A boy smiles gratefully in this photo from mid-February, when Fondation Saint Luc distributed 5,100 food kits from FFTP to displaced families. MannaPack rice meals from our partner Feed My Starving Children also were distributed to three hospitals caring for malnourished children. The organization is supporting about 8,000 people forced from their homes. Photo/Food For The Poor

Charity Addresses Urgent Needs and Plans for Long-Term Recovery

Food For The Poor (FFTP) is closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation in Haiti and is poised to respond to the crisis while simultaneously preparing for a comprehensive, long-term recovery strategy.

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Haiti’s government said Thursday that it was extending a state of emergency and nighttime curfew to try and curb violent gang attacks that have seized the capital of Port-au-Prince, according to news reports.

An escalating humanitarian emergency follows recent violent attacks and a mass escape of more than 4,000 violent offenders from the country’s two biggest prisons over the weekend.

The Situation in Haiti: Unprecedented Challenges

The surging violence over the last several days has driven nearly 15,000 people from their homes in Port-au-Prince, 80 percent of which is controlled by armed gangs. That’s in addition to the more than 300,000 people forced to flee their homes in recent years, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.

FFTP’s distribution centers and partners have remained secure through the recent wave of violence.

The United Nations estimates that nearly half of Haiti’s 11 million people need immediate assistance.

Ken Michel, FFTP-Haiti Chief Operating Officer, said FFTP is the best positioned nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Haiti to respond to the immediate needs, with goods already in its Port-au-Prince warehouse, at the port, and en route to Haiti. Supplies are continually distributed and then restocked. Additional containers of aid in the charity’s Coconut Creek, Fla., warehouse are ready to be shipped.

“But we will need so much more to help the huge number of people who need help now and in the future,” Michel said.

FFTP’s Unique Position and Preparedness

FFTP has been actively involved in Haiti since 1986, with offices, warehouses, and a dedicated team on the ground. With almost 400 staff members and 13 distribution centers, FFTP’s extensive network enables the charity to reach displaced families in remote areas in addition to Port-au-Prince.

In the last year, FFTP has maintained its commitment to Haiti, shipping over 800 containers of food and essential items. The charity also responded to a cholera outbreak in 2022.

FFTP is poised to launch a humanitarian aid campaign as soon as security is restored. The focus will be on areas with severe food insecurity, prioritizing families displaced by gang violence.

“The need is far greater in Haiti than we’ve ever seen,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “With secure roadways, we will be able to respond and do everything we want in a very significant, meaningful way. We are aiming big.”

Frequent Distributions of Aid

FFTP has continued to ship tractor-trailer loads of aid to Haiti so they can be cleared at the port in Port-au-Prince. Currently, nearly 150 containers of food, medical supplies, cleaning, hygiene, and household items are at the port, with more en route.

Despite the obstacles of recent months, FFTP continues to look for windows of opportunity to get those goods to families in need.

  • In late February, FFTP-Haiti responded to a request from Réseau National de Défense des Droits de l’Homme, an NGO in Haiti. FFTP provided 200 cases of family food kits, 12 cases of water, 25 cases of blankets, and 25 bags of rice from partner The Republic of China (Taiwan) to displaced families from Carrefour-Feuilles, Cité Soleil, Canaan, Solino, Bel-Air, and La Saline.
  • In mid-February, Fondation Saint Luc distributed 5,100 food kits from FFTP to displaced families. MannaPack rice meals from our partner Feed My Starving Children were also distributed to three hospitals caring for malnourished children. The organization is supporting about 8,000 people forced from their homes.
  • On Saturdays, FFTP-Haiti has opened its doors to safely distribute food to families in need. During the week, the charity provides items such as rice, beans, MannaPack rice meals, water purification tablets, hygiene products, and baby items to pregnant women and nursing mothers from the Nutritional Recovery Center.

Responding to the Crisis and Beyond: FFTP’s Comprehensive Approach

In collaboration with FFTP-Haiti, the organization is developing a long-term strategy for sustainable community development post-crisis. The priorities include housing, agricultural support, education, health care, and youth engagement strategies.

Raine said FFTP remains committed to providing hope, assistance, and a path toward a brighter future for the people of Haiti.

“We have been able to restock the warehouse abundantly to have distributions when we can,” Raine said. “It’s not always predictable when we get a window of opportunity, but the point is our team has kept going ensuring the aid gets through to those that need it.”

Donors can support Haiti relief efforts by visiting foodforthepoor.org/helphaiti.

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 Latin America and the Caribbean. 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 foodforthepoor.org.


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