In Major Breakthrough, WFP Gains Access to International Airport and Violence-Hit Cité Soleil Area of Haiti’s Capital

Published June 3, 2024

PORT-AU-PRINCE – After more than two months of blockages due to violent clashes between armed groups, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has made important progress, delivering truckloads of food to the highly vulnerable neighborhood of Cité Soleil – host to pockets of catastrophic hunger (IPC phase 5) in late 2022 – and also resuming use of the international airport at Port-au-Prince for humanitarian passenger and cargo flights.

“Despite an exceptionally complex security situation, the U.N. World Food Programme is taking important first steps in getting humanitarian supply chains back online and delivering desperately needed assistance to the most difficult neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince,” said Jean-Martin Bauer, U.N. World Food Programme country director in Haiti.

“These improvements need to be extended to the ports in Port-au-Prince, which remain hard-hit by the volatile security situation. Without sustained humanitarian access and the reopening of vital supply routes, people risk slipping even deeper into hunger,” Bauer warned.

Details of U.N. World Food Programme activities since the beginning of the crisis:

  • A U.N. World Food Programme-chartered cargo plane landed in Port-au-Prince on May 30, transporting vital medical supplies for humanitarian partners. This marks the first United Nations humanitarian cargo flight to land in the capital since the crisis broke out in March 2024.
  • The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has also resumed passenger flights to the airport, which was closed in early March due to insecurity.
  • Over a two-week period in May, over 1 million pounds of rice, beans, and vegetable oil were distributed to nearly 93,000 people in Cité Soleil, including breastfeeding mothers and children who had been cut off from humanitarian assistance due to the fresh wave of violence in the capital.
  • In addition to Cité Soleil, the U.N. World Food Programme has rapidly expanded its food assistance across the capital since March. More than 1 million hot meals have been distributed to over 108,000 internally displaced people living in temporary shelters at 87 sites.
  • The recent crisis hit at a time when Haitians were already facing extreme food insecurity – with half of the population – or 5 million people – acutely food insecure, according to the March 2024 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report.
  • Since the beginning of the year, the U.N. World Food Programme has assisted over 1 million people across Haiti, including nearly 394,000 schoolchildren who received school lunches. Some 45% of the children received meals prepared entirely with locally sourced ingredients.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme has also distributed over $8 million in cash directly to vulnerable people under its emergency, resilience and social protection program.

Note to the editor:

Video News Release available here.

Photos available here.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the world’s leading 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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