the wave of protests started in Haiti a few weeks ago has left the country “paralyzed” and has caused a worsening of the already serious humanitarian situation, according to the UN, which detects timid efforts to return to normality in recent days.
Insecurity and the increase in the cost of living underlie this social unrest, exacerbated by the withdrawal of fuel subsidies decreed by the Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, who took the reins of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after the assassination in July of 2021 of the then president, Jovenel Moise.
Armed gangs have expanded “significantly”especially in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that warns of a restriction on mobility in a country where almost 5 million people, 43 percent of the population, need humanitarian aid.
“The entire country remains paralyzed by roadblocks and spontaneous demonstrations,” warns OCHA, in a text that echoes the closure of businesses and attacks on public and private property, including the looting of warehouses of the World Program for Food (WFP).
The authorities have confirmed this week an apparent relaxation of the mobilizations, but insecurity persists as evidenced by an assault perpetrated on Thursday against a women’s prison in the city of Cabaret, located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.
The director of Penitentiary Administration, Pierre René François, has confirmed to the newspaper ‘Le Nouvelliste’ clashes between the assailants and the security forces. Several policemen have been shot in this attack, he has explained. The authorities assume that there has been a mass escape from this prison.