HAITIAN URGENT HUMANITARIAN SITUATION/FACTS:
TODAY there are violent protests, gaping empty store shelves, burned cars, closed schools and an increasing number of casualties. At the heart of Haiti's acute crisis is an extreme food shortage that strikes the very heart of their poorest populations.
One Star of Hope Haiti staff member states: “The situation is terrible. We do not reach our children in our own projects with food". Please help us reach the people in need.
What is happening in Haiti right now is the culmination of years of various crisis situations resulting in escalating desperation among the population. Here, is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, only a stone’s throw from the USA; the people simply have reached their limit.
The last decade has been characterized by terror; the earthquake 2010, the cholera epidemic 2010-2017, the hurricane disaster 2016 and long periods of severe drought.
Food shortages throughout the country are the fact!
However, the current disaster is rather political. In less than two years, Haiti's currency, the gourde, has been halved in value compared to the dollar, while inflation and food prices have steeply increased. As an example, the imported rice, which is one of the country's most important basic products, has increased by nearly 25 percent in price in a short time. It may not sound like a disaster in itself, but for a family that was already on the verge of not being able to feed their children, they now must go without. This is a crisis.
Requiring the President's resignation
Investigations have revealed reports of billions of misappropriated government revenue from the oil company PetroCaribe that should have been used for the country’s infrastructure. The people feel that President Jovenel Moïse could have been involved.
The protesters have demanded his resignation, but Moïse refuses to step down.
At the same time, the Haitian police are powerless when shops are vandalized and road transports are looted. Haiti has no "military" to call in on situations like this; and after 13 years the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti left the country in 2017. In the city of Aquin, on the South coast, the police have reported that all 78 prisoners escaped from prison in connection with the riots.
Schools are closed
Star of Hope's school activity, which serves 3500 children, is also hit very hard. Inflation, the exchange rate, and the runaway food prices had already forced cuts when the riots continued.
Last week, four out of seven schools were forced to close indefinitely; Jeanton, Marigot, Dano, and Boyer, for security reasons, we had no choice. It is currently uncertain whether the schools in Rigaud, Hesse and Bois Negresse can stay open this week.
There is an extreme food shortage everywhere, and reaching out to school children is currently impossible because the transports are stopped and looted. In some instances, the only nutritious meal the children get each day was the school lunch. Now, that meal is not being served due to riots and safety.
Much too dangerous to leave home
Even the staff is in danger; Star of Hope's Myrtha Dor and Tony Boursiquot, fear for their lives.
- I haven't left the house since February 2, says Myrtha. “Tony has gone out a couple of times to probe the surroundings, but it is very dangerous”.
One thing is clear: once the uprising has ended, the food needs will be enormous in the country. Then we must be positioned to reach out with emergency assistance to the most vulnerable, and especially the children before it is too late.
Without help, they will be without food to eat. We cannot sit idly by.
PLEASE give a gift HERE but if you want to help more long-term - become a lunch buddy on the same form!
Large gifts are needed now with 100% to purchase of food in Haiti, contact Mark Presson 620 204 18 six five