Haiti

Haiti: Displacement in Port-au-Prince Situation Report No. 1 - As of 8 June 2021

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

This report is produced by OCHA Haiti in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 1st to 8th June 2021 and is based on the information and data available to date. As the situation is fast evolving an updated report will be issued around 11 June.

HIGHLIGHTS

● Widespread incidents of gang violence and the burning of hundreds of houses in the metropolitan area has led to numerous victims, deaths and injuries.

● While exact numbers are still unclear, preliminary estimates suggest that thousands of people have fled their homes and sought shelter with host families or settled in informal shelters.

● This population of newly displaced people requires urgent humanitarian assistance and protection support.

● Sanitation, shelter, access to safe water and food are key priority needs.

● Response efforts are underway via the distribution of hot meals and hygiene kits.

● The Carrefour Sports Centre shelters the largest displaced community with over 1,000 people.

260’000 affected people

2’000 targeted for immediate assistance (provisional)

5’600 internally displaced (provisional)

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Deadly clashes between rival gangs in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area seeking to exert control over populous areas have surged in recent weeks, with a significant upsurge since 1 June, fuelling a widespread sense of insecurity and creating dramatic consequences for the civilian population. These incidents have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries in these neighbourhoods, as well as several fires. People are fleeing to safer areas and many, including children, are sleeping outside on the ground. Most of the displaced are settling in informal sites and need shelter, food, water clothing and other non-food items. Based on currently available data, at least 1,000 people have been reportedly displaced over the last 72 hours only due to serious security incidents, particularly in Martissant, Cité-Soleil and Bel Air. This surge in displacement comes in addition to over 4,000 displaced in the last 12 months due to similar incidents.

On 1 June, armed clashes between gangs in the areas of Martissant, Fontamara, Bas-Delmas led to a number of deaths and injuries as well as the burning of homes and small businesses. Hundreds of families fled following the clashes. Citizen testimonies indicate that people who have fled the violence have found shelter with host families or left to cities in other provinces.

On the same day, a fire in the “Toussaint Brave” site in the Delmas commune devastated 150 houses, leaving some 200 households homeless. The fire claimed the life of a 2-year old and severely injured another infant. While its origins remain unclear, the fire was nevertheless reminiscent of the March 2021 Tabarre Issa gang-related fires.

This week’s displacement adds to the overall number of displaced population that includes more than 1,000 people displaced in August 2020 from the Bel Air neighbourhood, whose homes and businesses were burned by gangs and forced to take refuge in four unsuitable sites, as well as the more recent displacement in March 2021 for nearly 3,000 people that fled their homes in Tabarre Issa due to organized gang attacks. Estimated displacement figures are available in the annex.

The national police is often, during these clashes and attacks, not in a position to provide the necessary security and protection, leaving vulnerable populations to fend for themselves. Armed assailants attacked all three police stations in Cité Soleil on 5 June, killing one police officer and injuring another, while also stealing a number of weapons.

The effects of armed clashes between gangs and spontaneous roadblocks in these areas are affecting the general population and ongoing insecurity is severely limiting movements of people and goods in those neighbourhoods as well as humanitarian aid. Limited transit to and from the city is particularly affecting daily commuters and traders from other provinces.

People fleeing from the recent violence in Martissant have dispersed to formal and makeshift sites such as the Centre Sportif de Carrefour, the Fontamara public square, Diquini 63, the Mont-Carmel church at Bizoton 51 and the Adventiste church in Morija de Carrefour.

The situation remains very fluid with displaced families being relocated to other secondary sites. For example, on Sunday, 6 June, the church Mont Carme was closed and displaced people transferred to the Carrefour Sports Centre.
While several hundred people (the number is yet to be determined) are reported to be sheltered across numerous sites, it is estimated that a larger number have found shelter in host families and are scattered throughout the city of Port-auPrince and/or have fled to other provinces. The total number and locations of the displaced are still being evaluated and figures will be updated as new reports come in.

The unprecedented level of violence and subsequent displacements is creating a host of secondary issues, such as the disruption of community-level social functioning, family separation, increased financial burdens on host families, forced school closures, loss of livelihoods and a general fear among the affected populations

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.