Haiti Struggles With Violence, Refugees and Most Dangerous Season Since 2011

Violence in Haiti continues to plague the country and its people, with an increased number of violent deaths this year. In November 2018, the UN reported the highest number of violent deaths in three…

Haiti Struggles With Violence, Refugees and Most Dangerous Season Since 2011

Violence in Haiti continues to plague the country and its people, with an increased number of violent deaths this year. In November 2018, the UN reported the highest number of violent deaths in three years, continuing what UN statistics have found since 2015. With nearly 59 people murdered in Haiti from April to November, the UN decided it was high enough to alert the international community to the violence.

In the backdrop of this violence, Haiti is also experiencing increased displacement, as it is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Refugees were overwhelming the country last year with two waves of boat departures, showing “undeniable levels of forced migration driven by violence.” Now, displacement cases are continuing to see a rise, as the so-called rainy season affects Haiti.

Despite Haitian aid officials attempting to address the needs of its people, the help needed by refugees in Haiti is still daunting. They have limited communications, few resources and long distances to travel to seek aid. The UN recognizes the difficulty of meeting the needs of refugees living in Haiti as they were unaware of refugees coming to the country before 2013, which is not documented information.

Since the presidential election on February 5, a week after several candidate filings were halted by Haiti’s electoral council due to fraud complaints, violence continued to spread. Nearly 700 people were murdered in the five months after the election. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said after the election that its situation assessment showed “the deterioration of the security situation could not be overstated.” Throughout November, homicides continued to spike in the streets of Port-au-Prince.

While aid organizations continue to help victims, they are searching for solutions. United States Ambassador to Haiti Jessica Placencia told USA Today that “The violence being perpetrated by drug traffickers in the Caribbean, and what’s happening in Haiti, affects our national security.” As violence continues to gain momentum, aid groups are calling for the Haitian government to provide a coordinated response to the violence, helping authorities in preventing violence and fighting drug trafficking.

Author Justin Little is an American writer living in France.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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