Seventy people died and forty were injured in clashes between rival gangs in the neighborhoods of Cité Soleil, the largest shanty town in Port-au-Prince, between April 14 and 19, reported this Sunday the Office of United Nations Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti (Ocha).
Among the fatalities there are 18 women and 2 minors, according to the data, which also indicates that 12 women were injured.
The humanitarian and security situation in many areas of Cité Soleil, which has several hundred thousand inhabitants, “has reached an alarming level,” Ocha said in a statement.
“Women and children are especially exposed to gang brutality”reads the document.
The fighting is also depriving the population of their freedom of movement and access to essential goods and services, and has caused the closure of many schools and health centers in the area.
“The clashes are escalating in Cité Soleil. The situation in Brooklyn, for example, is dramatic. People feel besieged. They can no longer leave their homes for fear of armed violence and terror imposed by gangssaid Haiti Humanitarian Coordinator Ulrika Richardson.
In addition to armed violence, the population of Cité Soleil suffers from severe food insecurity and is one of the epicenters of the latest cholera epidemic. The torrential rains in recent weeks have worsened the sanitary and living conditions in the neighborhood.
Located in front of the sea, at the foot of the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, the commune of Cité Soleil is inundated by the waste of the capital. As a consequence, the garbage completely blocks access to the Brooklyn neighborhood and no vehicle, including tanker trucks, can enter.
The situation favors the resumption of the cholera epidemic and the spread of other epidemics.
The Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti reiterated the imperative for the unhindered passage of humanitarian aid to those in need, as well as the protection of health, education, humanitarian and essential personnel and infrastructure, including the water supply. The population must have secure access to basic services and goods and to humanitarian aid.
“Above all, they must be able to live in safety and dignity.”, he concluded.
The socioeconomic and political crisis has intensified in recent months in Haiti, which is suffering from a spiral of violence and the reappearance of cholera, which has already caused nearly 600 deaths in the country since last October.
All of this led the Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, to request the dispatch of a foreign force last year, a request that has yet to receive a concrete response.
(With information from EFE)
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