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WFP warns of a “significant” increase in hunger in Port-au-Prince due to violence and the economic crisis in Haiti

Archive – Archive image of a protest in Haiti – ADAM DELGIUDICE / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

MADRID, July 12 (EUROPA PRESS) –

The World Food Program (WFP) has warned this Tuesday of a “significant” increase in hunger in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and other areas in the south of the country, where about half of the population is in a situation of food insecurity, due to the increase in violence by armed gangs and the deepening of the economic crisis.

The agency has highlighted that insecurity in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and its surroundings has worsened drastically since the beginning of May, which has affected supply chains and access to basic services such as markets, schools and hospitals.

“Large parts of the population have been cut off from the economic heart of the country. This comes at a time when Haiti is dealing with the effects of COVID-19, recent natural disasters, high inflation and rising costs. by the conflict in Ukraine”, explained the director of the WFP in Haiti, Jean-Martin Bauer.

“We are seeing a significant increase in hunger in the capital and the south of the country, with Port-au-Prince hit harder,” he lamented, according to a statement published by the agency.

The violence is also causing a protection crisis and makes it difficult for the population to obtain and pay for food, amid rising inflation and food and fuel prices, in a context of a global food crisis caused by of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

In this sense, the WFP has highlighted that inflation in the country is around 26 percent and has recalled that the country is “particularly vulnerable” to ‘shocks’ in the international food and fuel markets, given that it imports 70 percent of its cereals.

In addition, the next hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean is expected to be more active than normal, which could endanger the lives and livelihoods of Haitians in vulnerable situations.

The security situation is also having an impact on humanitarian aid delivery operations, especially due to the blockade of the road that leads to the southern peninsula for nearly a year, which has left nearly 3.8 million people isolated. they live in the departments south of Port-au-Prince.

The departure to the north from the capital has also been affected recently, so the WFP is using maritime routes as an alternative to deliver aid in the south and north of the country.

“The only safe option for humanitarian workers to travel is by air, but without adequate funding the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) faces imminent closure at the end of July,” Bauer warned.

“Ultimately, this puts at risk not only WFP aid, but humanitarian operations in the country,” he explained. The WFP is facing a lack of funds worth 39 million dollars (about 38.5 million euros) for its response during the next six months in Haiti.

Source: Europa Press

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