Spike in violence deepens humanitarian crisis in Haiti

The rise of violence in Haiti has deeply worsened the already difficult living conditions for millions of people, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince. CARE Haiti Assistant Country Director Muhamed Bizimana shared what the main concerns and needs are now:

"The recent spike in violence which started on February 29 has been exceptional in its intensity and magnitude. I would describe the general situation in Port-au-Prince as tense, volatile, and unpredictable. Everyone is worried, living in fear with heightened levels of distress and trauma. And there is no predictability of when and where violence will occur, on the one hand, and uncertainty as to whether the violence will stop or subside.

This has put a vulnerable population – especially those living in densely populated neighborhoods in the lower part of the capital city Port-Au-Prince – at further risk, with food, health, protection, and water/sanitation needs among the most critical. As of January 2024, before the uptick, nearly half the country, approximately 5.4 million people, were in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. 

This escalation has also led to an unprecedented spike in gender-based violence against women and girls – including rape and sexual violence. Meanwhile, they also face greater barriers to access any form of healthcare, safe spaces, services, and survivor-centered care.

And it is exacerbating Haiti’s hunger crisis, as access to basic commodities have become more and more limited. According to the IPC, more than 4.4 million Haitians are acutely food insecure, 1.4 million of whom are experiencing emergency levels of hunger.

Despite the need – and the fact that humanitarian activities are continuing – the space for this work has rapidly shrunk, constrained by very limited access for humanitarian assistance, as well as logistical challenges. It is imperative that the protection of civilians be urgently prioritized by all actors in Haiti, and that governments and institutional donors fully fund Haiti’s humanitarian response plan."

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