Byrs requested immediate food aid to the World Food Program and stressed the COVID-19 emergency harmed food production. The UN representative expressed her concern about possible famines after the virus outbreak aggravated the severe social situation in Haitian territory.
"The situation had already worsened by 2019, but has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the closure of ports and airports," said Byrs. The functionary also pointed out those preventive measures like social isolation and institution closure made food access difficult for children and other vulnerable sectors. As Byrs explained, infants had their main food provision in schools.
"We are particularly concerned about the malnutrition of children because with the reduced food supply they are often the ones who suffer the most," Byrs added. The UN spokesperson also explained that after Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise declared a food emergency, prices soared more than 30%.
For his part, the Haitian president promises to send monetary aid to families affected by hunger. "We promised to help 1,500,000 families. I know this money hasn't reached us yet. I'll work to make sure the money reaches you directly. We prefer museums by road, but we bring good news. I'm announcing that there are people in four departments who are receiving money earlier this week" the president posted on his official Twitter profile.
Given the current situation, the World Food Program resumed food distribution in 5 provinces and prioritizes children in the delivery strategies. Besides, the less solvent families are considered into a preference to receive food aid.