UN warns of food shortages in Haiti as gang violence rages

People take cover from gunfire near the National Palace, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 21, 2024. (Photo/Reuters)

Stocks of food that the UN has sent to Haiti risk being exhausted by the end of April, particularly with the international airport now closed for a month, a UN spokesman has warned.

The Caribbean nation has been in a state of extreme insecurity since late February when gang leaders who control much of Port-au-Prince teamed up to attack police stations, prisons, the airport and the seaport in a drive to topple Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) only has enough food inside Haiti to feed 175,000 people for a month, the UN secretary-general's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.

The program "is ramping up food assistance in the country, but warns that its food stocks may run out by the end of this month," he added.

"The closure of Haiti's main port and airport about a month ago has also of course disrupted the flow of aid coming into Haiti," Dujarric said.

Health care in jeopardy

Further hampering access to nourishment and other aid, only seven percent of the UN's appeal for $674 million for humanitarian projects has been funded, Dujarric added.

Prime Minister Henry announced his resignation on March 11 amid the deadly gang violence, although a deal for a temporary government that will replace him has yet to be finalised.

Meanwhile "gang violence is disrupting access to health care for Haitians in Port-au-Prince," Dujarric said.

La Paix University Hospital, the only major such establishment still open, is "overwhelmed" and ambulances are having "difficulty accessing areas that are controlled by these armed gangs," Dujarric added.


Source: TRT