Haiti Humanitarian Crisis Rep. Pic
U.S. Sanctions Haitian Leaders For Drug Trafficking And Human Rights Abuses Tim Marshall/Unsplash.

As the current societal situation in Haiti deteriorates further, a United Nations humanitarian chief said on Thursday that almost 60% of the country’s capital is controlled by gangs, as the organization looks to send more relief funds and aid to the struggling country.

Ulrika Richardson, the U.N.’s humanitarian chief, said that over 20,000 in Port-au-Prince are facing what she calls “famine-like conditions” as a cholera outbreak continues to spread across the country, according to the Associated Press.

She added that almost all but 1,000 of the 20,000 people in the capital, mainly those in the gang-controlled Cite Soleil slum, are facing starvation conditions due to the increasing cholera outbreak as well as the use of “sexual violence” by gang members in order to keep control of the population, the Independent reported.

Over 155,000 people in Haiti have fled their homes, while 12,000 people have been hospitalized since October due to cholera, with 283 deaths being recorded so far and cases are increasing across the board.

Much of the turmoil facing Haiti today was started when President Jovenal Moïse, who was facing corruption charges, was assassinated last year. Things escalated further when, after the government eliminated fuel subsidies, gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier started a fuel crisis by blockading the capital’s fuel terminal.

As hunger rises and the cholera outbreak continues unabated, Richardson will reportedly be asking for $719 million in relief funds for Haiti in 2023 due to the escalating humanitarian crisis happening in the country. She also noted that their emergency appeal for $145 million in November was only partially funded, amounting to $23.5 million.

“What is very important here is that the gang violence needs to be addressed,” Richardson said, as she described the plan of backing up the Haitian police force to combat gang violence in the capital and the country.

Ulrika Richardson, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the U.N. in Haiti
Handout image of Ulrika Richardson, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the U.N. in Haiti. Photo by: Reuters/U.N. Haiti

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.