By Avellon Williams
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti— Haiti’s economic capital has been brought to the brink of extinction, after sputtering along for many years now.
Haiti’s woes have been further exacerbated by two major earthquakes over the last 11 years and the assassination of its President on July 7th this year.
Additionally, armed thugs have been roaming about killing and kidnapping with impunity. As if the spectacle of Haiti’s migrant situation was not enough, now comes word that Haiti is facing a fuel crisis of unprecedented magnitude, that will do further irreparable damage to its already fragile economy.
According to a report from UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, hundreds of women and children who seek emergency care in health facilities are at risk of dying if solutions are not found to the fuel shortage prevailing for weeks due to insecurity.
This insecurity is a result of threats by armed thugs to kidnap fuel truck drivers. Several hospitals across the country have sent SOS messages directly to UNICEF and its partners, via social media, stating that they lack the fuel to make their power generators work and their emergency departments operate normally.
The national electricity grid in Haiti is already unreliable, with regular disruptions in supplies in many areas across the country. Power outages are frequent and prol9nged, and most hospitals rely on fuel-powered generators to keep patients alive, especially children and pregnant women.
The UNICEF report further stated that with the insecurity prevailing in Port-au-Prince, the lives of many child-bearing women and newborn babies are in danger because hospitals that should give them life-saving care cannot operate normally due to lack of fuel.
“They risk dying if they cannot get adequate care,” said Raoul de Torcy UNICEF Deputy Representative.
The lives of 300 children, 45 women in maternity, and 70 other adults including COVID-19 patients are in danger as two major hospitals in the Haitian capital would stop providing care in 72 hours if they did not receive fuel immediately.
UNICEF had attempted to provide an emergency temporary solution by securing a contract with a local provider to supply hospitals in the capital and other provinces, including the Southwestern areas with 3,7850 litres of fuel.
However, the contractor declined the job due to the prevailing insecurity in and around the nation’s capital.
So while these thugs roam freely, disrupting the lives of ordinary citizens of Haiti, the rest of the world seems to have been benumbed to all the ills of this impoverished Caribbean Island.
Haitian’s who attempt to seek a better life elsewhere are being treated worse than animals by the so-called developed nations.
The plight of the Haitian people seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Law and order need to be restored now. Haiti has suffered far too long.