Violent Protests in Haiti
CMMB is home to our largest country office, with 121 local staff members. The recent wave of violent protests has taken an already fragile country – plagued by poverty (two out of three Haitians live on less than $2.00/day) – and created more uncertainty and fear. We spoke with our country director, Dr. Dianne Jean Francois, and learned more about what’s happening on the ground and what it means for the people CMMB serves.
On February 7th 2019, violent protests broke out in Haiti and the impact was felt across the entire country. The protests are the result of severe economic hardship and allegations of corruption against government officials. At the height of the unrest, demonstrators clashed with local police, roads were blocked, and lives were lost. For days, Port-au-Prince – Haiti’s capital – was locked down, with roads leading in and out, virtually in-passable. As a result, residents were left without access to food and supplies, raising tensions and fear. Hospitals continue to operate in a deficit, as critical medicines are not reaching them.
Facts About This Already Fragile Country
Report from CMMB Haiti
We reached out to our CMMB country director in Haiti, Dr. Dianne Jean Francois, who shared this emotional response:
“Anything could happen to anyone at any moment. The violent protests have claimed lives and no one knows what will happen next. I am really sorry for Haiti, my home. This hurts a lot. The turmoil in Haiti has created critical shortages of potable water and medicine, and is crippling an already fragile health system.
As always, sick children and pregnant women are the most affected. I am thinking right now especially about the women and children in Côtes-de-Fer being served by our hospital, the Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan Center for Health. Although geographically far from the violent protests, their lives are in danger. Our team at the hospital is reporting dangerously low stocks of medicines and critical medical supplies.
Unfortunately, the road blockages caused by the protests, and business closures, means that we can’t rely on our usual supply routes. Our local team is taking calculated risks, looking for alternate routes to get essential medicines and supplies delivered. We have to. Lives are depending on it.”
Join us in sending prayers and support to our entire staff and all the people of Haiti.