Spreading hope during crisis in Haiti

Apr 02, 2024
By Lesly Michaud, Country Program Director, World Vision Haiti

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Haiti is on fire. The institutional void left after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, and the increasing control by gangs, gaining more than 90 per cent of the capital, Port-au-Prince, using terror, is depleting a country whose history is marked by crises.
The crossfire between gangs and police has effects that go far beyond the economy; children, adults and the elderly wake up to the sound of gunshots in the middle of the night. The sick are trapped and have been sentenced to suffering without medical assistance, or death, as key hospitals in the capital remain closed. Families hunker down in fear and hunger, praying for safety from assaults, kidnappings and murders in the streets.
What will the memories of millions of children growing in fear, hunger and the loss of loved ones be? What will the memories of thousands of women, girls and adolescents, deemed prey for sexual violence be?
Aside from the rampant insecurity, the inability to make a living is devastating. Millions of Haitians depend on the informal economy in markets and cannot trade in such a dangerous environment. Haitians are also suffering emotionally and spiritually. As the crisis spirals, churches and schools remain closed. The lifeline for a sense of hope is limited. For thousands of children who rely on school meals as their only source of nutrition, their hopes of surviving are slowly vanishing.
As a Christian and humanitarian organization, restoring hope and planting seeds of hope are central to our programming. We have provided teachers and churches unable to gather in person with messaging to ensure the well-being and protection of children, which will be distributed via social media. In communities where displaced families are fleeing in search of food, water, and safety, World Vision Haiti is strengthening community and school gardens in rural areas to ensure access and availability of nutritious food for locals and forcedly displaced people.

Watch Lesly's interview with CTV News here: 

We estimate that more than 362,000 people have been forcedly displaced since the violence surged on February 29. We are strategically strengthening the productive capacities of families and communities in rural areas to sustain their own needs, as well as those flocking in from the capital.
Our efforts to strengthen sustainable livelihoods and ensure access to clean water in communities are essential, as gang activity has disrupted the supply chain through the main port and airport. Furthermore, enabling families to grow their own food allows us to plant seeds of hope.
It is difficult to understand how families survive in a country where six out of every ten people live below the poverty line, and where access to clean water, sanitation and healthy food for children is a luxury. Haiti is on the verge of a hunger crisis. Forty-two per cent of Haitians suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
World Vision is asking for immediate, timely and solidarity-driven support to address the growing humanitarian needs of internally displaced people and populations flocking to the border with Dominican Republic and other fragile rural areas. The children of Haiti deserve a childhood. They deserve an education, food and a secure home. The world must not ignore their suffering.

Support our response to the ongoing crisis facing Haiti today

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