UNICEF reports looting of aid, including supplies for new borns and mothers in Haiti

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UNICEF and the consul of Guatemala have raised concerns regarding the unstable situation in Haiti, which continues to spiral out of control as gang violence rises progressively, invading almost every walk of life and affecting the citizens of the nation.

The latest reports out of Haiti on Saturday have confirmed that aid agencies and government facilities have been raided by gang members who have laid claim to UNICEF containers full of maternal, neonatal, and child survival supplies, meant for newborn babies and their mothers.

Gangs looted the main port in Haiti’s capital on Saturday, stealing essential supplies for early childhood development, education and water equipment, leaving the most vulnerable citizens of Haiti in distress.

Bruno Maes, the UNICEF Representative in Haiti, stated that gangs have stolen supplies at a critical time as infants and their mothers, amongst other vulnerable sections of the population, are facing extremely harsh conditions, adding that, “Depriving children of vital health supplies amidst a collapsing healthcare system is a violation of their rights. Looting of supplies that are essential for life saving support for children must end immediately and humanitarian access must remain safe.”

The rampant looting of aid material, as well as escalating violence in Haiti has hampered the weakest sections of the general population the most and is being received internationally as a sign of the continued deterioration of the nation.

The Foreign Ministry of Guatemala came out on the same day to reveal that its consul in Haiti was attacked and ransacked by violent elements. The Ministry refrained from mentioning the responsible parties and did not hand out any details of the damage or theft.

Having said that, the ministry did explain that only documents and paperwork pertaining to the last four to five years were sent to the Guatemala Embassy for Haiti in the Dominican Republic.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti has pledged to resign, in accordance with the primary demand put forth by the gangs but despite this development, violence and lawlessness continue to have a deleterious impact on the nation.

The violence has reached new levels of brutality, which has alarmed many observers of Haiti in the region and around the world, raising questions about how and when the international fraternity will manage to bring an end to one of the darkest episodes in Haiti’s recent history.

While all this upheaval continues, the United States security apparatus has strengthened security at the US Embassy, putting to bed any suggestions that senior US officials in the troubled nation will be exiting soon.

The primary airport in the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince has been subjected to attacks as well, which has prompted the US State Department to initiate chartered flights from Cap-Haïtien for US Citizens looking to leave the country. The authorities have warned Americans to only make use of these services if they can find safe passage to Cap-Haïtien.
One week ago, the capital city was chocked off by gangs as they entered the main port, thus cutting off Port-au-Prince’s only source of aid in the form of food and supplies.

Haiti finds itself on the brink of complete collapse, as citizens are left with very few options to avail when it comes to ensuring their safety and procuring essential supplies.

The situation has been tense since January, when UNICEF highlighted the lack of basic healthcare services and supplies for children in Haiti, with UNICEF aid being their last resort as the nation crumbles around them.

The situation in Port-au-Prince has deteriorated to the point where three out of four women and children do not have access to basic supplies which would cover their health and nutritional needs.

The healthcare system in Port-au-Prince is non-existent due to cases of loot and vandalism which forced hospitals to close down altogether, putting the lives of average citizens in jeopardy. This has also left those caught in the crossfire or in dire need of surgical intervention to remain devoid of such facilities, leading to an unnecessary and astounding loss of lives.

Bruno Maes spoke of the matter at length, stating the following, “The closure of health facilities due to security concerns in Haiti represents a dire situation for children where every closed health centre means lives at risk and essential medical care denied.”

“Failure to stop the violence and reopen critical logistics routes will significantly exacerbate the healthcare crisis. We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe, and there is little time left to reverse it.”

Hospitals around the nation have felt the effects of the violence the nation has been subjected to, with six out of ten medical facilities becoming completely dysfunctional, while the rest grapple with a lack of electricity, fuel, and medical supplies.

Hospitals that remain partially functional are facing an acute shortage of blood which is critical for surgical procedures, leading to unwarranted deaths across the nation.

With these developments in mind, UNICEF has highlighted its plans for Haiti in 2024, stating that the organization wishes to increase access to basic services by ramping up its humanitarian efforts in the nation, with the aim of reaching at least 650,000 children and women, providing them with much needed primary healthcare services.

Maes said, “Flexible funding will help us protect more children and communities in need today and go towards building more resilient systems to protect children in the future. We remain committed to delivering aid despite the ever-changing realities on the ground, even in hard-to-reach and the most challenging areas.”

George Henry
George Henryhttp://writeups24.com/
George Henry, a distinguished graduate of Columbia University, pursued his passion in Economics with outstanding academic achievements. George found his calling in journalism, aiming to raise awareness regarding geopolitical and socioeconomic issues. He is recognized for having a keen interest in international geopolitics, sports and women's rights. To reach George, you can email contact@writeups24.com


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