PANAMA – In the wake of the three devastating hurricanes Fiona, Ian and Julia that gathered strength in the Atlantic Ocean in September and October causing heavy rain, flooding and mudslides, WFP is providing emergency food to 800,000 people affected in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as logistical and technical support to governments and partners. Ahead of the hurricane season, WFP prepositioned food, equipment and staff across the region.
Looking beyond the immediate response, WFP is strengthening the resilience of communities helping them adapt to the changing climate. In the first half of 2022, WFP assisted more than 630,000 people through activities such as restoring land and forests, introducing more climate-resilient practices, asset creation and income generation and providing access to climate insurance.
As the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27), the largest annual gathering on climate action, gets underway, WFP is calling for investment in building community resilience so that vulnerable people are able to withstand shocks better.
A combination of extreme weather patterns, a slow recovery from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and ripple effects of the war in Ukraine, are pushing millions more into food insecurity. Currently nearly 10.6 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean are facing food insecurity, up from 8.7 million in January this year. WFP plans to reach 9 million people this year and urgently requires US$366 million to cover its operational costs over the next six months.
- In the Dominican Republic, 5,800 people were assisted with food. Cash transfers were disbursed to 2,250 people, for the first time, ahead of the hurricane, based on weather forecasts. WFP also donated 75 metric tons of fortified nutritious food (Supercereal) for 17,500 people. Satellite teams and service lines were delivered to the government’s emergency operations center.
In Cuba, 500,000 people were reached with food rations - rice, beans and oil for two months.
In Honduras, WFP distributed 8,000 food packets, enough for 40,000 people for one month.
In La Guajira, Colombia, WFP and partners assisted 35,000 people with food, hygiene, shelter and water packages to cover their basic needs. Another 12,000 people will receive food, cash and vouchers. In addition, WFP provided logistical support to the government to distribute 117 metric tons of food to those affected.
In El Salvador, WFP assisted 4,700 people in more than 50 shelters throughout the country. In addition, 7,200 people will receive cash for three months, allowing beneficiaries to buy food near their homes.
In Nicaragua, WFP started delivering food in about 24 hours after the hurricane hit. A total of 27,500 people, mainly women heads of households, received food packages. Logistical and operational support was also provided.
In Guatemala, 83,000 people in Alta Verapaz, Huehuetenango, Izabal and Quiché received either food or cash.
Series of tropical waves
- In the first emergency response since opening its country office in Venezuela in 2021, WFP is supporting 20,000 people with food for three months in La Guaira, one of the areas most affected by mudslides and flooding, and in Mérida, Táchira, Trujillo and Zulia. WFP also donated four mobile storage units.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.