Josette Sheeran, the director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), arrived in Haiti today to assess the food relief effort for 2 million people. WFP issued a press release today about her visit. To donate to food aid in Haiti please visit www.wfp.org or www.friendsofwfp.org.
Here is the text of the press release:
Josette Sheeran is in Port-au-Prince, on Thursday to assess the situation on the ground following last week’s devastating earthquake. During her 2-day trip, Sheeran will visit those affected by the earthquake and meet government and relief agency officials.
PORT-AU-PRINCE — The emergency operation in Haiti, one of the most complex that WFP has ever mounted, must be expanded further to meet the needs of the earthquake victims, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said on Thursday during a tour of the disaster zone with WFP staff and other humanitariian partners.
“This is one of the biggest scale emergency operations ever, but the magnitude of the need is so huge that we just have to figure out how to scale it up even more,” said Sheeran, who arrived in the Haitian capital early on Thursday from Santo Domingo.
Sheeran, who was in Port-au-Prince to assess the situation on the ground following last week’s devastating earthquake, said more humanitarian flights were landing in Port-au-Prince every day. “We see the scale up happening every day. Step by step it’s getting better, it’s working,” she added.
During her two-day trip, Sheeran was scheduled to visit people affected by the earthquake and to meet government and relief agency officials.
The WFP executive director praised the dedication of humanitarian workers in Haiti, saying they were working around the clock in tremendously difficult conditions. She referred to one WFP staffer who was working tirelessly to bring relief despite having had lost a family member in the quake.
Arriving in Santo Domingo on Wednesday, Sheeran went straight from the airport to visit the injured child of a WFP staffer. Many people working for WFP and its partners were injured in the disaster and many lost their homes.
WFP began distributing food assistance within hours of the earthquake and has launched a US$279 million relief operation to reach 2 million Haitians as well as providing logistical and telecommunications support to the entire humanitarian community.
Since the earthquake struck, WFP has been streaming humanitarian assistance into Haiti, opening up air, sea and land corridors. So far, WFP has distributed approximately 1 million food rations to around 200,000 people in and around Port-au-Prince.