International

World Food Program Says Aid To Haiti Is Ramping Up Quickly

Within the next week it will deliver "the equivalent of 10 million ready-to-eat meals" to the people of Haiti, the World Food Program's executive director just told reporters.

Today alone, Josette Sheeran said, the WFP will deliver 180,000 "ready-to-eat rations plus rice and high-energy biscuits."

During a conference call that's still underway, Sheeran also said that "within 30 days we expect to be reaching 2 million people" with "daily food needs."

She issued a "global appeal for meals-ready-to-eat" from nations around the world.

Still, Sheeran warned, "the scale needed is huge" and major problems remain — particularly getting Haiti's port in working shape and opening other routes into the country, which was devastated by last Tuesday's massive earthquake.

We'll update this post with more news as the conference call continues, so be sure to hit your "refresh" button.

Update at 10:42 a.m. ET: WFP needs $280 million to fund all this, Sheeran says. And it is appealing to other nations for helicopters and trucks. Finally, it is critical, she says, that Haiti's main port be restored and roads cleared.

Update at 10:37 a.m. ET: The scale is daunting. Sheeran just said WFP will need the equivalent of "100 million meals-ready-to-eat over the next 30 days" — which is why the agency is issuing an urgent appeal to nations around the world that can produce them.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: Speaking about the difficulty of getting aid to the people in need and reports that many still have not been reached, Sheeran just said:

"It is natural that you'll see this kind of confusion" because of the extent of the destruction in Haiti and the challenges it raises. "But there's never been a lack of commitment ... from governments around the world ... the private sector ... individuals."

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. From WFP's perspective, Sheeran just said, in the past two days "we're seeing the amount of food that can flow doubling, and now tripling and every day it's increasing again. ... This is natural, this is what happens. ... That scale-up is happening."

For more of NPR's coverage of the crisis in Haiti, click here.

If you're looking for information on charities doing work in Haiti, click here.

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