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Washington Post | Rector Jacky Lumarque: Haiti has no friends, we are alone in the world; funds are spent elsewhere

  • May 6, 2024
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Funds are spent elsewhere, aid workers flee, Haitians fend for themselves –

This year, the United Nations requested $674 million in aid for a country plagued by violence from terrorist gangs on “command” missions brought together by the PHTK regime still in power. Donors contributed $94 million, or less than 14%.

Almost all the beds at La Paix University Hospital are occupied. Essential medical supplies, including blood collection tubes, are running out. Doctors are operating out of blood and fear they will soon run out of anesthetics.

The flow of patients, meanwhile, is incessant. There are those who were attacked by armed gangs who control 80% of the capital. Stroke patients. Women giving birth. People with kidney failure who need dialysis – and who are turned away because there isn’t any.

In the past, La Paix’s staff was bolstered by international doctors, said director Jean Philippe Lerbourg, who helped their Haitian counterparts after the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 people here.

Today, as Haiti faces what aid workers say is the worst humanitarian crisis since then, international aid is much scarcer. The Haitian doctors and nurses at the hospital, many of whom were themselves driven from their homes by criminal paramilitaries who kidnap, rape and kill with impunity, are left to their own devices.

“The staff understands that help will not come from outside, so they come to work,” Mr. Lerbourg said. “The current situation is our responsibility. “It’s a pretty heavy burden that we can’t let go.”

As the skies are filled with helicopters carrying diplomats and aid workers, as the world responds to the crises in Gaza and Ukraine, Haitians are uniting through political chaos, endemic violence and endemic poverty to to keep themselves alive and to keep others alive.

Jacky Lumarque, rector of Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince, remembers a “spirit of solidarity [internationale] » after the earthquake. Today, there are no more.

“Haiti has no friends,” Mr. Lumarque said. “We are alone in the world.

This year, the United Nations appealed to donors for $674 million in aid for Haiti. They contributed $97 million, or 14%. Last year, demand was $720 million; only 35% was paid.

According to Carl Skau, deputy director of the World Food Program, there is “a lot of competition right now” for aid. The crisis in Haiti, for its part, is “complex” and “requires an equally complex response.”

“But it’s really unacceptable, frankly, that Haiti is in the state it’s in now,” Skau told the Washington Post. “Haitians deserve attention and support from the entire world.

More than 2,500 people were injured or killed in the first quarter of 2024, most of them by gangs, the UN office in Haiti reported. This is the most violent period since it began tracking such attacks in 2022. In the capital alone, more than 90,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

Growing gangs have filled the void left by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, which remains unsolved. In recent months, they have bombed prisons, besieged police stations and closed the international airport.

More worryingly, they control major routes in and out of the capital, have attacked the main seaport and attacked a major fuel terminal, raising fears of shortages and supply disruptions. Violence has spread to the countryside – Haiti’s breadbasket – as half the population faces acute famine.

Read the rest of the Washington Post text here: Haiti endures violence, poverty, chaos as world looks elsewhere – The Washington Post