Photo: WFP/Antoine Vallas

Statement From World Food Program USA President and CEO on Earthquake in Haiti

August 17, 2021

By Barron Segar

All of us at World Food Program USA have been heartbroken by the startling images of grieving families and devastated communities coming out of Haiti following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Saturday. As of August 16, the effects of the earthquake include over 1,300 fatalities, more than 5,000 people injured and 4,000 homes destroyed.

Americans watching and reading the breaking news reports are reminded of the devastation Haiti has already endured, including the massive earthquake in 2010 that left more than 200,000 dead and countless families homeless. The country is still recovering, even a decade later. Now, this quake is impacting vulnerable families as they deal with the increased threat of COVID-19, as well as multiple manmade crises: political instability, gang violence and high food prices. Even before this weekend’s earthquake, nearly half the population – 4.4 million people – needed immediate food assistance and over 1.2 million of them are suffering from severe hunger.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is working closely with the Haitian government and authorities on the front lines of this emergency to support logistics efforts, transport lifesaving supplies and humanitarian workers to affected areas, and deliver emergency food assistance to people in field hospitals in Les Cayes and Jérémie. And, thanks to the U.S. government’s Agency for International Development (USAID), we have 3,500 metric tons of food prepositioned across the country to respond swiftly in case of disasters such as this one. This includes rice, beans and vegetable oil and can support up to 270,000 people for one month.

But a month-long state of emergency has just been declared by the government, and survivors will need weeks of support to get back on their feet.

We cannot do this work alone. I’m calling on the American people to please give their most generous gift today so we can ramp up our logistics response and rush lifesaving support to the people of Haiti. With your donation, the U.N. World Food Programme can deliver food to help people in urgent need when disaster strikes. A gift of $75 can provide an emergency box of food that can feed a family of five for an entire month. Please donate today.

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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©(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/about-us.

Media Contact:
Bo Bartley
Senior Manager, Public Relations
bbartley@wfpusa.org
202-627-3737