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Haiti. A container with aid for newborns was robbed. “At a Critical Moment”

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UNICEF reported that a container with aid for newborns and their mothers was robbed in the capital of Haiti – writes CNN on Sunday. The theft of the items “occurs at a critical time when children need them most,” said the organization's representative in Haiti, Bruno Maes.

On Saturday, a container carrying essential supplies for newborns and their mothers was looted in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, UNICEF said in a statement. In addition to items for mothers and newborns, the looted container also contained “equipment to support early development and education and swimming equipment” – it was added.

The theft of the items “occurs at a critical time when children need them most,” said UNICEF representative in Haiti Bruno Maes. “The plundering of items essential to saving children's lives must end immediately and access to humanitarian aid must remain safe,” he added.

– Depriving children of necessary health services in the face of a failing health care system is a violation of their rights – he stressed.

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Since January, violence in Haiti has worsened the situation of the already crumbling health care system, writes CNN. According to UNICEF, as many as three out of four women and children in the Port-au-Prince area lack access to basic health care and food.

There are only two functional operating theaters in the capital. Six out of ten hospitals across the country are unable to function due to shortages of electricity, fuel and medical supplies.

More than 260 containers belonging to humanitarian organizations in the country's main port are currently controlled by armed gangs.

“Police implements new strategies”

In recent days, several “bandits” were killed during a police operation in one of the districts in Port-au-Prince, where the leader of one of the gangs, Jimmi “Barbecue” Cherizier, lives and operates – the Haitian Police (HNP) announced on Saturday.

Read also: He arouses fear, even though he thinks of himself as Robin Hood. Who is “Barbecue” trying to take over?

Authorities said that during Friday's operation there was an exchange of fire with Cherizier's fighters, the aim of which was to “annihilate the activities of armed gangs.” Police also said they seized firearms and reopened roads in the Lower Delmas neighborhood.

“The police are implementing new strategies aimed at reclaiming some of the areas occupied by armed gangs in recent days in order to facilitate the free movement of peaceful citizens,” the HNP said in a statement.

Haiti. Thousands of people have fled their homes as the violence escalatesPAP/EPA/JOHNSON SABIN

On Friday, two police sources told CNN that authorities had launched an operation in Lower Delmas, where special forces were pursuing Cherizier. HNP did not specify whether police had located Barbecue, but said a report on the operation's progress would be made public soon.

The situation in Haiti

Violence has increased dramatically in recent years in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas. Currently, gangs control a large part of the country and 80 percent. the capital. Attacks have intensified, including: to government offices and police stations. Gangs have long grown in power, taking advantage of the chaos that engulfed the country after the great earthquake of August 2021 and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in the same year.

There are few safe places left inside the country. All roads leading out of Port-au-Prince are currently blocked by gangs. The police have started to fight, but they have limited resources – writes CNN. Access to ports and the international airport has been blocked.

READ MORE: Corpses in the streets, gangs take over. Appalling UN reports on Haiti

Grocery stores are running out of food, gas stations are running out of fuel, and hospitals are running out of blood. “Failure to stop the violence and reopen critical logistics routes will significantly exacerbate the healthcare crisis,” Maes said. “We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe and there is little time left to reverse it,” he added.

Meanwhile, the first flights of the air bridge organized by the United Nations between Haiti and neighboring Haiti have ended Dominican Republic – CNN sources at the UN tell us. For now, the only way to fly in and out of Port-au-Prince is by private helicopter, available to wealthy foreigners and diplomats, where one seat can currently cost over PLN 10,000. dollars.

In October 2023, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution that authorized a military mission “not officially representing the UN” to operate in Haiti. Kenya is the only country that has agreed to take command of such an operation and intends to send a thousand policemen to Port-au-Prince, to be joined by contingents from other countries.

HaitiPAP/EPA/Johnson Sabin

The Secretary of State attended an extraordinary meeting of leaders of the Caribbean Community countries in Jamaica on Monday USA Antony Blinkenwho announced that the US would provide an additional $133 million to support the resolution of the crisis in Haiti.

On the same day, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned, as announced on Monday by the President of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), President Mohamed Irfaan Ali of Guyana. Henry's resignation was demanded by, among others: gangs.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/JOHNSON SABIN

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