UN proposes “humanitarian corridor” in Haiti due to blockades

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HPD) — The United Nations has proposed a “humanitarian corridor” in Haiti’s capital to help people get gasoline and assistance at a time when gangs continue to block roads and access to some areas, including a major fuel terminal in Port-au-Prince.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti said in a press release on Wednesday that the blockades, especially that of access to the Varreux gasoline terminal, undermine efforts to resolve the problems in the Caribbean nation, in particularly the resurgence of cholera after three years with no infections reported.

On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Ariel Henry also appealed to the international community for help in addressing the crisis in his country, which worsened last month when he announced the end of gasoline subsidies. The measure caused fuel prices to double and people, including gang members, to take to the streets to demonstrate.

Haiti’s biggest gang has even decided to block access to the main fuel terminal, warning that its members will remain in place until Henry resigns and gasoline prices are reduced.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, violence has spiked in Haiti over turf disputes between gangs, and the government has struggled to control them.

The United Nations pointed out that the blockade of the fuel terminal “has led to the closure of health centers in recent weeks, and has caused the interruption of water treatment services,” which means a problem in the work to prevent the anger.

“The crisis that Haiti is going through affects the population of the entire territory and the most vulnerable are the first to suffer because of the blockades,” the agency added in its press release.

The gang-locked fuel depot has been out of operation since September 12, preventing access to some 38 million liters (10 million gallons) of gasoline and diesel and more than 3 million liters ( 800,000 gallons) of kerosene that are stored on site. Many of the gas stations are closed and others are quickly running out of fuel.

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