World Vision: Vulnerable Must Be First in Line at Launch of City-Wide Food Distributions in Haiti

Jan 30, 2010, 23:15 ET from World Vision U.S.

- World Vision to feed 400,000 as part of joint distribution starting today

- In partnership with World Food Program, agencies to reach some 1.6 million people

- World Vision explains precautions taken to ensure distributions protect families' safety, dignity

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- World Vision will join seven other aid agencies today to begin a massive distribution of food provided by the World Food Program. The distribution effort, with support of the Haitian Government, is expected to reach some 1.6 million people throughout Port-au-Prince, some living in volatile areas that have so far received little aid.

During the two-week distribution period, World Vision, along with Save the Children, Concern, CARE and others, will distribute two-week supplies of rice at 16 distribution sites across Port-au-Prince.  

World Vision alone will distribute 84 metric tons of rice to feed 17,000 people at sites in Delmas and Nazon today. The agency plans to add two more sites in the often-dangerous district of Cite Soleil on Wednesday. Distributions will continue daily at all four sites, reaching approximately 400,000 people.

"Cite Soleil sites require additional preparation time due to the high density of population and additional security concerns," said Jean-Claude Mukadi, World Vision's relief response director in Port-au-Prince. "But we will get food to Cite Soleil as soon as we can ensure that people will be safe and that food will get to those who need it the most."

To ensure proper precautions are in place, the agency provided registration "coupons" to local leaders who will help identify the families that are most vulnerable and in need of food.  

In addition, World Vision staff ensured that each distribution site was appropriate in its size and location to ensure safety after conducting security assessments at each site. The United Nation's stabilization forces (MINUSTAH) and US Marines will provide security at the distribution sites.

Finally, to ensure that the distribution process protects the dignity of families, human rights organizations and World Vision's own child protection experts will help at distributions, while more than 100 staff members have been trained in humanitarian protection and security in the last few days.

"Staff will focus on ensuring families are treated with dignity and that the most vulnerable are first in line," said Mukadi. "We're also reaching out in new ways to make sure that people are informed and know what to expect."

World Vision is communicating through Creole-language radio messages, SMS text distributions and directly through community leaders and mobilizers to promote child protection and practical information about the distribution process.

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org

SOURCE World Vision U.S.



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