Regular press briefing by the Information Service: Haiti (8 November 2019)
In response to a question from a journalist, Hervé Verhoosel, for the World Food Programme (WFP), said that rising prices, socio-economic unrest and a drop in agricultural production had led to an increase in food insecurity in Haiti in 2019. More than one in three people needed urgent assistance to meet their daily food needs according to the latest food security analysis conducted in October 2019. That was nearly 3.7 million people, of whom 1 million were in “emergency” (IPC phase 4). Amid worsening conditions, the security situation in Haiti had hampered efforts by WFP and other humanitarian organizations to reach people in need over the previous seven weeks. WFP’s school feeding programme had been badly affected, and many deliveries had had to be postponed. WFP had also postponed food distributions through cash-based transfers, which was affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in Haiti who were counting on the assistance to provide food to their families. Despite challenges, WFP was doing its utmost to ensure the continuity of its programmes and continued to organize new distributions and deliveries, each time the security situation permitted. In October, WFP had been able to make successful deliveries to 200 additional schools in and around the capital. WFP was ready to set up air and maritime transport operations in order to provide reliable transport services for the whole humanitarian community. To do that, WFP required USD 2.9 million. WFP was also ready to scale up its food assistance operations, provided more funding was available, and if logistical conditions allowed. According to the most recent IPC report, food insecurity in rural areas had gone up by 15 per cent since December 2018. In Port-au-Prince, 850,000 people were suffering from food insecurity, of whom 200,000 were in “emergency” (IPC phase 4). The situation could deteriorate further — by March 2020, the number of people requiring urgent assistance to meet their daily food needs could stand at more than 4 million.