The situation in Haiti has deteriorated the last few months into a nationwide humanitarian crises. Bill had hoped to return to Haiti in August to complete the roof on the church in Janou. An accident here at the end of July laid him up for several weeks. As he recovered, we watched as things in Haiti worsened.
The gangs now control over 70% of Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti. They control the roads in and out of the city that food and supplies travel on to outlying areas. They have taken over the fuel terminals and are not allowing fuel trucks to go out. That means there is no fuel for taxis, commerce, generators to keep cell phone towers operating, etc.
The situation is dire. There are no jobs, no money, and therefore, no way to purchase food that is already hard to find as few trucks with supplies come out of Port au Prince. When we asked if there was food to buy if one had the funds, we were told yes, that someone was paying the gangs to let some food through but it is terribly expensive!
Warehouses in Port au Prince owned by large food organizations have been looted. Clean water plants have shut down as they can’t get fuel to operate and now cholera is on the rise, again.
In Les Cayes, the nearest city to our base on the mainland, Agape Flights has suspended flights indefinitely as there are protests nearly every day about the lack of food and fuel. It has been too dangerous for the missionaries Agape serves to get out on the roads to come and get their supplies. Last week, it was impossible to even travel on the roads in town as they were covered with burnt tires, rocks, and debris. If you can find fuel in Les Cayes,, it is over $40 per gallon and you can’t buy it at a gas station, only on the street. The country is basically “closed”
For the island of Ile a Vache where our base is, there are no taxi boats running to the mainland. The people are out of money and out of food. Breadfruit is in season on the trees and many people have only those to eat which is upsetting their stomachs.
We received a call last week from someone saying they and everyone around them had no money, no food, and didn’t know what to do. Unlike after the hurricane in 2016 when we were able to bring in tons of food for the relief effort, now it is better to give families their own funds to go and purchase their own food when they can.
Fortunately, we have still been able to reach Haiti by phone and have been able to continue to send funds to Haiti to be picked up by trusted friends. We will be stepping up the frequency of sending funds to try to stave off starvation for folks in villages we work with. Last week when we did so, the friend who picked up the money to be given to another to be distributed asked that we could get them to come quickly as he was afraid of being killed for it.
Please pray that the communication systems stay up so aid can be arranged. Pray for the safety of those who pick up and distribute the funds. It is not easy without transportation so someone will have to walk miles to meet someone else to get it. Please pray the people can find the food to buy when they receive the funds.
Pray for Haiti! This is a humanitarian disaster that does not seem to have a solution. Bill is still hoping to go back in November but it may not be possible. Thank you for your support and for praying. May God bless His people in Haiti. May He provide for them and may they be a light to others during these dark times!
Below is a link to the most recent story we saw online on October 11 about Haiti.