(Photo by Giuseppe Bizzarri)
Haiti (MNN) ― On February 28, Haitians observed an important anniversary in the 205-year history of their country. In the days leading up to it, there have been protests and marches across the country.
Eva DeHart with For Haiti With Love is hoping the tensions won't erupt into days of rioting. "Haitians notoriously have been their own worst enemies." Conditions at every level have worsened in Haiti since 2004.
Poverty and hunger are rising, forcing many to subsist on "dirt cookies." Malnutrition is widespread, and starvation has made its appearance.
Agricultural production has suffered through a succession of four hurricanes last year. Half of Haiti's children do not attend school, and half of its people have no access to medical care.
Haitian President René Préval says his impoverished country is in desperate need of economic assistance and is seeking as much as $100 million to fill a budget gap that he said could send Haiti back into anarchy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be providing US$36.6 million in additional funds to Haiti to help it cope and recover.
2008 was a year filled with food riots, anarchy, disaster and death. The stability the country teeters on threatens to unravel with a breath.
DeHart says, "Desperate people do desperate things. They're tired of high gas prices. They're tired of not being able to get food. They're tired of the fact that they've seen no progress since the hurricanes. It's just a very depressing situation that they're not seeing an end to."
In the meantime, For Haiti With Love has been using the food supplies for their normal food program to keep people alive when there is no food. They were fortunate to have had a container delivered to the headquarters and are arranging to have another one shipped down.
Beans are gone, and operations have shifted to using the food packs, local rice and bulgur wheat. The medical clinic also needs to be resupplied as they have been caring for the sick and injured.
For Haiti with Love is the hands and feet of Christ in Haiti. They're marking 40 years of love in the region. DeHart urges believers to "pray for a peaceful spirit in the country so that the people somehow understand that God is in control and that demonstrations and violence are not going to help."