The crisis in Haiti is pretty much a humanitarian crisis, whichever way you look at it. It is a human rights disaster. It is a moral catastrophe. And it will continue until we change our approach to solving the problems that have been building up in this small country for years.
In the past few weeks, criminal violence in Haiti escalated, with fighting between rival gangs in multiple sections of the capital killing at least 100 people, many of whom were children, and forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.
A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in the Caribbean nation. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with the highest malnutrition and infant mortality rates.
The Haitian people fight to survive while the U.N. and the international community sit back and do nothing. Haiti has a helping hand in its destruction.
Haiti is a broken country. Nothing works in the country.
Inequality and Educational Barriers:
A little less than half of Haitians aged 15 and up are educated. The education system in the country is severely unequal.
Rights of Women and Girls:
Gender-based violence is widespread. Rape was only officially criminalized by ministerial decree in the 21st century.
Rights of Disabled People:
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of the Haitian population is disabled.
The U.S. extended an 18-month Temporary Protected Status designation for Haitians in the U.S. for another 18 months in May 2021. Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. has continued to deport arriving Haitian migrants and asylum seekers to Haiti. In September, it deployed border officials on horseback against Haitians attempting to enter the U.S. across the US-Mexico border.
System of Criminal Justice:
Haiti’s jails are dangerously overcrowded, with many captives subjected to brutal treatment.
The Economic Crisis:
The state has been unable to secure the capital needed to maintain and improve the country’s decrepit infrastructure and address chronic poverty.
The Political Crisis:
Violent unrest has been rampant in the streets of Port-au-Prince and other major cities. Nobody knows what is going on in the country. Haiti currently has no head of state, no functioning legislature, and an unelected acting prime minister who has declared a “state of siege” that amounts to martial law.
A few days before his assassination, the de facto president Jovenel Moise named Ariel Henry as Prime Minister to replace Claude Joseph. Jovnel himself was illegal in that position. His term ended on February 7th, 2021, but he stayed in power until his death on July 7th, 2021.
Ariel Henry has yet to be sworn in. Both the U.S. and the U.N.’s top Haiti envoy have backed Henry’s claim to be the country’s interim leader until elections, which are not expected soon.
The Gang Crisis:
A growing number of criminals are establishing their neighborhoods. These areas have become self-contained communities where gang members live by strict codes in some cases. The government has been unable to stem the outflow of people, primarily middle-class Haitians fleeing violence and seeking protection in other countries.
An estimated 1.5 million people are displaced, living under bridges and in temporary shelters. Thousands of people are starving as food and medicine are scarce.
The Environmental Crisis:
Heavy rains have caused flash floods, destroying homes and crops.
The Health Crisis:
Doctors are overwhelmed as they treat many sick and injured citizens.
The Social Crisis:
The lack of security, essential services, and opportunities is driving increasing numbers of citizens from the cities and rural areas to the border regions.
What’s happening in Haiti?
The current situation is a continuation of Haiti’s long history of tragedy, confusion, and incompetence. Haiti has experienced numerous hurdles in its 218 years as an independent republic.
Following the enslaved people’s independence from France in 1804, the slave-owning United States isolated Haiti for several decades out of fear of a danger to its economic interests.
France exacted a price for Haiti’s freedom, insisting that its former colony compensate for the loss of enslaved people and profitable crops. Now valued at over $21 billion, this debt has impoverished Haiti.
Other foreign interventions have also occurred in Haiti. After the violent death of President Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam — the second Haitian head of state to be assassinated – in 1915, the United States sent troops in to restore order.
This intervention resulted in an almost two-decade occupation. Haiti has also seen coups and dictatorships, most notably that of ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, who reigned for 14 years from 1957 with the support of the fearsome Tonton Macoute militia.
In 1986, a public rebellion deposed his son, dubbed ‘Baby Doc.’ Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a priest who advocated liberation theology, won Haiti’s first free and peaceful presidential election in 1990. A year later, he was deposed by the military.
In January 2010, the country suffered a devastating earthquake, leaving 300,000 dead, 1 million injured, and half a million homeless. With all this, Haiti has been facing some challenges.
Since the U.S. government selected the disgrace entertainment to be Haiti’s leader, Haiti has been under siege. Things are getting worse every day than the previous day. The political unrest in Haiti is continuing, and the situation remains serious.
Is Richard Cave right about Haitians? The song “Nou pa moun Anko” meaning “We are no longer humans,” was released recently. Is this the price Haiti is paying for being the first black republic? Are the enslavers still upset with us? It looks like whats happening in Haiti has been in the making for years. What do you think?