Haiti Is in Dire Need of Aid as Gangs Storm Prisons, Attack Airports, and Run People Out of Their Homes

Haiti has been a place of poverty and unrest for decades, especially following the 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and led to the emergence of dozens of violent gangs vying for control in the unstable political space. Things escalated even further after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in 2021. To many, it seemed the situation couldn’t get worse.

But in recent weeks, the gang violence has exploded into what some have termed a “low-scale civil war.” Gangs burned police stations and government buildings and stormed two prisons in Port-au-Prince, releasing around 4,000 inmates into the streets. They’ve also unleashed a barrage of attacks on area airports, leading to the cancelation of most flights in and out of the country. There are believed to be more than 200 gangs operating in the area, and they’ve taken over about 80% of Port-au-Prince’s territory. A state of emergency has now been declared in Haiti.

Photo via Greater Good Charities


The border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has been closed, so escape from the country by land is no longer possible. A charter flight is being organized from Haiti to the U.S. for those with valid passports via the Cap-Haitien International Airport, but that airport is 120 miles outside of Port-au-Prince, and travel between the two points is very unsafe.

Many people are trapped in their homes for fear of violence if they leave, while roughly 15,000 others have been forced out of their homes by gangs and now live on the streets or in shelters. Families have been robbed and had their homes and sources of livelihood taken from them. Food and other resources to help those in need is severely limited.

Photo via Greater Good Charities


Around 1.4 million Haitians are currently on the verge of famine, and more than 4 million require food aid. Many only eat once a day or not at all, according to aid groups in the area.

Jean-Martin Bauer, director for the Haitian arm of the United Nation’s World Food Program, says, “Haiti is facing a protractive and mass hunger.” He specifically called out Croix-des-Bouquets, in the eastern part of Haiti’s capital, which he says “has malnutrition rates comparable with any war zone in the world.”

As humanitarian organizations rush to provide relief to hungry Haitians, gangs block their efforts, leaving people without access to food and medical care. Only a few aid organizations have been able to continue working after February 29th, when violence really started ramping up in the region. Those organizations that have stayed in the area are severely lacking in critical resources to help all those in need. The World Food Program‘s warehouse is running out of grains, beans and vegetable oil and estimates it only has supplies to feed people for a few more weeks.

GreaterGood and our non-profit partner, Greater Good Charities, are working to provide support to humanitarian organizations on the ground in Haiti so they can offer more help to the millions of people suffering from food shortage, homelessness, senseless violence, lack of medical care, and other tragedies as a result of the current crisis situation. But we can’t do it without you.

Photo via Greater Good Charities


We need your help to provide food and medical supplies to our partners on the ground who can get these much-needed supplies into the hands of those who need it. We’ll also be working to keep schools open and ensure children can safely attend them; this will help children feel a sense of normalcy and relief from the onslaught.

The need is critical. The time is now. Will you make a donation today?

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