As a result of limited funds, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) will only be able to satisfy the growing need for humanitarian assistance in the troubled Caribbean nation of Haiti this month. As a result, the WFP will be unable to provide food for one hundred thousand Haitians.
According to an announcement by the World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday, Haitians struggling with severe malnutrition will have to suffer through the absence of essential food and financial support during the worst hunger crisis the country has ever seen.
The rapidly rising cost of food in Haiti has resulted in a rise in the amount that must be spent to feed each individual, while the number of people in need of assistance has also increased, leading to an increase in the cost of distributing WFP relief. In addition, the financing for the program has been decreased by its donors, which means that many people who are in critical need of aid will not get it.
Since the last president of the island nation, Jovenel Moese, was murdered in July 2021, the country has been immersed in savage gang warfare, and 4.9 million people have been forced into a state of food poverty as a result. Conditions of “catastrophic” level five hunger, which are often associated with nations that are currently engaged in armed conflict, were recorded in slums in Port-au-Prince in October of the previous year for the first time in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The humanitarian crisis in Haiti has been made worse by the earthquakes and heavy flooding that occurred a month ago; nevertheless, just as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) need to ramp up their response initiatives, they are forced to cut them back due to a lack of funds.
“This could not have come at a worse moment, since Haitians are currently facing a multifaceted humanitarian catastrophe, with their lives and means of subsistence being upended as a result of violence, insecurity, economic upheaval, and climate shocks. According to Jean-Martin Bauer, who serves as the national director for the WFP in Haiti, “further devastating cuts cannot be ruled out” unless the organization receives quick assistance.
Non-governmental organizations such as World Food Programme (WFP) have ramped up their efforts to assist Haitians as the country has descended more into anarchy; nevertheless, many organizations lack adequate funding and are operating at capacity.
Because of safety concerns or the impossibility to ship goods through ports in the capital city of Port-au-Prince that are controlled by gangs, certain civil society organizations have been compelled to leave the country of Haiti.
Due to magnitude of humanitarian crisis in the country, even the largest international organizations are currently unable to muster the financial resources necessary to carry out their respective projects.
In Haiti, where there are 11 million people, more than half of them constantly experience hunger, and the cost of food has skyrocketed in recent months as gangs gain control of rural areas that produce food.
The level of assistance required is at an all-time high, and the country of Haiti is on the brink of famine. According to Bauer, “what we need to be doing is not cutting back but rather providing more assistance.”
Due to the fact that the WFP’s response plan for Haiti has received funding of just 16%, the organization will have to reduce the number of individuals to whom it would deliver emergency food aid by 25% in the month of July.
Even though the UN organization has the goal of helping 2.3 million Haitians this year, it has issued a warning that unless it raises $121 million by the end of 2023, it would only be able to help 750,000 of those Haitians.
According to Bauer, the whole price tag for the WFP’s plan to respond to humanitarian crises in 2023 is $720 million.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), for a great number of Haitians, including more than 450,000 schoolchildren in the first half of this year, the full meal that is provided to them by the WFP is the only meal that they have on a daily basis.
When those youngsters return to school in September, they won’t have access to school meals if there isn’t a significant injection of funding. Nearly half of those children.
“We possess the human resources, the plan, and the capacity to continue our efforts, but, unfortunately, without immediate financial support, we are forced to make cuts that will leave thousands of vulnerable Haitians without assistance this year,” Bauer stated in a press statement. “We are compelled to make cuts that will leave thousands of vulnerable Haitians without assistance this year.”
There is no indication that the breakdown of the Haitian state or the rapid development of the gangs that rule the majority of Port-au-Prince and are responsible for the rising levels of poverty will be rectified any time in the near future.
International discussions on how to restore order in the country have not made much headway despite the fact that the United Nations has called for the deployment of troops to the country in order to dismantle the gangs. The majority of countries, however, have been unwilling to put boots on the ground due to Haiti’s long and troubled history of unsuccessful foreign intervention.
“Now is not the time to take a step back; now is the time to take a step forward. “We cannot let the people of Haiti down at a time when they require our assistance the most,” Bauer continued.