PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI- A shortage of funds has forced the U.N. World Food Program to announce on Monday that it will not be able to aid 100,000 Haitians this month.
According to the agency, the 25% cut comes as 4.9 million people in the country of nearly 11 million need food assistance.
“These cuts could not come at a worse time, as Haitians face a multi-layered humanitarian crisis, their lives, and livelihoods upended by violence, insecurity, economic turmoil, and climate shocks,” said Jean-Martin Bauer, the agency’s director for Haiti.
According to the agency, its Haiti response plan is only 16% funded. If $121 million isn’t secured by the end of this year, it won’t be able to provide food to a total of 750,000 Haitians.
“Unless we receive immediate funding, further devastating cuts cannot be ruled out,” Bauer said.
In the first half of this year, the World Food Program has provided more than 450,000 school children with hot meals, often the only food they receive throughout the day.
Haiti has the second highest level of food insecurity per capita in the world, with nearly 5 million people struggling to eat every day, according to the agency. Approximately 115,000 children younger than five are also expected to suffer from malnutrition this year, a 30% increase compared with last year.
As a result of gang violence, transportation of goods has been paralyzed and people are unable to leave their homes.