UN warns of severe humanitarian crisis in Haiti

– A top official at the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis unfolding in Haiti. 

Philippe Branchat, head of IOM’s Haiti branch, attributed the crisis to a surge in gang violence that has displaced nearly 580,000 people – 5% of the entire population. 

This represents a staggering 60% increase in just three months.

The displaced population now faces extreme hunger, with nearly half the country (close to 5 million people) struggling to access basic food. 

This situation is further exacerbated by severed supply routes due to gang violence. 

The violence erupted in late February and has continued despite a request by former Prime Minister Ariel Henry in 2022 for Kenyan-led security forces to assist the Haitian police. 

Though a new government has been installed, the promised deployment has not yet arrived.

Gang activity has resulted in indiscriminate killings, sexual violence, kidnappings, and looting, forcing people to flee their homes with minimal belongings. 

Many flee south to stay with already strained families or seek refuge in makeshift camps.

Limited access to basic services in these camps, coupled with shifting gang violence, further exposes the displaced population to vulnerability and potential displacement again.

The situation is particularly concerning as neighboring countries deported hundreds of thousands of Haitians last year, adding pressure on a nation already struggling with internal displacement and food insecurity.

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