10 January 2012 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reported today that it will continue to distribute food aid to some 1.5 million people each month through its school meals scheme, mother and children nutrition and food-for-work programmes in Haiti, but insufficient funding remains a concern.
Food prices in the country have risen by 50 per cent since 2010, which means that one out of every two Haitians are experiencing some kind of food shortages, WFP’s spokesperson, Gaëlle Sévenier, told reporters in Geneva.
The agency’s capacity to respond has been affected by a budget deficit of $18 million for the next six months, she said.
According to Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the initial appeal for Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the massive earthquake two years ago that sought $1.5 billion was 75 per cent funded.
Last year, humanitarian agencies received only 54 per cent of the requested $382 million, Ms. Byrs said, urging donors not to forget that the country still faces great humanitarian challenges as one of the world’s poorest country’s even before the quake.
This year, some $231 million is required to continue efforts against the cholera outbreak and to fund other relief programmes, she added.