FFTP Rushes Aid As Haiti Reels From Multiple Crises
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 15, 2023) Food For The Poor (FFTP) is rushing desperately needed aid to vulnerable families in Haiti as cholera cases are on the rise again after a one-two punch of flooding and an earthquake.
FFTP’s team in Haiti is mobilizing food and relief kits from goods on the ground and items purchased locally and distributing to them in areas that suffered the brunt of severe flooding nearly two weeks ago and an earthquake just days later in the south of the country.
To date, the charity has:
- Provided food, including rice from longtime partner Taiwan, and hygiene items to Off-The-Grid Missions, an international organization that supports deaf and hearing-impaired individuals and is working with a community in Léogâne.
- Worked with partner Feed My Starving Children Thursday to receive about 100 cases of MannaPack Potato-D. The meals are specially engineered to treat children and adults suffering from cholera symptoms such as diarrhea and help to replace lost nutrients.
- Distributed 100 food kits and other relief items in Port-de-Paix on Wednesday.
- Delivered food, including MannaPack rice meals from partner Feed My Starving Children, to Fontaine Hospital Center in Cité Soleil, where children are being treated for cholera.
- Provided 1,500 bags of rice to each Catholic diocese, about a dozen in total, which are overseeing distribution to parishes.
- Received a donation of 700 plastic gloves and 690 hygiene kits from partner Brother’s Brother Foundation. FFTP is arranging to airfreight the items.
A cholera outbreak that began last fall, then waned in recent months, took a new turn last week after widespread flooding from two days of torrential rains that killed at least 51 people and forced more than 13,000 to evacuate at the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
At least 238 patients have been admitted with cholera symptoms in hospitals in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.
“The number of cases is very alarming,” FFTP-Haiti Executive Director Mario Nicoleau said. “Reports are coming in from many places and many hospitals have no more room for cholera cases.”
The latest natural disasters are the backdrop to a deepening hunger crisis.
According to a new United Nations-supported report, nearly 5 million people are projected to be in acute hunger in Haiti – that’s nearly half the country in the crisis stage of food insecurity, meaning they face above-average levels of malnutrition.
In the wake of the flooding and earthquake, FFTP responded with:
- Three containers filled with hygiene kits, family food kits and two disaster kits and two pallets of 5-gallon buckets that arrived in Haiti on Wednesday.
- Two containers of disaster blankets from partner Matthew 25: Ministries that arrived on May 23, with two more containers set to arrive this month.
- 2,800 family emergency kits from partner GlobalMedic, a charity based in Canada, which are due to arrive in Haiti this month. Each kit provides hygiene supplies, including water purification packets, for an average family of five for three months, or about 14,000 people.
The latest shipments will replenish more than 200 containers of aid including food, medicine and medical supplies that are either en route or at the port in Haiti.
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the charity continues to look for windows of opportunity to deliver aid as it waits for the right moment to respond on a massive scale.
Despite the obstacles, Raine said there are glimmers of hope. In April, the charity was able to safely deliver containers of aid to all 13 regional distribution centers in Haiti even as a fuel crisis loomed. “There was an absolute heroic effort to make that happen,” he added.
Raine said the charity’s latest effort wouldn’t be possible without the support of generous donors and the volunteers who came to FFTP each week in May to pack 10,000 hygiene kits and are working now to pack 14,000 family food kits.
“All of these kits packed by our incredible volunteers – they continue to be amazing support to us,” Raine said.
Earlier this year, FFTP partnered with USAID and Airlink to deliver emergency relief supplies to Haiti through a massive humanitarian air bridge to Port-au-Prince in response to a cholera outbreak. That effort is expected to resume this month.
The supplies sent to Haiti include 107 pallets containing 3,852 cases of MannaPack rice meals in the charity’s Coconut Creek warehouse from Feed My Starving Children, and 88 cases of IV solutions plus medical gloves from St. Louis Park, Minn.-based Matter.
Outside the USAID agreement, Airlink shipped five pallets of family emergency kits on behalf of GlobalMedic, which include P&G Water Purification Sachets, buckets and lids, cloths, bars of soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and solar-powered lights. Those supplies, which arrived in Haiti in January, were distributed to 400 families.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.