On January 12 A high-magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti transforming its capital PORT-AU-PRINCE, in a disaster area. Over 45 aftershocks have been reported so far, pushing people to abandon their damaged or destroyed homes to seek refuge in the open spaces of parks, stadiums, and roads.
Those remaining with no place to go congregate in parks and open spaces afraid to return to their damaged or destroyed houses. This earthquake has been Haiti’s worst disaster in two centuries and has destroyed or wrecked thousands of buildings in and around the capital, leaving a large number of people homeless.
WFP has started a massive effort to assist millions of vulnerable Haitians. 3,000 people were assisted in Jacmel the day after the earthquake. Currently staff is operating from a parking lot in the airport. However WFP personnel has been able to organize distributions of HEB, jerricans and water purification tablets targeting today over 2,500 people. Additional emergency personnel are reaching the disaster by plane via Panama, El Salvador Dubai, Australia, Italy and the Dominican Republic to scale up operations as soon as possible.
WFP trucks bring life-saving emergency rations to hospitals and distribution points.
MINUSTAH troops are escorting the convoys to help control the hungry crowds concentrating in distribution points across the city.
In the meantime and despite massive logistic challenges WFP is planing to scale up operations to assist 2 million people (or two thirds of the population in the affected area) for a period of six months.
WFP has started a massive effort to assist 2 million hungry Haitians. As there are no cooking facilities available, high energy biscuits and other ready-to-eat foods are the best solution initially. The earthquake was Haiti’s worst disaster in two centuries.