Tag Archives: Haiti

Interview: Lorene Didier of the World Food Programme in Haiti

Haiti is one of the 45 nations needing emergency food assistance this year according to the US Famine Warning System. Natural disasters, including Hurricane Matthew, has worsened food shortages in the impoverished nation. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is Haiti’s lifeline for overcoming hunger.

WFP provides school meals to children to reduce hunger and improve class attendance.

School feeding in Haiti is one of the most important projects of the World Food Programme. (WFP/Lorene Didier)

One the major sources of funding for school feeding in Haiti is the McGovern-Dole program run by the United States Department of Agriculture. However,  McGovern-Dole is to be eliminated under a new budget proposal from the President of the United States. The United States Congress does have a chance to save McGovern-Dole funding for Haiti and other impoverished nations.

Let’s learn more about school feeding in Haiti and the impact of McGovern-Dole funding in this interview with Lorene Didier of the World Food Programme.

For the current school year you are reaching 400,000 students with school meals, almost half of which is provided by McGovern-Dole funding?

Correct. We are distributing 400,000 hot meals every day to school children, among which 175,000 are funded directly by McGovern Dole.

Is there enough funding for the school meals starting next school year?

Without further funding, WFP will have no other choice than to reduce the number of school children reached in the 2017/18 school year by 15%, which means WFP will no longer be able to provide daily meals to 60,000 school children in Haiti next school year.

Is food from local Haiti farms being provided with any of these meals? 

We are procuring local commodities such as rice, salt and maize meal. In 2016, WFP was able to purchase 1,753 tons of locally grown rice. WFP is also distributing meals to 7,000 children in the department of Nippes prepared with 100% of locally grown food, including fresh vegetables. This provides local farmers with a predictable outlet for their products, leading to a stable income, more investments and higher productivity. The children enjoy healthy, diversified meals; this makes it more likely that they will stay in school, perform better and improve their adult job prospects. Next year, WFP will increase the number of school children receiving 100% local school meals from 7,000 to 15,000.

Is summer feeding going to be provided so the students don’t lose the meal when school closes?

WFP will not be able to implement summer feeding as we have to prioritize the limited funding available to provide meals to children at school during the school year.

What has the impact of school meals been in areas where the hurricane struck? Have the meals reduced malnutrition and improved attendance?

WFP is currently distributing school meals to 27,000 children in Grande Anse, the most affected department by Hurricane Matthew. In Grande Anse many families of farmers lost all their crops and food stocks after the hurricane and many of them will not be able to provide sufficient food for their families until at least the next harvest in June 2017. It is therefore crucial for children to be able to have access to at least one nutritious meal a day at school to help ensure they are not too hungry or malnourished.

In addition to school meals, WFP is also distributing specialized food to 27,000 children and 25,000 pregnant and nursing women in order to prevent malnutrition in the most hurricane affected areas. This is complemented by a family ration benefiting around 126,000 persons.

Originally published at Blogcritics Magazine:

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Marines, WFP Fight Hunger in Haiti

Devastation. That describes Haiti following Hurricane Matthew’s trail of destruction last week. Hundreds of people were killed by the storm and thousands were displaced. Many have lost their homes.

The aftermath of the storm brings new threats, including a food crisis. That is why the U.S. Marines are teaming with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to bring emergency relief.

See my full commentary at the  Huffington Post

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How We Can Help Haiti’s Children During Drought Emergency

The news coming from Haiti is very alarming. The El Niño weather phenomenon has struck again, this time leading to a severe drought.

It’s been so bad for farmers that many have lost more than 82 percent of production. That is leaving Haitian families with low food supply. Any food that is available at markets is high priced.

See my full commentary at The Huffington Post.

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New food project keeps things local in Haiti

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is starting a special two-year project aimed at helping Haiti build its agriculture. It was scheduled to start in May in the Nippes region.

Read the full article at Examiner.

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Canada’s donation pivotal for Haiti

Haiti has made a national school lunch program a top priority for fighting hunger. Canada is helping along the way.

Read the article at Examiner.

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Haiti losing key funding for school meals

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today that it’s losing funding for its school meals program in Haiti. WFP is the leading organization fighting hunger in Haiti and almost 70 other countries.

Read the full article at Examiner.com

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Haiti Faces a Summer of Hunger

A series of disasters, coupled with low funding for aid agencies, places millions of Haitians at risk of severe hunger. (WFP/Stephanie Tremblay)

A series of disasters, coupled with low funding for aid agencies, places millions of Haitians at risk of severe hunger.
(WFP/Stephanie Tremblay)

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) confirmed today it will not be able to provide summer school feeding for children in Haiti.

The UN food agency, which depends on voluntary donations, is already short on resources for many of its programs to help Haiti recover from a series of disasters.

In addition, a WFP take-home ration plan for 200,000 school children lacks funding to get started. This food aid is essential for families suffering from severe hunger and it allows their children to stay in school.

There are 6.7 million people, over half the population, that suffer from hunger in Haiti. Alejandro Chicheri of WFP says that of this number, around 1.5 million Haitians face severe hunger. Drought and a series of storms severely damaged agriculture, placing already impoverished families under additional stress.

A report from the Famine Early Warning System stated, “despite the evident readiness of local farmers, poor seed availability is threatening the success of this year’s crops…. Poor households in many rural areas could still be facing a food shortage directly after the July harvest.”

The charity Live Beyond provides food, water and medicine in Haiti and says it is “providing bags of rice and beans” at its medical clinics, “to ensure that the sickest of the sick are able to continue living through this period of starvation.”

At a fundraising event, actress and activist Kimberly Williams-Paisley recently said, “The phrase you hear most often in the LiveBeyond Mobile clinics is ‘Mwen grangou’ or I am hungry.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is threatening to reduce funding for the Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole programs, both which help Haiti. President Obama is urging Congress not to cut these aid programs, which already are a relatively tiny part of the federal budget.

The World Food Programme continues to work with the Haitian government to build a national school lunch program. WFP provides meals during the school year to hundreds of thousands of children. The goal is for Haiti to run this program entirely using locally produced food.

These goals though cannot be obtained unless Haiti has the food supply to endure the reconstruction.

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