The Brazilian contingent of the United Nations mission in Haiti is distributing 14 tons of food to more than 3,000 families in Port-au-Prince, the capital, following widespread protests over rising food prices in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
The beneficiaries of the gift from the Brazilian Government, especially children, are receiving rice, beans, sugar and oil in a distribution that will continue until the weekend in the city’s poorest quarters, such as Cité Soleil, Bel-Air and Cité Militaire.
The officer in charge of the distribution, Colonel Paolo Cruz, acknowledged that the resources were limited, but said he hoped the gesture will help to bring peace to Cité Soleil and other areas of the capital.
“Even a drop of water can make a difference here,” said a nun, Maria Aparecida, who has spent 10 years running a Cité Soleil health centre, where 60 children are recovering from malnutrition.
The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace after an insurgency forced then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile, has also focused on a host of humanitarian issues.