PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI- The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immeasurable challenges across the world.
On Sunday 10th, October 2021, over 170 hapless children, along with their parents were promptly expelled from Cuba as well as the mainland territories of the United States of America by their ruling government.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has provided this empirical data showing that the majority of those expelled were residents of the South Western part of Haiti which was badly affected by the recent earthquake.
UNICEF’s Representative to Haiti, Bruno Maes said, “Most Haitian children and their parents who were expelled, are from the southern peninsula of Haiti, which was hit by a massive earthquake last August. They left the country in early September as they had lost everything. These children are likely to leave again for the United States unless conditions are created for them to live decent lives in their communities.”
Seven (7) possible flights were operated with a dispatch from Cuba, and 1 from the United States to promptly send the Haitian migrants back to their country. These flights were operated efficiently in one day, carrying 96 boys and 73 girls on board. In addition to these flights, a Cuban boat also transported some 348 migrants, inclusive of 12 girls and 26 boys. These migrants were dropped off near the area of La Saline on the outskirts of Port au Prince, the Haitian capital.
UNICEF estimates that at least 80% of the children who were expelled are under the age of 5 and 4 of these children were unaccompanied by an adult.
UNICEF Representative Maes noted that the children he saw arriving at the airport appeared to be malnourished and several of them had what appeared to be skin infections. He is pleading for solidarity among the international community to assist these migrants, especially, the children.
According to him, “the Haitian migrant crisis cannot be solved by simply deporting everyone forthwith. Attention must be given to the overall development of the island so that instead of wanting to leave, the people would be quite contented to remain at home.”
Deportation of the migrants is akin to putting a plaster on an infected wound without proper treatment. A temporary solution to a permanent problem.