UN Seeks $17 Million to Address Haitian Food Crisis

About 1.5 million Haitians face severe hunger following extreme weather conditions and depleted harvests in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, the United Nations’ World Food Programme said.

The WFP said it is “extremely concerned” about food shortages after Haiti’s harvests were diminished by drought and Hurricane Sandy, which killed 54 people and destroyed more than 90,000 hectares (222,000 acres) of crops in October last year. An additional 6.7 million Haitians struggle to meet their own food needs on a regular basis, the Geneva-based organization said in a statement.

The organization plans to assist 1.1 million Haitians in 2013 and needs an additional $17.2 million to provide sufficient food resources, said Elisabeth Byrs, a WFP spokeswoman.

Severe food insecurity is above 50 percent in 44 national communes in Haiti, according to the the National Coordination for Food Security.

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