WFP Launches ShareTheMeal Campaign To Raise 150,000 Meals For Children In Haiti To Mark Canada’s 150th Anniversary

CANADA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today launched the #ASK1TOASK1 campaign, asking all Canadians to join the challenge to raise 150,000 meals for children in Haiti through the ShareTheMeal app to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary. 

Every day, countless children in Haiti turn up for school on an empty stomach, which makes it hard to focus on lessons. A daily school meal can mean not only better nutrition and health, but help the next generation reach its full potential. The #ASK1TOASK1 ShareTheMeal campaign will allow WFP to scale up their Home Grown School Meals programme in Haiti.
It costs just $4.55, less than a bottle of maple syrup, to provide one week of nutritious meals to children in school through the ShareTheMeal app! The app allows users to share nutritious food with hungry children around the world by simply tapping on their smartphone and donating $0.65 or more.  
“WFP’s ShareTheMeal app and the #ASK1TOASK1 campaign provides Canadians with an easy way to share meals with hungry children in Haiti,” said Robert Opp, a Canadian who is Director of Innovation and Change Management at WFP.  
“Daily school meals allow children to focus on their studies rather than their stomachs, feeding their dreams for the future.”
Haiti has been repeatedly affected by a series of devastating natural disasters over the last two decades.  2016 was the third consecutive year of El Nino-related drought, and the country was hit by the category 4 Hurricane Matthew, which left more than 800,000 people in need of urgent food assistance.

In Haiti, WFP is working together with the Government to produce a sustainable, nationally-owned, school feeding programme linked to local agricultural production. WFP procures local commodities such as rice, fresh fruit and vegetables from the local smallholder farmers, giving them a predictable market for their products and the children enjoy a healthy diversified school meal.

Join WFP Ambassador Against Hunger, George Stroumboulopoulos and other celebrities like World Champion Wrestler Andre Berto, Singer Dawn Richard and Canadian national Olympic Weightlifter Isabel Lahela who have all committed to help fundraise for the children in Haiti. To get involved, simply download the free app, join team #Canuck and once you have fed a child for a week share with your social media network, using the hashtag #ASK1TOASK1.
WFP’s award-winning app has engaged a new generation in supporting the fight against hunger. More than 850,000 people have downloaded the app and shared over 14 million meals with thousands of vulnerable children in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Malawi, Cameroon, South Sudan and Yemen.  

The ShareTheMeal community recently contributed to WFP’s famine response in South Sudan, where users shared 1 million meals with those people in dire need of food.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
ShareTheMeal allows smartphone users to share their meals with hungry people via a free iOS and Android app. ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator.
Download the app here:
For more information, please visit:

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_Canada and @ShareTheMealorg
For more information please contact (email address: [email protected]):
Julie Marshall, WFP/Toronto, Tel. 905 818 2664

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News in Brief 11 October 2016 (AM) – Geneva

11 Oct 2016

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A camp for displaced persons in Port au Prince, Haiti, where residents get bleach and water purification tablets for cholera prevention. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

One million cholera vaccines ready to tackle Haiti cholera spike

One million doses of cholera vaccine are to be sent to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew, UN health experts said Tuesday.

The disease has claimed more than 9,000 lives since 2010.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned that nearly 30,000 cases have already been identified this year.

Here’s WHO cholera expert Dr Dominique Legros.

“The important thing is that we have seen a very sharp decrease between the beginning of the outbreak in 2010 and 2013-2014, with figures which were much, much less, but since 2014 every year we have seen again an increase of cases. And 2016 we have seen more cases than 2015. The reason is simple: these people still lack access to clean water.”

The hurricane has accelerated the existing cholera epidemic in the Caribbean country, which has seen almost 800,000 cases in the last six years.

Latest government figures indicate that hurricane Matthew claimed 372 lives in the south-east and north-west of the country, and affected more than two million people.

Polio immunisation campaign targets 41 million children in Lake Chad basin

A massive vaccination campaign is under way in the Lake Chad region of Africa to contain a polio outbreak in north-east Nigeria.

UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund has called for renewed international support, warning that 41 million children are at risk.

The agency’s Christophe Boulierac highlighted that populations in the region which covers Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria are already reeling from violence linked to Boko Haram extremists.

“The re-emergence of polio after two years with no recorded cases is a huge concern in an area that is already in crisis. The population fleeing conflict are on the move within the sub-region which is raising concerns that the virus could spread across borders.”

Nearly 39,000 health-workers have been mobilised to go into areas recently liberated by the Nigerian army in the north-east of the country.

They’ve also been tasked with reaching an estimated 400,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

UK’s announcement on Calais Jungle children welcomed

A decision by the UK government to allow children into the country who’ve been living at an infamous shelter on the French coast has been welcomed by the UN Children’s Fund, (UNICEF).

The UK authorities’ announcement comes ahead of the planned closure of the so-called “Jungle” encampment outside the port town of Calais.

Here’s UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe.

“With the imminent demolition of the so-called Jungle in the north of France, UNICEF very much welcomes the announcement by the UK Home Office to take children with family ties to the UK before the bulldozers come in within the next week.”

The UN agency says that it does not know how many children will be relocated, and that it has yet to learn how the French authorities intend to help the remaining youngsters from the camp who do not have family in the UK.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3’09″

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The Number of People Displaced By Conflict and Disaster Has Reached a Record High

Ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees released their annual “Global Trends” report on the state of refugees in the world today. The data are staggering.  There are now  more refugees and internally displaced persons in the world than at any point since World War II – estimated at nearly 60 million have been driven from their homes by conflict and upheaval.

The current displacement crisis facing the world can be traced back to 2010 when refugee numbers started to sharply increase after years of steady decline. Conflicts in Afghanistan, Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic contributed to the increase, but natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, devastating floods in Pakistan and typhoons in the Philippines and China also added millions to the rolls of displaced.

But while the trend started in 2010, it was not until the Arab Spring in 2011 that displacements went into overdrive.

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The result of the conflicts in the Middle East is a staggering flow of refugees that all countries in the region are struggling to cope with. But while refugees from Syria and Iraq garner the most attention, it would be wrong to assume that displacement is merely a regional problem. Nearly every region in the world witnessed an increase in the number of displaced persons. In Europe, the conflict in Ukraine created the worst displacement crisis since the end of the Balkan wars while in Asia the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities sent many across borders to seek a better life. Renewed conflict in Africa, as well as human rights violations in countries such as Ethiopia and Eritrea, saw numbers of people living in refugee or refugee-like conditions increase while rampant crime and natural disasters displaced thousands in the Americas.

To put the current crisis in perspective, if the 59.5 million displaced persons were a nation it would be the 24th largest in the world, just behind the UK and Italy.

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Yet despite the scale of the problem, it is not difficult to find examples of states shrugging off their responsibilities towards refugees. Countries in both Europe and Southeast Asia have done everything possible to ignore the flow of refugees on boats in the Mediterranean and Andaman Sea, only giving way to limited resettlements and rescue operations when public pressure over the humanitarian situation reaches critical mass. The influx on unaccompanied children trying to escape widespread gang violence in Central America led to increased funding for deportations from the US government, and in some cases, outright bans on any unaccompanied children from entering the city limits of some municipalities.

Even in countries with much smaller refugee flows, action is being taken to stop those trying to cross. This week Hungary announced it would build a fence along its border with Serbia to stop migrants from crossing, while scores of refugees were blocked from entering France from Italy.

These recent actions by developed countries highlight the disparity between who is bearing the burden of the current crisis. According to UNHCR, industrialized countries have settled less than 1 million refugees over the last 10 years, while the developing world currently hosts 86 per cent of the total.

Speaking at a press conference in Istanbul for the launch of the report, High Commissioner Antonio Guterres spelled out the reality facing aid agencies trying to cope with the crisis.  “To those that think that it doesn’t matter because humanitarian organization there will be able to clean up the mess, I think it’s important to say that we are no longer able to clean up the mess,” he said. “UN agencies, NGOs, the Red Cross . . . we no longer have the capacities and the resources to respond to such a dramatic increase in humanitarian needs in the world.”

Something has to give. Either the international community dramatically increases its assistance to refugees and IDPs around the world and address some of push factors that are driving people from their homes; or it resigns to the fact that World War Two levels of displacement are the new norm.

Graphics from UNHCR



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Big Challenges Await Nepal Relief Effort

There is still a lot we don’t know about the scope and scale of destruction in Nepal. Much of the affected communities are remote and hard to access. “The United Nations has said that more than six million people live in the areas of Nepal that have been affected. Many individuals have either lost their homes or have been forced to live on the streets because of the threat of further aftershocks. The global response is being coordinated by the Nepalese government through its National Emergency Operation Center. ‘What’s important to remember about Katmandu is that it’s densely, densely packed,’ said Gary Shaye, the director of humanitarian operations for Save the Children who worked in Nepal in the 1970s and 1980s. ‘This is a village that grew into a city.’ He added, “There is not a lot of open space to accommodate people who get displaced.’ Rain descended on Katmandu on Sunday, and Mr. Shaye said that the relief efforts faced a “race against time’ because the monsoon season begins in June.” (NYT )

More on  the Nepal Earthquake

Two years ago, Mark interviewed a UN Disaster Risk Reduction expert with UNDP who told him that a massive earthquake in the Kathmandu Valley was “our nightmare scenario.” (Global Dispatches Podcast

This storify from Jen Ambrose collects excellent advice on social media about the ways individuals around the world can contribute to the Nepal relief efforts.

Almost 1 Million Children in Urgent Need of Care. (HuffPo )

Chaos in Burundi…Tens of thousands of Burundians are reported to have fled to neighboring Rwanda in recent days. “Hundreds of people in Burundi have protested in the capital Bujumbura after the country’s ruling party nominated President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term. There were clashes between protesters and armed police in Bujumbura. Police fired teargas to break up crowds and also blocked access to some parts of the city. Watchdog groups and observers had warned of possible unrest if Nkurunziza decided to run again. Thousands of Burundians have already fled the country before presidential elections on 26 June. Burundi’s constitution stipulates that a president can only serve for two terms, but Nkurunziza’s party says he is eligible for another term as popularly elected president because for his first term he was elected by lawmakers.” (Guardian

Context for the Chaos: Penelope Starr explains why Burundi is at a crossroads. President Nkurunziza likely has made a very bad decision. (UN Dispatch


Some Blissfully Good News from South Sudan: UNICEF has secured the release of 280 child soldiers from a militia. “It is the last chapter in a series of releases that have taken place since January and follows a peace agreement between the faction and the Government of South Sudan.” (UNICEF

Thousands of Nigerian refugees previously living with Cameroonian host families and relatives have been streaming into the Nigerian refugee camp at Minawao, northern Cameroon due to hardship. (VOA

The first six busloads of Malawians fleeing xenophobic attacks in South Africa arrived this week in their homeland’s commercial capital, Blantyre. (VOA

The recent xenophobic violence in South Africa, like similar outbreaks in the past, was triggered largely by chronic poverty and lack of basic services. (VOA


Warplanes of the Saudi-led military coalition bombed targets in the Yemeni capital on Sunday for the first time since Saudi officials said they were shifting the focus of their campaign against a Yemeni rebel group toward political negotiations and humanitarian relief. (NYT )

Israeli forces on Sunday killed four suspected militants whom it says were caught trying to plant a bomb in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (VOA

Pregnant women fleeing repression in the Horn of Africa have come to Libya, willing to risk their lives on crowded boats to have their babies in Europe. (CNN

Iranian and international negotiators resumed talks in Vienna this week, trying to finalize an agreement on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program. (VOA


Two years after the Rana Plana disaster killed 1,134 workers, representatives of Bangladesh’s $25 billion garment industry claim that they have learned their lesson, but others are not so sure. (Al Jazeera

The Indonesian government has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 inmates on death row. (CNN

China’s top nuclear experts have increased their estimates of North Korea’s nuclear weapons production well beyond most previous US figures, suggesting Pyongyang could double its arsenal by next year. (WSJ

Malaysian police have arrested 12 people linked to the militant group Islamic State and seized explosives, foiling a plan to attack several locations in and around the capital, which is hosting the ASEAN summit. (Reuters )

The Americas

Over 4,500 Chileans have been evacuated due to the eruption of Mt. Calbuco. (El País; Spanish)

In Guatemala, debate continues on the weakness of the justice system and the terrible impunity that prevails. (El País; Spanish)

…and the rest

Fourteen migrants were hit by a train and killed in central Macedonia as they walked through the Balkans trying to reach western Europe. (VOA


Burundi – Fragile Peace at Risk Ahead of Elections (IPS

Missing measures in the push to empower women and girls (Humanosphere

LGBTQI rights & technology for development (Wait…what?

Laurent Fabius: Our Climate Imperatives (NYT

How WHO revised its self-criticism over Ebola handling (Guardian

Get Happy, Get Rich: The Relationship Between Depression and Poverty (FA

To Solve Hunger, Start with Soil (IPS



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