Contáctenos Quiénes somos
Migración | Por Redacción Espacinsular

Geneva/ Port-au-Prince, 9 March – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is deeply concerned by the uprising of violence since the end of February.

IOM's latest displacement tracking reveals that 15,000 people have been displaced within just one week, all of them having already experienced displacement. Ten displacement sites have been entirely emptied due to the successive waves of violence, leaving displaced families traumatized. Urgent needs include access to food, healthcare, water, and hygiene facilities, and psychological support. More than 160,000 people are currently displaced in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.

“Haitians are unable to lead a decent life. They are living in fear, and every day, every hour this situation carries on, the trauma gets worse.” says Philippe Branchat, IOM's Chief in Haiti, underscoring the gravity of the situation. “Insecurity is growing at the national level: violence in Artibonite, roadblocks in Cap Haitien, and fuel shortages in the South. People living in the capital are locked in, they have nowhere to go. People fleeing cannot reach family members and friends in the rest of the country to find shelter. The capital is surrounded by armed groups and danger. It is a city under siege.”

The collapsing health system, attacks on hospitals by the armed groups, and the lack of mental health services further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. Some hospitals have been run over by gangs and had to evacuate staff and patients, including newborns. Medical professionals across the capital are sounding the alarm as their capacity to deliver even the most basic medical services is severely diminished. Among the most basic medical services, the need for psychosocial support is dire.

Successive displacements, where individuals abandon everything, coupled with experiences of violence, rape, and overcrowded living conditions, have exacerbated psychological distress with an alarming rise in suicidal tendencies among the displaced populations.

Across Haiti, 362,000 people are currently internally displaced, some of them several times over increase household vulnerability. This is 15 per cent more since the beginning of the year. More than half of them, 180,000, are children, a group particularly vulnerable. Lack of goods and resources is amplifying an already precarious economic situation. Each new location presents new adaptation challenges, such as access to water and basic services. Families must constantly adapt, raising stress and anxiety.

Despite the chaotic security situation in the capital, IOM and its partners persist in delivering assistance to the areas where it is most needed. The Organization is utilizing every available opportunity to provide aid to communities and displaced populations in different neighborhoods and maintaining the necessary social cohesion between both communities facing similar humanitarian needs.

IOM and its partners have ensured the provision of nearly 300,000 liters of water to more than 20,000 displaced people, the distribution of blankets, jerry cans, solar lamps, kitchen sets and plastic sheets to more than 2,000 people and offers psycho-social support through hotlines and mobile clinics with psychologists, nurses and doctors. IOM has also provided cash assistance to more than 350 vulnerable migrants of the 1820 repatriated from the Dominican Republic over the past week.

IOM and humanitarian partners need unhindered access throughout the country to ensure that life-saving aid reaches the most vulnerable people now.