Haitians caught up in food crisis receive helping hand from UN Volunteers

29 April 2008 –

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) working in Haiti have helped provide emergency relief to elderly and handicapped residents suffering from the current global food crisis.

Working with the Community Violence Reduction (CVR) section of the UN mission in the Caribbean nation, known as MINUSTAH, UNV assisted in providing some 1,000 elderly and handicapped people with rice and beans.

Earlier this month, violent protests erupted in the capital Port-au-Prince in response to the soaring price of staple foods.

In Haiti, the volunteers have focused on helping the country foster political and institutional stability, and played a pivotal role during the 2006 elections when they were the only monitors operating in parts of the Caribbean island nation.

“Volunteering to save lives brings me personal satisfaction,” said Emmanuel Sannoh, UNV and team leader of the CVR section who has served with MINUSTAH since 2004.

Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote to more than a dozen key Member States, asking for their urgent assistance in addressing the situation in Haiti, which has witnessed a rapid deterioration in socio-economic conditions that threatens to undo the gains achieved by the tiny nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

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