Saturday, January 30, 2010

Save the Children to Distribute Food Rations to 200,000 Children and Families in Haiti in Partnership with World Food Program

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Jan. 29, 2010) — Save the Children will partner with the World Food Program (WFP) to distribute critically needed food supplies to about 200,000 children and families in Haiti affected by the catastrophic earthquake over two weeks ago.

Beginning this Sunday, Save the Children will provide family food rations – enough to feed a family for two weeks – to about 33,000 families (equivalent to 200,000 people) with special attention to women.

Food distribution in Haiti. Photo credit: Colin Crowley.

"Two weeks after the disaster, many families are still without a stable food supply," warned Annie Foster, Save the Children's emergency team leader in Haiti. "Rapid food distribution must begin immediately to save the most vulnerable, especially children."

"Children are the first ones to suffer," said Foster. "While some local markets have reopened, there are only small supplies of food and the prices have risen dramatically."

Save the Children is one of several aid agencies who will assist in a two-week WFP distribution program in and around the city of Port-au-Prince.

U.S. Military to Provide Security During Food Distribution, World Food Program to Transport Food to Sites

The US military will provide security during the food distribution and ensure the boundaries of site areas are properly arranged prior to distribution. WFP is responsible for the secure transportation of the food to the distribution site areas.

"Haitian people keep hearing that food is coming," said Foster. "But many of them have not seen any. They are becoming increasingly impatient.

One of the measures Save the Children took to prevent possible incidents is to get the community involved in the process, so they understand how this distribution will take place."

Several Additional Partners to Help Manage Distribution Sites

Save the Children is working closely with World Vision, Catholic Relief Services and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to manage the multiple WFP distribution sites.

Since the earthquake, Save the Children's health teams have reached more than 85,000 people with medical treatment. The aid agency is also distributing hygiene and household supplies such as soap, towels, cans to hold water, and plastic sheeting for shelter.

Save the Children has worked in Haiti since 1978 and currently has about 250 staff in the country.

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