Saint Camille hospital Port au Prince Saint Camille hospital Port au Prince 

Haiti: Global indifference to an escalating humanitarian crisis

The situation in Haiti continues to worsen as armed and ferocious gangs cause widespread violence and displacement, while the international community remains largely indifferent to the escalating humanitarian crisis.

By Francesca Merlo

The situation in Haiti is worsening daily, as "the gangs become more armed and more ferocious".

According to Fides News Agency, this warning came from Father Erwan, a missionary priest of the Camillian order, working in the capital city, Port au Prince, where violence continues to affect the population.

In describing the situation, Fr Erwan writes: "We are barricaded inside the hospital, hoping that they will not attack us. We cannot go out to buy food or medicines for the people we host, disabled children, sick people, relatives of the hospitalised patients and the medical and nursing staff". 

Fr Erwan is the bursar of Foyer San Camillo and he stressed that the gangs only allowed the staff in the hospital to leave with one ambulance to buy 30 oxygen cylinders after they had given them money in exchange. 

Worldwide indifference

One of the biggest tragedies that the people of Haiti are experiencing, according to Fr Antonio Menegon, Director of the Camillian non-profit organisation Midian Horizons. is that of worldwide indifference. "No one talks about it", he says, and what is worse still is that "no one intervenes. We try to be present despite the silence around us".  

What is happening in Haiti

According to a United Nations report, armed gang violence has caused over 50,000 people to flee the capital in recent weeks, adding to over 100,000 refugees already in southern Haiti.  

The Caribbean country of Haiti has been blighted by a succession of catastrophes, from an earthquake in 2010 which killed nearly a quarter of a million people, to an outbreak of cholera, President Jovenel Moise's assassination, political turmoil and rising gang violence.  The latest outbreak of violence was seen by observers as a protest against unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who had pledged to stand down in February but later said security had to be re-established before he could leave his post. Notwithstanding Henry's resignation, fighting between rival gangs has continued unabated, with daily killing sprees, looting and the burning of buildings, homes, shops and vehicles in Port au Prince.

The nation has fallen short of holding parliamentary elections since October 2019, while the senate's term expired in January last year, meaning there has been no official from either the House or Senate since.

(Source: Fides News Agency and other agencies)

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06 April 2024, 13:37