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World Food Programme launches emergency operation to feed 700K in Haiti

The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an appeal for 62 million dollars to provide emergency food assistance to 700,000 people in Haiti, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

The WFP wrote that 3.7 million people, one in three Haitians, need urgent food assistance and of these, 1 million are suffering from severe hunger, according to a national study carried out by the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) in August.

Rising prices, a weak local currency and a drop in agricultural production are all affecting Haitians.

These problems are compounded by social and civil unrest, making many main roads impassable and hindering the distribution of food to poorer households, the WFP said.

The UN-backed agency noted that it has extended the reach of its emergency food assistance and is providing more cash and vouchers to areas affected by food insecurity.

The distribution will be expanded when the security situation allows, the WFP said, adding that in late November, it had chartered a helicopter to reach areas impossible to access by road.

In October, Haiti was roiled by anti-government protests against corruption, fuel shortages and an inflation rate of over 17 per cent.

The country is regarded as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

It is largely dependent on foreign aid and suffers from high levels of corruption and crime.

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