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UN – Partners call for greater protection and assistance for people living in violence prone-areas in Haiti

PORT –AU–PRINCE, HAITI – Three months into a resurgence of violence in Haiti, particularly in Port-au-Prince, the top humanitarian official in the country is expressing deep concerns over the havoc wrought on many Haitians’ lives, leaving them in extreme vulnerability.

“Hundreds of thousands of people, including many women and children, are caught in violence, which shows little sign of abating,” said, Ulrika Richardson, the humanitarian coordinator in the country.

Since 25 April 2024, coordinated attacks have been launched in the communes of Delmas and Gressier, displacing nearly 10,000 people who are currently living either with host communities or in spontaneous sites. Many Haitians living in violence-prone areas have also been displaced, sometimes multiple times. As of mid-March, more than 360,000 people were internally displaced, a 15 percent increase since December 2023. More than half of all internally displaced persons are women, and children account for over a third of the displaced people.

Armed groups have also targeted hospitals and schools in Port-au-Prince and beyond, and hunger is rising by the day, with almost half of the people of Haiti struggling to feed themselves. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable in this context. A recent report by the Government and humanitarian partners found that the number of gender-based violence survivors was five times higher in March than it was in January and February combined, with nearly three-quarters of the cases reportedly attributable to the perpetrators of violent attacks.

UN and humanitarian organizations are providing clean water and medical services to people in need, as well as setting up safe spaces for children, offering psychosocial support to families, and providing hot meals at sites for displaced people. Humanitarian actors are continuously mobilizing additional relief items to support people in localities affected by the rising violence and other areas of the country. Yet, insecurity continues to impede aid groups’ operations in certain areas.

The humanitarian community calls on violence to end. “It is simply unacceptable that people who simply are going about their daily lives, children playing outside and going to school are targeted, that schools and hospitals are looted and destroyed. It is essential on everyone to uphold humanitarian norms as a matter of urgency,” said Richardson. She also stressed the need for urgent international solidarity to ensure humanitarian organizations are able to continue their critical work. This year’s humanitarian needs and pesponse plan, calling for $674 million, is only 17 percent funded.



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