Looting Crisis Exacerbates Haiti’s Situation

(IntegrityTimes.com) – Various aid agencies and governments reported that gangs in Haiti were looting their facilities and supplies amid the ongoing crisis. In recent weeks, the gangs have managed to shut down the country’s main international airport and conduct attacks against key institutions. The United Nations food agency’s director reported that around four million people in Haiti were facing “acute food insecurity,” while another million were close to famine. Over 360,000 people have been displaced because of gang violence, half of them being children. The country’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, has been taken over by gangs and no one is allowed to come in or leave.

On March 16, UNICEF reported that the gangs had stolen necessary supplies from a container at the capital’s main port. The supplies were meant for pregnant women, newborns, and children, which included equipment used for resuscitation. Gangs made their way into the port just a week before the looting of UNICEF’s supplies occurred. UNICEF representative Bruno Maes said that the looting must immediately stop and access to humanitarian aid must be secured. UNICEF also said that the violence and looting had made matters worse for the most vulnerable residents.

On the same day, Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry reported that its honorary consul offices in Haiti had been broken into and “ransacked,” but did not provide any further details about what was damaged and stolen, or who was to blame. The ministry did disclose that the last four to five years of documents and paperwork had been sent to the Guatemala Embassy for Haiti, which is in the Dominican Republic. Unrest in Haiti is not uncommon, but the recent chaos has resulted in turmoil in the country’s government. Haiti’s prime minister promised to comply with the gangs’ demands that he resign. The United States Department of State announced that it would offer a small number of flights for American citizens wishing to leave the less affected city of Cap-Haïtien but warned that they should only travel if they believe they can safely reach the airport.

Copyright 2024, IntegrityTimes.com