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Gang Violence Threatens Aid in Haiti as UN Maternity Supplies Stolen

In a distressing development amidst ongoing turmoil in Haiti, critical maternity and neonatal supplies provided by UNICEF were stolen in Port-au-Prince, exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation.

Looting of Essential Supplies

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A shipping container filled with life-saving items for newborns and their mothers was forcibly taken, highlighting the increasing influence and control of armed groups over the capital’s crucial resources.

Broad Impact of Looting

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The stolen container not only contained maternity goods but also items crucial for early childhood development, education, and water sanitation, representing a significant setback to humanitarian efforts in the region.

UNICEF’s Reaction

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UNICEF’s representative in Haiti, Bruno Maes, emphasized the timing of the theft as particularly harmful, calling for an immediate cessation of such actions and the safeguarding of humanitarian access.

Health Crisis Intensifies

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The ongoing violence has severely damaged an already fragile healthcare infrastructure in Haiti, with the majority of women and children lacking access to essential health and nutrition services.

Limited Healthcare Facilities

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The capital currently operates with only two functional surgical units, while nationwide, the majority of hospitals are rendered inoperative due to shortages in power, fuel, and medical supplies.

Escalating Violence

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Recent police actions against gang activities, including a significant operation in a neighborhood controlled by notorious gang leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier, underscore the government’s efforts to combat the lawlessness pervading Port-au-Prince.

Police Strategy

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The Haitian National Police have initiated new strategies to reclaim areas under gang control, aiming to restore free movement for the city’s residents amidst ongoing clashes with armed groups.

Political and Humanitarian Standoff

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Haiti remains engulfed in a protracted crisis, with the majority of the capital under gang dominion, severely restricting movement, supplies, and access to essential services.

Blockades and Shortages

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Gangs have effectively isolated Port-au-Prince, leading to acute shortages in food, fuel, and medical necessities, threatening to precipitate a humanitarian disaster.

International Response

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Amid the chaos, the UN has established an air bridge between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, offering a lifeline for medical supplies and personnel, albeit at exorbitant costs for evacuation services.

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