● Since 1 June, an upsurge in inter-gang clashes has caused the displacement of an estimated 10,000 civilians in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. The inter-gang violence and clashes are having a direct and indirect impact on the whole population of that area. Frequent shootings and regular roadblocks are limiting access to entire neighbourhoods and spreading fear among the population.
● Local authorities, the Haitian Red-Cross, national and local NGOs are playing a vital role in responding to the most urgent needs but due to limited resources available and limited access, less than a third of the IDPs is currently receiving assistance and no assistance is provided to host families or the stranded population of Martissant.
● The initial response provided is partly drawn from preparedness stocks for the hurricane season. While partners are taking these exceptional measures, this will affect the response capacities of the humanitarian partners to potential hurricane impacts. As such, funding for these operations and for the replenishment of these contingency stocks is urgently needed.
● Gender-based violence is reported among the displaced population, with sexual abuse, including rape, among IDPs, in host families and as offer of “sex for shelter”. The ongoing insecurity is limiting capacities for monitoring and addressing support requests.
● The current situation is also having an impact on other departments, especially in the Southern Peninsula, due to limitations on the movement of people and goods.
● The United Nations are calling for an end to the violence to allow the civilian population to return to their neighbourhoods and resume their daily life and allow humanitarian access to the victims.
Deadly clashes between rival gangs in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, caused by a reconfiguration of gang alliances and territorial disputes, have multiplied in recent weeks, with a significant upsurge since 1 June fuelling a widespread sense of insecurity and creating dramatic consequences for the civilian population. The situation is likely to worsen in the coming weeks with gangs expected to fight back to regain territorial control. In a busy electoral calendar year, this surge in violence is affecting the capital of a country already counting 4.4 million food-insecure people, 3.5 million of whom present multidimensional vulnerabilities. Adding to the challenge, the rate of COVID-19 infections and fatalities has risen more than fivefold in the last month following the arrival of new variants. Two of the main hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in Port-au-Prince announced last week that they are overrun.
These incidents have resulted in over 50 deaths so far and many injuries. As information is being received from local partners on the ground, preliminary estimates suggest that over 10,000 people have fled their homes since 1 June, particularly from Martissant, Bas Delmas and Saint Martin. This increase in displacement adds to the around 3,900 people displaced over the past 9 months, especially in Bel’Air, Tabarre Issa, Camp La Piste and Delmas 75, bringing the total number of IDPs to close to 13,900 at present.
National police presence in these neighbourhoods is currently not in a position to provide the necessary security and protection to civilians, leaving vulnerable populations to fend for themselves. The police themselves are the target of gangs, who stormed eight police stations and killed eight policemen during the first week of June, taking weapons and police equipment such as bullet-proof vests and radios.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.