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Gang violence: Forced displacement of more than 53,000 people in 20 days in Port-au-Prince, particularly towards the great south of Haiti

  • April 3, 2024
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P-to-P, April 3, 2024 [AlterPresse] — Between Friday March 8 and Wednesday March 27, 2024, more than 53 thousand people were forced to leave the metropolitan area of ​​the capital, Port-au-Prince to take refuge in the provinces, particularly in the great south of Haiti, due to persistent crime, according to the latest data published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and consulted by the online agency AlterPresse.

The majority of these displaced people headed towards the departments of the Great South, specifies the IOM.

More than 360,000 people are currently displaced, including some 160,000 in Port-au-Prince, recalls Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, during a briefing. press this week.

More than a thousand schools have been closed across Haiti, he adds.

At least half of the capital’s health establishments are closed or operating below their normal capacity, due to violence from armed gangs, continues Dujarric.

Difficulties in accessing health care

In a report published on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, the United Nations Office in Haiti for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), in collaboration with humanitarian partners, reports a reduction in access to health care, following attacks against health facilities by armed gangs, which continues in the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince.

“The Delmas 18 hospital and the Saint-Martin health center were looted by armed groups on Tuesday March 26 and Wednesday March 27, 2024, respectively. The hospital of the State University of Haiti (Hueh), whose reopening was scheduled for Monday April 1, 2024, and the Bernard Mevs hospital, remain closed,” mentions the document, which covers the period from Thursday March 29 to Tuesday April 2, 2024.

Treatments at Hueh have been suspended since Thursday February 29, 2024due to the intensification of violence by armed gangs.

A series of steps were underway to allow the reopening of the Hospital of the State University of Haiti, the largest public hospital in the capital, Port-au-Prince, better known as general hospital.

The attacks perpetrated last week by armed groups against 10 pharmacies, near the general hospital of Port-au-Prince, have aggravated the difficulties of the population in obtaining the medicines they need, underlines Ocha.

Several clinics and pharmacies were looted and burned by armed gangs on the evening of Monday March 25, 2024, in the vicinity of the Hospital of the State University of Haiti, on avenue Monseigneur Guilloux.

“Four cars burned, the others vandalized, the administration of the Petit Séminaire Collège Saint Martial burned, the Procure (Editor’s note: a sort of warehouse of religious articles) looted as well as the community residence and school premises: refrigerators, solar panels, batteries, inverters, water purification systems, mattresses, computer and electronic equipment » : this is the first assessment of the damage recorded at this private establishment which suffered an attack from armed bandits, on Monday April 1, 2024, according to an account by Father Raynold Joseph, provincial superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, addressed to the sisters , colleagues and friends, dated Tuesday April 2, 2024.

Heavily armed groups also set fires on Monday March 25, 2024the premises of the Les Frères Nau Mixed College, in the center of the capital, Port-au-Prince, condemned the Haiti branch of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

Armed groups set fire in 23 classrooms at the Les Frères Nau mixed college, after entering its premises located on rue du Centre, alerted Unicef, which is calling for a cessation, once and for all, of these armed attacks against children and families. [emb rc apr 03/04/2024 09:30]

Photo: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Info website