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Monday, 02 May 2016

International aid struggling to answer Haiti SOS

Haiti is suffering from both a literal and figurative perfect storm of events: earthquakes, extreme weather, drought, poverty and hunger. Over 1.5 million of its inhabitants do not know where their next meal will come from. Nearly 3.6 million have to spend all of their money on feeding themselves, according to official data supplied by the World Food Programme (WFP). The island nation is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake and the WFP is in the midst of an emergency operation. The United Nations agency is hoping to help a million Haitians, but it has warned that it will need €63.4 million to deal with the effects of the drought up until September. Crop losses caused by three consecutive years of drought have been exacerbated by the devastating effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon; 2015 saw a 70% reduction in comparison to 2014. Basic commodities such as rice, corn and beans have become unaffordable to many families. As a result, some 700,000 people are reliant on aid to buy food and the WFP is trying to meet these needs. A further 300,000 people will receive a combination of both money and food. The European Commission has confirmed its economic contribution to this effort and the US has also agreed to provide funding. But it is proving to not be enough.

Source: euractiv