Humanitarian convoys attacked in Haiti, as desperation turns into anger

Posted by on Friday, October 14, 2016 Under: Haiti Hurricane Matthew
Image result for World Food Program trucks in Haiti

It's been over a week since Haiti has been left devastated by the effects of Hurricane Matthew. Over  1.000 are reportedly dead while hundreds of thousands more are feared to have been displaced and, over 1 million plunged in food insecurity. Haitian officials and non profits organisations are racing against time to funnel humanitarian aid and sanitary supplies to the most affected areas, and they are having an incredibly hard time to do so, as trucks transporting food, water and other rescue and first aid materials are attacked by angry locals. 

Yesterday, Carlos Veloso, the director of the World Food Program in Haiti has denounced attacks that targeted humanitarian convoys and slowed arrival of aid to the victims of the hurricane.  
"Unfortunately, there are people trying to take advantage of this humanitarian effort and we lost due to theft, quantities of food," he told AFP 

"This will delay all our efforts to bring food to the public, or otherwise we must take steps too expensive by helicopter, and will not happen to carry the same amount to the same places," dreads the Director of the World food program in Haiti.  

A week after the hurricane made landfall, many people in some of the most severely affected areas are still desperately waiting for any type of governmental or humanitarian aid to reach them, and their desperation have turned quickly into anger; several humanitarian convoys have been blocked by barricades and, in some cases, looted on the road crossing the southern peninsula. 

The memories of the disastrous management of post-quake aid funds are still very fresh in the minds of Haitian victims, and many have a real fear that they soon will be forgotten, just as the millions donated.  

"I understand the despair of people, but they should help us: we must let the help go through," pleaded the Director of WFP. "There are places that will receive first and others in a second phase, but we must do so in an organized way, because we can not go in all places at once." 

Experts said that Haiti has lost 10 years of food crops due to the devastating winds and rains of the storm. Even before the hurricane, some 3.5 million Haitians, out of a total population of 12 million were already facing food insecurities.

Since last week, more than 700 tons of food were transported to the southern department of Grand-Anse by the World Food Program, including 192 tons that have already been distributed to 23,000 people.

In : Haiti Hurricane Matthew