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The increasingly precarious humanitarian situation in Port-au-Prince

Photo: Erickson Polanco Agence France-Presse Haitians cross the border from Quanamienthe in Haiti to Dajabon in the Dominican Republic to work at the binational market in Dajabon, Dominican Republic, March 8, 2024.

France Media Agency in Port-au-Prince

5:36 p.m.

  • Americas

Hospitals attacked, arrival of food threatened, infrastructure blocked: the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince faced an increasingly precarious humanitarian situation on Saturday, the day after a new evening of clashes between police and armed gangs.

“The inhabitants of the capital live locked up, they have nowhere to go,” Philippe Branchat, the head for Haiti of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), warned Saturday, describing “a city under siege.” .

“People who flee are unable to contact family members and friends who are in the rest of the country so they can find refuge. The capital is surrounded by armed groups and dangers. »

The criminal gangs, which control most of the capital as well as the roads leading to the rest of the territory, have been attacking police stations, prisons and courts for several days, in the absence of the Prime Minister Ariel Henry, whose resignation they are demanding, like part of the population.

According to the latest news, he is stuck in the American territory of Puerto Rico after a trip abroad.

Faced with this violence, dozens of residents took over the premises of a public administration in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, hoping to find refuge there, according to an AFP correspondent.< /p>

The evening before, armed men had attacked the national presidential palace and the Port-au-Prince police station, the general coordinator of the National Union of Haitian Police Officers (Synapoha) confirmed to AFP. Several attackers were killed, according to the same source.


“Insecurity is growing nationally: there is violence in Artibonite [region northwest of the capital], blockages in Cap Haitien [north], and fuel shortages in the south.” , notes Philippe Branchat.

According to the IOM, 362,000 people — more than half of whom are children — are currently displaced in Haiti, a figure that has jumped 15% since the start of the year.< /p>

The Haitian government has declared a state of emergency in the West department, which includes Port-au-Prince, as well as a nighttime curfew, which is difficult to enforce by security forces. 'order already exceeded.

Fabiola Sanon, a resident of Port-au-Prince, told AFP how her husband, James, 32, was killed during the recent violence.

“James has never been in conflict with anyone. He is a simple cigarette seller,” she confided after finding him “lying in the street.”

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Faced with this outbreak of violence, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) invited representatives of the United States, France, Canada and the UN to a meeting on Monday in Jamaica.

Administrations and schools are closed while neither the airport nor the port is functioning anymore.

Access to care is severely compromised, with “hospitals having been attacked by gangs and having to evacuate medical staff and patients, including newborns,” according to the IOM.

The director general of the National Port Authority (APN), Jocelin Villier, reported looting at the port.


The NGO Mercy Corps has warned of the risks for the supply of the population of the poorest country in the Americas.

“With the closure of the international airport, the little aid currently provided to Haiti may no longer arrive,” the NGO warned Thursday. And “if we can no longer access these containers, Haiti will soon be hungry.”

“If the paralysis of the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince continues over the coming weeks, nearly 3,000 pregnant women risk not being able to access essential health care,” several representatives of the 'UN in Haiti.

According to them, “nearly 450 of them could suffer life-threatening obstetric complications without qualified medical assistance.”

“Too many women and young women in Haiti are victims of indiscriminate violence committed by armed gangs,” commented the UN humanitarian coordinator for the country, Ulrika Richardson, adding that the Nations United States “commit to continuing to provide” assistance.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116