Government of the Netherlands
Development minister Bert Koenders has decided to donate €3.3 million in emergency aid to the victims of the hurricanes in Haiti.
The Dutch contribution will be made through the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Red Cross.
The UN estimates that 800,000 people – some 10% of the population of Haiti – need humanitarian aid. The International Red Cross is providing shelter and medicine, while the WFP is to provide food for the next six months. The main problem faced by aid organisations is that many of the stricken areas are not only still flooded but also cut off, because roads and bridges have been destroyed by the hurricanes.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Over half the population lives in extreme poverty on less than one dollar a day. The hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike have exacerbated an already critical humanitarian situation.
The country has been hard hit by the hike in global food prices, causing basic food costs to rise by an average of 40% this year. To make matters worse, this year's harvest has been almost entirely lost.