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UN Begins Ticket-for-food Distribution Project in Haiti

By Qin Mei , CRIENGLISH.com

1538 days ago   Article ID# 324129
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World Food Program

BEIJING, CHINA (CRIENGLISH.com) - Some Haitians in Port-au-Prince on Sunday started to get food distributed by the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP) through a special ticket-for-food project.

Nine of the 16 planned WFP food distribution sites started operating, with one outperforming WFP's daily target by feeding 20,500 people. It did so by delivering rice to 3,400 females of households.

The WFP planned to reach 10,000 people a day from each of the 16 food distribution sites scattered in Port-au-Prince.

Up to 2.4 million people now expect to get their food from the United Nations by the end of the 15-day program, which started Sunday.

But only 90,000 people got the food rations on Sunday, falling short of the planned daily total of 160,000 people.

"We did not experience rowdiness. Calm prevailed even though we did not have enough food for everyone, because there was enough food for the coupon holders," said a spokesperson with Samaritan's Purse, an emergency organization that partners with WFP in Cite Soleil, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.

The WFP has decided to distribute food through a ticket-for-food system, with each ticket representing 25 kg of rice which mostly go to senior women in each household.

The system is designed to avoid conflicts between food distributors and the hungry people coming to seek food.

The UN body has so far fed 650,000 people in Port-au-Prince in the 18 days after the 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12.

Haitian authorities have said that the killer quake also destroyed the country's food supply system apart from claiming the lives of at least 170,000 people.

With the new food distribution system, the WFP passes responsibility to partner organizations like Samaritan's Purse, which are closer to those most in need.

These partner organizations in turn might delegate their distribution task to community organizations.

While the Samaritan's Purse spokesman described food distribution cooperation with American and Jordanian military personnel as inspiring, frustration was alleged with the food distribution through Nepalese military personnel in an upscale community where many embassies are located.

The Haitian capital experienced chaos in the last couple of weeks when hungry crowds overwhelmed Uruguayan Air Force and Brazilian Army food distributors.

The United Nations said that such chaos occurs when available food greatly falls behind the number of people arriving for it.

Copyright 2014 CRIENGLISH.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1538 days ago   Article ID# 324129

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