Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Haitians say thank you

United Nations World Food Programme Bulletin

Posted by Jessica Lennon

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Dear Supporter,

I’ve been moved by the tremendous outpouring of support we’ve received for our lifesaving work in Haiti. You are truly making a difference.

We thought you’d like to hear “thank you” directly from Haitians you’re helping. Even as they struggle to cope with the devastation after the earthquake – losing their homes, their jobs, their friends and family – they wanted to thank you for the hope you’ve given.

Watch the video to see the impact you’re making on people’s lives through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP): http://bit.ly/bPGRKN

Now it’s my turn to personally say thank you. When many Haitians thought they had no future after the earthquake struck, donors in the U.S. generously stepped forward.

What we’ve been able to accomplish in Haiti, thanks to people like you, is truly remarkable. The gifts we have received have been immediately put to good use. We have:

-- Provided more than 4 million people with food assistance. We’re also responding to the special needs of children and pregnant women.

-- Started cooking meals for schoolchildren in Port-au-Prince. The goal is to reach 72,000 children from some 148 schools. This is in addition to school meals programs that have already resumed in many parts of the country.

-- Put nearly 500 staff on the ground, operating around the clock to ensure as many people as possible receive the food assistance they need.

That’s just the beginning of our urgent relief and recovery work in Haiti. Part of our recovery strategy is to support people who are at risk, boost attendance and learning through school meal programs, and empower the local population to rebuild their lives.

Throughout the weekend, we’ve been tracking two additional tragedies -- flooding triggered by heavy rains in parts of Haiti where earthquake survivors are living in camps, and the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday.

While the quake was far stronger than the one that struck Haiti, human suffering in Chile will be far less extensive due to the location of the earthquake and the country’s long history in preparing for such disasters. Our teams are on standby to help if needed.

I am heartened to know that individuals like you will step forward when called upon, not only to extend a lifeline in a crisis but also on behalf of the billion people who are chronically hungry around the world.

Because the World Food Program relies entirely on voluntary contributions, our critical work would not be possible without your support. You demonstrated the power of individuals to come together and make a tremendous difference.

Thank you,

Josette Sheeran
Executive Director, World Food Program
On behalf of Friends of the World Food Program
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