UN food agency announces ‘heartbreaking’ cuts to Haiti aid

The UN World FoodProgram on Monday announced deep cuts to emergency food assistance in Haitithat will see some 100,000 people go without aid this month, a move a topofficial called ‘heartbreaking.’Halfway through the year, the organization’s response plan in Haiti is only16 percent funded, the agency said, and the cuts amount to a 25 percentreduction compared to June.”These cuts could not come at a worse time, as Haitians face a multi-layeredhumanitarian crisis, their lives and livelihoods upended by violence,insecurity, economic turmoil and climate shocks,” said Jean-Martin Bauer, WFPcountry director for the Caribbean nation.He added: “Unless we receive immediate funding, further devastating cutscannot be ruled out.”In the first six months of 2023, the WFP provided food or cash aid to some1.5 million people, including school lunches for 450,000 children — aprogram now at risk of huge cuts.”Without an injection of funds, nearly half of these children will no longerhave access to school meals when they return to class after the summerbreak,” the agency said.The WFP estimates it requires $121 million through the end of the year inHaiti.”It is heartbreaking. Haiti is a country that has suffered so much,” saidStephane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General. “Andhas been so forgotten, despite the fact that it is so close to so muchwealth.”According to the UN, just under half the Haitian population — about 5.2million people — are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance,including 3 million children.That fragile situation has been further exacerbated by a relentless politicalcrisis compounded by the government’s loss of control of territory to armedgangs.

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