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Faith Nyasuguta

The U.N. children’s agency reported Tuesday that gang violence in Haiti has displaced over 300,000 children since March, as the Caribbean nation grapples with escalating killings and kidnappings.

Children account for more than half of the nearly 580,000 people who have been rendered homeless in the past four months. The surge in violence commenced in late February following a series of coordinated attacks on crucial government infrastructure, ultimately leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in April.

The humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before our eyes is taking a devastating toll on children,” stated Catherine Russell, UNICEF’s executive director. “Displaced children are in desperate need of a safe and protective environment, and increased support and funding from the international community.”

According to the U.N., gangs now control at least 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the main roads leading in and out of it. More than 2,500 people were killed or injured nationwide in the first three months of the year.


Many children are living in makeshift shelters, including schools with poor sanitary conditions, which heightens the risk of disease. School closures have also contributed to a rising dropout rate.

UNICEF reported that children in Haiti are being forced to join violent gangs to survive, as they often lack access to basic necessities such as food, healthcare, clean water, and sanitation. Displaced children and teenagers in Haiti face an increased risk of sexual assault, exploitation, abuse, and family separation.

This announcement comes shortly after hundreds of Kenyans arrived in Haiti to help rescue the country from the grip of armed gangs. The deployment has been met with mixed reactions, especially since a previous U.N. peacekeeping mission introduced cholera to the country and was marred by sexual misconduct allegations.

On Monday, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Jonathan Finer met with Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille to discuss the initial deployment of the U.N.-backed mission to Haiti. Finer emphasized the United States’ strong support for accountability and oversight mechanisms as part of the mission.

In addition to the violence, Haiti is also bracing for a severe hurricane season, which has started earlier than usual. A tropical storm watch was in effect for Haiti’s southern coast as Hurricane Beryl moved into the Caribbean Sea.

/France 24/

The compounded crises of gang violence and impending natural disasters emphasize the urgent need for international assistance and a coordinated effort to restore stability and safety for Haiti’s vulnerable population, especially its children.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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