Haiti (MNN) — How bad is “bad” in the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation? Haiti unrest has caused 189 injuries and 17 deaths so far, the National Human Rights Defense Network reports.
Aid workers cannot reach the populations they’re helping. Furthermore, For Haiti With Love’s Eva DeHart tells MNN there’s no immediate end to the crisis in sight. “Basically, the whole country is just upside-down,” she says.
“We’ve been down there 40 years [and] this is the worst we’ve ever seen it.”
Why are Haitians protesting?
One common statement goes something like this: “desperate times call for desperate measures.” DeHart says many Haitians are frustrated and fed up with their bleak situation, so they’re taking action.
“They’re tired of having no fuel, having no water; they’re tired of having no food.”
Many Haitians blame President Jovenel Moïse for their crises “so, most of the protests are to get him out,” DeHart explains. “He (Moïse) says he’s not going; he’ll fight to the bitter end.”
As Haiti Sentinel reports here, some of Moïse’s supporters allegedly issued calls to a civil war last week.
Meanwhile, Moïse has been in hiding since the protests began three weeks ago. He made his first in-person appearance yesterday during an aid distribution on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the Associated Press reports.
What’s happening in Cap-Haitien?
Port-au-Prince is on “lock-down,” as Compassion’s Guilbaud Saint-Cyr described yesterday. Protestors might be passing by the rural communities he mentioned, but cities like Cap- Haïtien – where For Haiti has its burn clinic – are not exempt.
A week ago, unidentified gunmen shot and wounded more than 20 protesters in the city.
“They (protestors) had the road blocked coming up the mountain to our clinic. If people didn’t pay to get through the roadblock, then they were hit in the head with bottles,” DeHart says, describing how Haiti unrest is affecting their work.
“This is actually the first time riots have gotten this far up into the mountains. It’s just a sign that there’s no place in Haiti that’s immune to this now.”
How can I help?
Now that you know, what will you do? First and most importantly, pray.
Lift up For Haiti With Love’s staff as they care for people in Jesus’ name. Pray this ministry and others can continue their critical work in Haiti. Ask the Lord for peace.
“The country is getting so crazy that it’s a matter of faith to stay there. From what I understand, there are a lot of ministries that are pulling out [and] a lot of businesses pulling out,” DeHart says.
“It has gotten so far out of hand that [the] people who want to help are throwing up their hands and leaving.”
Consider giving to For Haiti With Love so they can keep meeting physical and spiritual needs. Use the “share” buttons below to spread the word on social media.
Header image depicts the city of Cap-Haitien as viewed from a mountain like the one DeHart describes. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons.