ANTANANARIVO – Tropical Cyclone Emnati, which made landfall in Madagascar on Wednesday, threatens food security and is an example of how weather extremes will trigger runaway humanitarian needs if we do not tackle the climate crisis, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) just days ahead of the launch of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Crashing into vulnerable communities already at breaking point, Cyclone Emnati is bound to deepen hunger including in southern Madagascar, which has been reeling from years of severe drought – another manifestation of the country’s vulnerability to climate extremes. Given how dry the land is in these areas, there are now concerns regarding the risk of flash floods.

The storms – Emnati, Dumako, Batsirai and Ana – have wrecked the island nation, causing widespread damage to agricultural land including the rice crop that was just weeks away from harvest. Cash crops like cloves, coffee and pepper have also been severely affected. In a country where the majority of people make a living from agriculture, an estimated 90% of crops could be destroyed in some areas of affected regions. The back-to-back storms have impacted market supplies with the potential to send food prices soaring and food insecurity spiraling in the coming months. Forecasts predict another tropical system already forming in the south-west Indian ocean.

“What we are seeing in Madagascar is extreme climate impacts – a series of storms and prolonged drought affecting hundreds of thousands of people,” said Brian Lander, the U.N. World Food Programme’s deputy director of emergencies. “While the U.N. World Food Programme is providing essential food in the aftermath of the storms, we need to be equally fast in thinking about how these communities are going to adapt to this new reality.”

As it did to alleviate the impacts of the other recent storms, the U.N. World Food Programme has stepped up to support the government-led response to Emnati with food and cash assistance, prioritizing displaced families in the worst-off locations as well as with IT and logistics support. The U.N. World Food Programme-run United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is operating damage-assessment flights and an airbridge between the capital, Antananarivo, and hard-hit, hard-to-reach areas for aid workers and their equipment.

While the U.N. World Food Programme is in a race against time to assist those affected, our longer-term climate adaptation work helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from climate shocks and stresses. For example, the U.N. World Food Programme’s integrated risk management in the districts of Ambovombe and Amboasary last year reached 3,500 small-scale farmers with insurance, savings and climate-adapted agriculture practices training. The program saw a $350,000 payout during the rainy season and a $157,500 payout during the dry season in 2021. Such programs need to be scaled up, especially for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Across the world, the climate crisis continues to drive global hunger. In 2020, extreme weather contributed to most of the world’s food crises and was the primary cause of severe food insecurity in 15 countries. The U.N. World Food Programme’s effective and scalable solutions, especially in fragile environments, help vulnerable communities adapt to the harsh reality of the climate crisis and preserve development gains.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is 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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Washington, DC | Feb. 6, 2022 – Our hearts go out to those impacted by Cyclone Batsirai, which made landfall on the east coast of Madagascar on Saturday evening with wind gusts of 146 mph. At least six people are confirmed dead and nearly 50,000 displaced to date. Whole villages are reported to be almost completely wiped out. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that as many as 150,000 could be forced to leave their homes. In a double whammy for vulnerable communities, the cyclone comes hot on the heels of Storm Ana two weeks ago, which severely damaged livelihoods, agricultural land, and key infrastructure in Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi.

World Food Program USA is closely monitoring the unfolding crisis and stands ready to support the U.N. World Food Programme’s emergency response. In anticipation of Cyclone Batsirai, the U.N. World Food Programme pre-positioned 50 metric tons of food to quickly provide assistance. The U.N. World Food Programme is also strengthening its supply chain and IT capacities to support the government’s emergency response.

“We stand committed to the people of Madagascar and will do everything we can to reach vulnerable families in their time of need,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA. “But we can’t do it without the support of donors. Please join us as we work to provide urgent relief to storm victims.”

In Southern Africa, where livelihoods and economies are highly dependent on weather fluctuations, frequent climate extremes like cyclones are driving hunger and eroding development. With no time or means to recover, communities rely on humanitarian assistance. In Madagascar, the U.N. World Food Programme helps communities build resilience so they can withstand shocks and protect development. This work is key to mitigating the impacts of increasingly frequent and destructive storms that increase food insecurity.

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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/mission-history.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Lives, livelihoods, and harvest at risk as Tropical Cyclone Batsirai on course to hit Madagascar, already reeling from the impact of Storm Ana that hit in late January, the United Nations World Food Programme warned today. The cyclone is also expected to bring heavy rains to Mozambique.

“Frequent cyclones during the agricultural season mean loss of harvest, high food prices and increased food insecurity,” said WFP Deputy Regional Director Margaret Malu. “The people of Southern Africa have been on the front lines of climate extremes for many years now and each passing storm sets them back, resetting the progress made.”

Two weeks after Storm Ana ploughed through Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi, causing heavy flooding, destruction to homes and public infrastructure and displacing communities, WFP is preparing for the impending arrival of Cyclone Batsirai, expected to hit the east coast of Madagascar over the weekend.

“WFP is on the ground, and we are ready to provide logistics support to governments and NGO partners to aid relief efforts and drones and boats in case of flooding. We have also prepositioned food to be able to quickly provide emergency food assistance.”

In response to Storm Ana, WFP, working closely with governments, has provided logistics support to search and rescue efforts, conducted needs assessments and organized food distributions. WFP continues its lean season food distributions, livelihood programmes and school feeding activities, where possible.

Cyclone Batsirai has the potential to derail relief efforts underway in the aftermath of Storm Ana that hit not only Madagascar but also Mozambique and Malawi, where the impact of Cyclone Idai in 2019 is still fresh in the minds of vulnerable communities who are struggling to build back their lives.

Extreme weather events like cyclones have become more frequent and intense in Southern Africa driving hunger and eroding development, sometimes in a matter of hours. The ongoing cyclone season (October 2021 to May 2022) is expected to see eight to twelve tropical systems.

WFP’s resilience programmes such as building dams and irrigation systems, drought resilient farming methods and rehabilitating forests support food security in the long term and help communities cope with future shocks better.

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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

MANILA – Three weeks after Super Typhoon Odette (known internationally as Rai) devastated a huge swathe of the Philippines, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that nutrition and food security are at risk in communities in hard-hit areas unless immediate food needs are met over the next six months.

“Super Typhoon Odette left a trail of devastation in its wake – affecting millions. Unless we act now and provide badly needed food assistance to affected families, we risk seeing a rapid rise in preventable malnutrition,” said U.N. World Food Programme Country Director and Representative Brenda Barton. 11 out of the Philippines’ 17 regions were affected.

Typhoon Odette – the strongest typhoon to strike the Philippine archipelago in 2021- made landfall nine times over an area the size of Austria over two days. Over 7 million people were affected, according to the latest government data, and the typhoon flattened houses, upended lives, and devastated farming and fishing communities which provide a major source of income and livelihoods. It caused massive electricity and telecommunications outages that are still affecting many areas.

“Advance preparations and early response by the government have been laudable. Death rates have been relatively low and emergency support is rolling out to communities. But the road to recovery is long and more support will be needed,” Barton added.

She underlined highly concerning hunger levels and malnutrition rates pre-typhoon. In some impacted areas like Caraga region, 53 percent of families were unable to afford a nutritious diet while childhood stunting was 36 percent (beyond the World Health Organization threshold, which signifies “very high public health significance.”) Stunting indicates that children are already suffering from long-term deprivation. Their nutritional status puts them greater risk for diseases and even death.

In support of government-led relief and recovery efforts, the U.N. World Food Programme requires $25.8 million to provide food assistance to 250,000 typhoon survivors, alongside emergency logistics and telecommunications support to the broader typhoon response. Of this, $20.8 million is needed for food and cash transfers over the next six months.

Initially, the U.N. World Food Programme will provide food to augment the family food packs given out by the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD), ensuring communities can meet their essential food needs while food prices remain unstable. This will be followed by cash assistance, which will help people to recover while also stimulating the economy in places where markets are already up-and-running.

So far, U.N. World Food Programme has received $4.7 million – from the Governments of Australia, Brazil, Ireland and the US, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), private sector and generous individual donations via the U.N. World Food Programme’s Share The Meal website and app. “Immediate funding is essential if we are to prevent a nutrition emergency – we were already seeing worrisome malnutrition in the affected areas,” Barton added.

When Typhoon Odette hit, the U.N. World Food Programme immediately supported the Philippine Government in its relief efforts, deploying 113 trucks to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the delivery of family food packs, hygiene kits and other non-food relief items. The U.N. World Food Programme and the Department of Information, Communication and Technology have also – for the first time – rolled out innovative mobile emergency telecommunications sets (“MOVE”) which have made it possible for emergency responders to quickly communicate and coordinate in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), women and girls become even more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, human trafficking and gender-based violence after natural calamities such as Typhoon Odette. Unconfirmed incidents of rape, domestic violence and sex in exchange for food have been reported by UNFPA field staff – a result of the desperate situation ignited by the scarcity of food and clean water, and the disruption of community support systems and protection mechanisms brought upon by Typhoon Odette.

“We’re seeing all of these challenges at the present time, and we know that they are linked. That is why we put women’s health, rights, and choices at the center of our humanitarian response to the devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Odette,“ said Dr. Leila Joudane, UNFPA Representative in the Philippines.

Note to editors:

The U.N. World Food Programme’s funding request for $25.8 million to assist 250,000 people is part of the Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) plan which aims to mobilize $107.2 million to assist 530,000 people mostly in typhoon-affected areas from December 2021 to June 2022. UNICEF and the National Nutrition Council co-lead the national Nutrition Cluster comprising: national government, UN , NGO’s and CSO’s.

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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, @WFP_Philippines

MANILA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing crucial emergency logistics and telecommunications support to the Government of the Philippines in its response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Rai. This is the strongest storm to hit the Philippines in 2021 and the third strongest typhoon to strike the Philippines in December since the 1950s.

“Our thoughts are with the families who have been through so much – the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and now this devastating typhoon. The U.N. World Food Programme stands firmly with those living on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Under the Government’s leadership, we will do what is needed to help communities recover from this ordeal and continue building their resilience against future shocks,” said U.N. World Food Programme Country Director Brenda Barton.

Typhoon Rai – known locally as “Odette” – made landfall in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte province, in the southeast of the Philippines, on December 16, bringing torrential rains, heavy winds, storm surges and landslides. After passing through nine central/southern regions, it exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on December 19, leaving behind a massive trail of damage. The storm has affected the lives and livelihoods of more than 1.8 million people, including more than 600,000 people displaced from their homes and sheltering in evacuation sites.

As of December 20, many communities along the typhoon’s path remain without power or telecommunications. Transportation options are still limited, which is hampering relief efforts. The storm struck as countless Filipinos were still facing hardships linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, which have stretched their coping capacity to the limit.

In collaboration with the U.N. World Food Programme, the Government’s Department of Information, Communications and Technology (DICT) rapidly deployed three newly-built Mobile Operations Vehicles for Emergencies (MOVE) units from pre-positioned bases in Butuan, Davao and Tacloban to the disaster zones in Surigao City and Maasin City in Leyte. In Surigao City, the two MOVE units have become the first means to bring connectivity to the Government coordination and response since the communications infrastructure was damaged by the typhoon. The U.N. World Food Programme IT staff on the ground have also helped set up portable MOVE sets in Siargao Island and are now working on Dinagat Island.

The units are part of the six MOVE units the U.N. World Food Programme co-designed and produced with DICT with an aim to strengthen its telecommunications capacity during rapid-onset emergencies.

The U.N. World Food Programme has donated 12 portable satellite communication devices to DICT and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help the authorities coordinate their responses in remote areas, and two mobile storage units and a generator for the establishment of a logistics hub in Surigao City. The U.N. World Food Programme is also providing vital logistics support to transport family food packs to affected areas.

The U.N. World Food Programme and humanitarian partners are closely monitoring the formation of another potential storm which could further impact areas already affected by Rai. The U.N. World Food Programme is also coordinating with FAO to draft a response plan for the Food Security and Agriculture cluster.

As part of a coordinated response by UN agencies, NGOs and private sector partners, the U.N. World Food Programme will continue providing telecommunications and logistics support to the Government, and will require $310,000 for this critical support in the next two weeks.

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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@wfp_media@WFP_philippines, and @WFPAsiaPacific

JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up support for people impacted by the third consecutive year of record floods that are battering South Sudan. The inundation is threatening to reverse gains made in food security as floodwaters swallow up large swaths of farmland and pastures, destroy crops and drown precious livestock and entire villages.

More than 750,000 people 31 counties across eight states have been affected by the floods including 365,000 who have been displaced. In Unity State alone, local authorities indicate that almost 90 percent of the state is under water, leaving very few safe havens for displaced people.

“The climate emergency is very real in South Sudan, causing unspeakable suffering, destroying people’s livelihoods and pushing them deeper into poverty and hunger,” said Adeyinka Badejo, acting Country Director of the U.N. World Food Programme in South Sudan. “The U.N. World Food Programme is re-prioritizing and redirecting its resources to respond to this new crisis. We are delivering vital food and supplies by air to people in areas that have been cut off by floods.”

The U.N. World Food Programme is reaching 300,000 people which is 40 percent of those heavily impacted by recurring floods in South Sudan with food and nutrition assistance. Additionally, communities are being supported to adapt and recover from climate shocks through the construction of dykes to control floodwaters and protect farmlands and people, as well as repairing roads to connect people to local markets and essential services.

The scale of devastation has seriously impacted people’s livelihoods and food production, significantly jeopardizing their food security and nutrition with the harvest this year likely to be lower than last year. The catastrophic floods come on top of continuing conflict, economic crisis and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While scaling up its emergency assistance for the most vulnerable, the U.N. World Food Programme is also working with communities to create long-term solutions that help them prepare for, respond to and recover from climate shocks, such as building and repairing dykes to control floodwaters and roads to improve people’s access to basic services.

“In South Sudan, the U.N. World Food Programme works across all pathways of emergency relief and early recovery and development to create an enabling environment for the people of South Sudan and equip them with the tools to build a future for generations to come,” said Badejo.

Despite efforts to support community resilience to shocks, humanitarian needs in South Sudan continue to outpace resources and the U.N. World Food Programme is at risk of running out of funds to continue its vital emergency operations and livelihoods programs. For the next six months, the U.N. World Food Programme needs $568 million to maintain its operations.

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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, @wfp_media and @WFP_SouthSudan

MANILA, PHILIPPINES– The world faces an exponential increase in hunger fueled by the climate crisis if urgent global action to help communities adapt to climatic shocks and stresses is ignored, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned on World Food Day.

“The climate crisis has the potential to overwhelm humanity. The world is not prepared for the unprecedented rise in hunger we will see if we do not invest in programs that help vulnerable communities adapt and build resilience to our changing climate,” said U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley. “The climate crisis is fueling a food crisis.”

Vulnerable communities, a vast majority of whom rely on agriculture, fishing and livestock, who contribute the least to the climate crisis, bear the brunt of the impacts with limited means to cushion the blow.

Building on this year’s theme for World Food Day, “Our actions are our future- better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life,” the U.N. World Food Programme called on world leaders to recognize the close link between hunger and the climate crisis, urging them to redouble their efforts to address the changing climate in advance of the November 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26).

“The climate crisis is a threat multiplier,” said Brenda Barton, the U.N. World Food Programme’s Representative and Country Director for the Philippines at yesterday’s World Food Day 2021 main event with the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “We see this here in the Philippines where the nexus between high rates of malnutrition, repeated climate shocks and now the COVID pandemic, has put more and more people’s food and nutrition security at risk.”

The Philippines ranks fourth among the countries most affected by climate risks over a 20-year period.

When typhoons and other shocks strike, nutrition worsens. According to a 2019 nutrition survey by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, 64.1% of households are hungry. Malnutrition rates in the Philippines, particularly stunting, remain high and are currently amongst the top ten worst in the world numerically. Almost 30 percent of children under 5 too short for their age. This has a negative, lifelong impact on children’s physical and cognitive development, and consequently, the country’s future human capital.

The U.N. World Food Programme works with the Philippine Government to support needed agriculture interventions and innovative climate-related initiatives including anticipatory actions to mitigate the severe impact of typhoons and other shocks when they do occur. The U.N. World Food Programme provides cash and other assets to thousands of farming and fishing communities to provide sustainable livelihoods and improve their resilience to climate shocks. In addition, the U.N. World Food Programme works with the government in its advocacy to promote the production and consumption of iron-fortified rice to directly reduce stunting cases.

“We must urgently act and act collectively, using innovative ways to manage climate risks and to protect vulnerable communities — especially the farming and fishing sectors on whom we rely to produce the very food we eat every day,” said Barton.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity, and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change. WFP in the Philippines re-established its presence in the country in 2006 at the request of the Government to support the ongoing peace process in the Mindanao region. WFP works closely with the government, other United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, and communities to improve long-term food security while assisting people and communities to build resilience and be better prepared for the consequences of disasters. CLICK HERE to read more.

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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