Continuing the Struggle for Prosperity in Haiti
Last summer, a Dare Humanity blog post covered the many crises the country was facing at the time. In just the first weeks of that summer, the country was burdened with a vaccine shortage, rampant gang violence, a hurricane, and the president’s assassination. It has now been a year and Haiti is confronted with similar dilemmas. In the first weeks of summer, Haiti is facing a gas shortage, a food crisis, and gang violence. The blog post stated that Dare Humanity was continuing to serve communities in Haiti and not let the frightening events cloud our mission to enhance the lives of those living in underserved communities. Our mission is unchanged and this statement remains true: we will continue to serve our beneficiaries in Haiti, especially in this time of need. This post serves to inform you of the current situation in Haiti and reaffirm Dare Humanity’s promise to continue working for the country’s betterment and success.
To begin, Haiti is currently experiencing a gas shortage. The government is unable to pay for fuel shipments as a result of decades of debt. Haiti buys gas at a high price and sells it in fuel stations for a low cost, making each shipment unprofitable and impractical. Because the country lacks the funds to make fuel purchases sustainable in the long term, the amount of fuel being ordered each day decreases. At this rate, there will come a time when the orders stop. The fuel shortage causes problems for fuel station owners, challenges transportation within the country, and decreases tourism from other countries — all of which cause further damage to Haiti’s economy.
Image source: The Haitian Times - Motorcyclists line up outside of a gas station in Haiti; Photo credit: Nadia Todres’s Twitter Images
Haiti is also in the midst of a food crisis. The country has faced food insecurity for decades, but the problem is worsening steadily, to the point where 4.5 million Haitians are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity. The economic crisis in Haiti has made basic essentials, like food, virtually unaffordable for lower income households. This issue has been exacerbated in part by the fuel shortage; because 70% of goods in Haiti are imported, there are fewer shipments arriving as planes cannot trust that they will be able to refuel. Furthermore, global crises, like the war in Ukraine, hurt import reliant countries like Haiti. Dare Humanity’s Men Kontre program was created to combat problems just like this. The program will continue to serve families in Haiti, providing them with food and other necessities.
Lastly, a recurring problem in Haiti and an issue we’ve written about many times is gang violence. There are 200 dead, 113 injured, 12 missing, 49 kidnapped, 11 medical centers closed, and at least 442 schools shut down in just the last month as a result of gang violence, and all of these figures are likely higher than reported (CNN, United Nations). After President Jovenel Moisse’s assassination in July of 2021 and the unstable position the country was left in as a result, gang violence escalated. Now, the levels of violence have reached unprecedented and unspeakable levels, causing thousands of people to leave their homes and find shelter. What poses the most problems are the rival gangs that began fighting in Port au Prince in late April. The gangs have blocked two main national roads connecting Port au Prince with the rest of the country, restricting access and movement of goods, further worsening the shortage of fuel and food.
Image source: Reuters - Residents raise their arms as they flee their homes due to ongoing gun battles between rival gangs, in Port au Prince; Photo credit: Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters
The sentiment we shared last year remains true: the people of Haiti are resilient and hopeful for a better future. We are working to help them achieve this and will not be dissuaded by the country’s current situation. Dare Humanity has seen these issues before and has helped our beneficiaries deal with them year after year. We will continue to operate our programs in an attempt to ease the impact of these crises and work to find new ways to help the country during this time. We encourage you to stay connected with Dare Humanity in order to see how we are helping Haiti, keep our beneficiaries in your prayers, and learn how you can support the country during this difficult time.
About the Author
Simone Faulkner is our Communications and Partnerships Intern at Dare Humanity. Growing up in the Bay Area, with its reputation for social change, she realized that her purpose in life is to help people through service and kindness. This is what she plans to do as an intern for Dare Humanity by writing blog posts and exploring partnerships with companies. When she's not volunteering she loves to play soccer, write, bake, and explore the outdoors.