GENEVA, Switzerland – Haiti is facing a humanitarian catastrophe as it struggles with malnutrition, gang violence, inflation and a cholera outbreak, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, October 14.
Some 4.7 million people, almost half the population of Haiti, are facing hunger, with about 19,000 people in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Cite Soleil facing “catastrophic hunger,” the WFP said.
“Haiti is facing a humanitarian catastrophe,” Jean-Martin Bauer, the WFP’s country director in Haiti, told reporters, adding that the situation there is “close to breaking point.”
“The situation is concerning, this is a catastrophe and we need to respond to it immediately,” he added.
Haitian gangs have for a month prevented the distribution of diesel and gasoline, crippling businesses and hospitals, and creating shortages of basic goods, including water, just as the country is struggling with a new outbreak of cholera.
Another UN official added that 100,000 children in Haiti under the age of 5 were suffering from severe malnourishment, adding: “They are especially vulnerable to this cholera outbreak.” – Rappler.com