IPC 4) with 15,200 metric tons of food and US$86.7 million in cash.
Emergency preparedness
WFP stands ready to support the Government with emergency food assistance as well as logistics and emergency telecommunications. The contingency stock is a key tool that WFP uses to ensure that crisis-affected populations in Haiti can meet their basic food needs. Having pre-positioned commodities available in-country allows WFP to respond to sudden-onset disasters and crises to meet the needs of affected populations quickly, while additional assistance is planned and prepared for in later weeks, if needed. Fully stocked, the contingency stock allows WFP to feed up to 300,000 people with unconditional food assistance, including rice, beans and oil for one month.
In Haiti, WFP has 25 trucks, 2 helicopters and 1 fixed-wing aircraft, and has access to maritime transport to support its operations, as well as other UN agencies, NGOs and governments entities. This has proved critical in accessing hard-to-reach locations as travel over land to certain parts of the country is unsafe. The provision of fuel was the most demanded service in 2022, due to recurring shortages in the country. In 2022, over 122,000 gallons were provided to 34 partners. WFP is also setting up a humanitarian corridor with the Dominican Republic, as well as providing part of its contingency stock, to be able to quickly dispatch humanitarian aid by land and sea and support its emergency response.
Resilience building
In parallel to the emergency response, WFP works on reinforcing the resilience of vulnerable people through asset creation and livelihood programmes. In 2022, 97 km of rural roads and 53 km of irrigation canals were rehabilitated, 28 metric tons of seeds were distributed and 4 mills for were established. In addition, 75,000 tree cuttings were planted, and 25,000 smallholder farmers supported through microinsurance coverage. WFP directly supported around 113,00 people through its resilience activities in 2022 and aims to increase its assistance to 250,000 in 2023.

How you can help

Humanitarian needs are rising sharply in Haiti. Please donate today and help life-saving food reach those families who need it the most.
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