Monday, July 15, 2024

The United Nations reports that 300,000 children in Haiti have been displaced by gang violence

Gang Violence Displaces Over 300,000 Children in Haiti, U.N. Agency Reports

The humanitarian crisis in Haiti has reached a breaking point as gang violence continues to escalate, displacing over 300,000 children since March. The situation has left nearly 580,000 people homeless, with children making up more than half of the affected population.

Gangs now control a significant portion of the capital Port-au-Prince and key access roads, resulting in over 2,500 casualties in the first three months of the year. This spike in violence followed a series of attacks on government infrastructure that ultimately led to the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in April.

UNICEF’s executive director, Catherine Russell, emphasized the dire need for a safe and protective environment for displaced children, calling for increased support and funding from the international community. Many children are living in unsanitary conditions in makeshift shelters, putting them at risk of disease and facing a higher dropout rate due to school closures.

In response to the crisis, Kenyan forces have arrived in Haiti to assist in combating the armed gangs, although the deployment has sparked mixed reactions due to past controversies involving U.N. peacekeeping missions in the country. The U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser, Jonathan Finer, met with Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille to discuss the initial deployment of a U.N.-backed mission, emphasizing the importance of accountability and oversight mechanisms.

Furthermore, Haiti is now bracing for a challenging hurricane season, with a tropical storm watch in effect for the southern coast as Hurricane Beryl approaches the Caribbean Sea. The combination of gang violence, displacement, and natural disasters paints a grim picture for the vulnerable population in Haiti, highlighting the urgent need for international assistance and support.

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