Haiti’s worsening security situation has led spokespeople of several foreign nations to suggest the need for an intervention. Prime Minister Ariel Henry approved a call for foreign military intervention on the island nation because he claims armed gangs have taken over and that the 12,800 officers who are part of Haiti’s National Police are unable to restore security.
Gangs have taken over public streets and blocked the islands’ main fuel terminal in the capital, Port-au-Prince. With the government not being able to function, Haitians are unable to access food or public services, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations World Food Program state.
Haiti has a population of more than 11 million people, but half—some 4.7 million—now have scarce access to food. And residents are also facing a new outbreak of cholera. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières state that their “teams in Port-au-Prince have received approximately 100 patients every day at its cholera treatment centers throughout the capital.” Facing hunger and having cholera at the same time could be fatal, Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s representative in Haiti, told UN News: “For children who are already weak from a lack of nutritious food, catching cholera, and suffering the effects, including diarrhea and vomiting, is close to a death sentence. They must be identified and treated urgently, and concrete measures must be taken to prevent new cholera cases in the communities.”
The newspaper Haiti Libre reports that “episodes of blockage in the country and the unpredictable security situation are slowing down ongoing investments, particularly those of the private sector as well as small businesses, which are the main source of income for a good part of the population. Gang violence has reached unprecedented levels in the metropolitan area limiting the movement of goods and people. This violence has pushed more than 20,000 people to flee their homes. Barricades have been erected across the streets of major cities across the country and travel is difficult, limiting access to food and water as well as fuel.”
The Biden administration and the United Nations Security Council are said to be putting together a military deployment that could include troops from Mexico and other Caribbean nations, but many Haitians on the island, and abroad, don’t want this to happen.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry is an unelected leader, someone who many believe played a part in the July 2021 assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse. And another military incursion on the island brings with it memories of how U.N. peacekeeping troops spent 11 years in Haiti and saw many of its members convicted of sexual abuse and of even having been accused of introducing the last cholera outbreak.
While the politics of Haiti are being sorted out, those wishing to support charities that can help locals can contact the following:
Hope for Haiti – https://hopeforhaiti.com/
Save the Children – https://www.savethechildren.org/us/where-we-work/haiti
SOIL – https://www.oursoil.org/
UNICEF – https://www.unicefusa.org/
Partners in Health – www.pih.org/
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/where-we-work/haiti
Mission of Hope International – https://www.mohintl.org/
Haitian Health Foundation – https://www.haitianhealthfoundation.org/
Fonkoze – https://fonkoze.org/
Haiti Partners – https://haitipartners.org/