CARACAS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is expanding its school meals program in Venezuela to reach more than 110,000 students and school staff in the northwest of the country, building on a pilot program that started in July 2021 in the state of Falcón.

Extending school meals support beyond Falcón to the states of Barinas, Trujillo and Yaracuy, the U.N. World Food Programme will gradually increase the monthly food rations it distributes in 1,000 pre-primary and special education schools. The program targets schoolchildren under the age of six in areas identified by the U.N. World Food Programme as most affected by hunger. The long-term goal is to provide meals in 11 Venezuelan states, reaching up to 1.5 million people by the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

“What the children receive today will have a positive effect on them for the rest of their lives,” said Marco Selva, the U.N. World Food Programme’s deputy country director in Venezuela. “This expansion reaffirms our commitment to provide nutritious food to children at this critical stage, when their brains and bodies need it to reach their full potential.”

“We have received very positive feedback from parents in Falcón who, after several cycles of distribution, tell us that their children are livelier, putting on weight and eager to go to school,” Selva added.

In total, more than 156,000 U.N. World Food Programme take-home rations have been collected at schools in the state of Falcón by parents or guardians on behalf of schoolchildren since July. The rations, which aim to cover the caloric requirements of young children for a month, consist of 13 pounds of rice, nine pounds of lentils, one pound of iodized salt and one liter of vegetable oil.

The pilot phase in Falcón was carried out in coordination with school authorities and teachers, and in partnership with non-governmental organizations. The U.N. World Food Programme manages its own supply chain, from purchasing food to distributing rations in schools.

Preparations are underway for the U.N. World Food Programme’s rations to be provided to children in schools, as in-person classes have now resumed after being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.N. World Food Programme engineers are evaluating school kitchens and cafeterias to ensure that hot meals can be safely cooked and served on location.

The U.N. World Food Programme is grateful to international donors that have confirmed funding towards operations in Venezuela which will guarantee implementation of the program until April 2022. The U.N. World Food Programme remains in conversation with potential donors to secure additional funding so that vulnerable Venezuelan children get a head start in life.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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PORT AU PRINCE – Battered by multiple crises in recent years, Haitians who survived the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake are now dealing with crumbled homes, lost livelihoods and limited or no access to food. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is stepping up its ongoing vital support to desperately hungry Haitians in the area and working with the Government and partners to extend support to those newly in need.

“It is heart breaking to see families sleeping on the streets without a roof over them. Their houses have been reduced to dust. Public buildings like schools, churches and hotels where they could have found temporary shelter have also been destroyed,” said Lola Castro, U.N. World Food Programme Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, from Les Cayes in Haiti.

“The earthquake rattled people who were already struggling to feed their families due to economic and climate shocks, and insecurity. The compound effects of multiple crises are devastating communities in the south faced with some of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country.”

The U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide support to 215,000 people in urgent need of food assistance in the Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes departments, the worst affected areas. This is an increase from the 138,000 people we were assisting before the earthquake.

Before the disaster struck, the U.N. World Food Programme was providing food and cash assistance in the south of Haiti. The U.N. World Food Programme has reached 48,000 people in the affected areas since August 14 and distributed over 15,000 hot meals, mostly in hospitals, to patients, their families and medical staff.

Expanding ongoing support, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided food to 13,000 people this week in the remote mountainous areas of Maniche and Camp Perrin, both in the Sud department. With limited access to food, people told the U.N. World Food Programme that they were left to picking fruits from trees to sustain themselves. The U.N. World Food Programme also plans to extend food distributions to food insecure urban areas in the south.

Access to communities in the south was already limited due to recurrent political unrest, gang fights and roadblocks. Damage caused by the earthquake to roads and bridges and heavy rain, following Tropical Storm Grace, are posing further challenges.

Ensuring a coordinated and efficient response to the emergency, the U.N. World Food Programme is working closely with the Haitian General Directorate of Civil Protection and the National Coordination for Food Security.

Maintaining a vital lifeline to the affected south, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) managed by the U.N. World Food Programme, is flying a helicopter with medical and humanitarian supplies as well as frontline workers to support relief efforts. The U.N. World Food Programme is also using trucks and a barge to transport water, hygiene kits, blankets, food and fuel for the humanitarian community.

Haiti is in the midst of the Atlantic hurricane season, predicted to be more turbulent than average. Supporting disaster preparedness efforts in the country, the U.N. World Food Programme had prepositioned food across Haiti to respond swiftly in case of an emergency. The U.N. World Food Programme thanks its donors for flexibility to use resources for the hurricane season for this emergency.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on August 14 has left more than 2,200 people dead and over 12,000 injured with severe damage to roads and public infrastructure.

Note to the editor:

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

WASHINGTON, DC (August 24, 2021) – World Food Program USA has donated $250,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support critical earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. The UPS Foundation, our longtime corporate partner, contributed $100,000 of that donation in addition to providing transportation and logistics support for the emergency response. The U.N. World Food Programme estimates that 215,000 Haitians need urgent food assistance.

Following the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake in southwestern Haiti on August 14, the U.N. World Food Programme swiftly mobilized to provide logistics support to the Haitian government, in addition to transporting government and humanitarian staff to affected areas along with medical and emergency relief supplies – water, hygiene kits, blankets, food and fuel.

“We are committed to helping Haitians recover from this devastating disaster and are grateful for the support of The UPS Foundation and individual donors who have made this donation possible,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA. “This funding helps support the U.N. World Food Programme’s relief efforts on the ground, which has included hot meals or cash transfers to 9,000 people, as well as logistics support for medical relief operations and providing food in hospitals to injured people, their families and medical staff.”

“Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti,” said Joe Ruiz, vice president of social impact and The UPS Foundation. “The UPS Foundation is committed to delivering disaster relief and improving the well-being of the Haitian community by tapping into our partnerships and innovative logistical expertise for health and humanitarian solutions to those impacted by this awful disaster.”

The earthquake struck as Haiti was already coping with multiple crises, including widespread hunger, political instability, gang violence and rising food prices – all in the midst of an active hurricane season. Haiti has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the world. Nearly half the population (about 4.4 million) was already struggling to put food on the table, and of those, 1.2 million are facing severe hunger. The U.N. World Food Programme, which has operated in Haiti since 1969, provided food assistance to 900,000 Haitians in 2020, with plans to reach 1.3 million in 2021.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit wfpusa.org/mission-history.

 

Media Contact:
Toula Athas
Director, Communications
World Food Program USA
tathas@wfpusa.org
202-627-3940

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