Port-au-Prince, 13 July 2005 - Despite
the extensive damage wreaked by Hurricane Dennis last weekend, Haiti's
emergency response will not require extra humanitarian resources, according
to a UN assessment mission.
The mission, which focused on the worst-hit coastal areas of the southern peninsula, estimates that Hurricane Dennis affected 15,000 people in total, destroying more than 600 houses and damaging over 1,000 properties.
Haitian authorities have also confirmed that the fierce storm claimed 20 lives.
However, according to the assessment, the scale of damage is less than that caused by tropical storm Jeanne last September and Haiti's recovery will be possible with existing resources.
Haiti is still picking up the pieces from tropical storm Jeanne last September.
WFP's Haiti operation, launched in the wake of last year's emergency, is currently targeting 550,000 people.
The so-called "recovery" projects provide food aid to the weakest and poorest, including young children, pregnant women and people living with HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.
The smaller "relief" component allows WFP to provide food quickly in the case of natural disasters or civil strife.
In addition to this operation, WFP is also running a school feeding programme in Haiti that benefits some 290,000 primary school children.
Haiti: the facts
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the poorest and most disadvantaged countries in the developing world.
76 percent of the total population live on less that US$2 per day while 55 percent live on less than US$1 per day.
Chronic malnutrition is widespread among the most vulnerable, with severe or moderate stunting affecting 42 percent of children under 5. Easily preventable maladies like malnutrition and diarrhoea kill 28 percent and 20 percent of children age 0-5, respectively.
Infant mortality per 1,000 live births is 79 and life expectancy at birth is only 49.4 years.
HIV/AIDS directly affects about 4 percent of the population, the highest infection rate in the region.
2.4 million Haitians cannot afford the minimum 2,240 daily calories recommended by WHO for a normal, healthy life.
For more information please contact:
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Alejandro Lopez Chicheri
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