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World Food Programme Director to Arrive in Haiti

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The head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Josette Sheeran, is set to arrive in earthquake-devastated Haiti on Thursday. In Port-au-Prince, she will meet with Haitians who are depending on WFP's food deliveries to survive.

Sheeran will also hold meetings with government and relief officials on the food aid effort. WFP chairs a "food cluster" which is meant to coordinate all food aid from coming into Haiti from various agencies and charities. This is vital for reducing congestion at ports and landing strips, distributing the food and avoiding overlap. Since the earthquake struck WFP has delivered a million rations to Haitians.

These food deliveries will be increasing. Sheeran said on Monday, "Within the next week, we aim to move the equivalent of 10 million ready-to-eat meals so that people whose homes have been destroyed, and who have no access to cooking facilities, can feed their families."

Sheeran arrives as a "food ambassador" for Haiti, trying to rally international support for feeding 2 million people. WFP is asking for US$279 million for what will be, at least, a 6-month emergency operation. Following her visit, Sheeran will head to Washington, D.C. to continue to build support for feeding Haiti.

WFP operations in Leogane, a town west of Port-au-Prince which was at the epicentre of the Jan 12 earthquake. (Copyright: WFP/David Orr)

Where does the fundraising stand right now? Governments have given US$150 million while the private sector has sent 18 million, including 3 million from online donations. The list of donors includes the United States, Denmark, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Australia, Colombia, and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.

The food relief effort is still in the ready-to-eat meals phase. Foods such as high energy biscuits offer the easiest and fastest way to get life saving sustenance to people. But soon more foods should become available such as rice, vegetable oil, dried beans and lentils. In addition, other special foods to help children's nutritional requirements are being gathered to send to Haiti. Kitchens and humanitarian hubs will also be set up throughout Port-au-Prince.

The Haiti emergency comes at a time when WFP is facing funding shortfalls for many of its programs worldwide. In Sudan alone WFP plans to feed 11 million people this year. Worldwide there are over 1 billion people suffering from hunger, more than any point in history.

To help the World Food Programme please visit www.wfp.org or www.friendsofwfp.org

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • republicanblack

    You know it hurts me to see these people suffer, but can we as a country take in more people, in addition to the problems we have even taking care of our own? Check this story out on the refugees we have taken in and from what countries, you’ll be surprised.

  • J.E.B. Butler

    how do I ensure my donation (by check) is going directly to Hatian relief?

    J.E. Butler, Jr.

  • J.E.B. Butler,

    There are many safe charities out here that ensure your money, all of it, will go to the relief effort in Haiti.

    I would suggest looking at the bottom of the screen, the next time you watch the news. I believe, whether it is MSNBC,ABC,FOX,…that they can direct you where to send your check.

    If however,you plan on a ten dollar donation, then Text Haiti to 90999, this money will go directly to the Red Cross Relief effort in Haiti.

    It’s not too late!

  • Jeb Butler,
    Thank you for your comment and interest in donating to Haiti. At the bottom of my article there are two links to donate to the World Food Programme relief effort. If you are from the United States you can use the link friendsofwfp.org. Click on the donate now button and they will have a section where you can direct the donation to go to the Haiti emergency. If you use the wfp.org link click on the Help Haiti now button. If you have questions you can also e-mail the Friends of WFP and they will get back to you right away. Or just post a comment here.There are other charities as well you can donate to. Please see some of my previous articles where I mention some of them with links including Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and many others.

    Thank you!

  • Jeb,
    In your comment you mentioned donating by check. When you go the friendsofwfp.org site I mentioned in the previous comment you can use their “online check” option and have it directed toward Haiti.

  • Friends of the World Food Program

    As Bill Lambers mentioned, if you’d like to send a check to support the UN World Food Program all you need to do is put “Haiti” in the memo line, or include a note/letter requested to designate your donation for Haiti, and we will do so.

    Friends of the World Food Program
    1819 L St NW, Suite 900
    Washington DC 20036

  • #6,

    Friends? OF? Why not send your check directly to the World Food Program?

  • I see that you are legitimate, but how much actually goes directly to Haiti?

  • Jeannie, if you click on the links in the article, you can learn about the Friends of the WFP. If you check a site like Charity Navigator, you’ll see that almost 95% of their money goes directly to the programs they fund, which is a pretty outstanding record.

  • Lisa,

    Thanks! and..Hello!