Camp of internally displaced people, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Camp of internally displaced people, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti 

From Haiti's hell, Bishop Dumas appeals for urgent 'Marshall Plan'

As millions daily struggle against hunger and poor living conditions in Haiti, as the nation has been brought to its knees by the violence of armed gangs, cholera and climate upheaval, Haitian Bishop Dumas of Anse-à-Veau-Miragoâne reaffirms the local Church's commitment to help the suffering.

By Federico Piana

In Haiti, peace is farther and farther away. While local politicians in recent weeks have tried, in vain, to talk to each other, by meeting in Jamaica, the violence in the Caribbean country continues. Armed gangs, opposed to any kind of agreement, continue to fight each other, perpetrating regular attacks and kidnappings.

Just yesterday, the latest news to spread was of the shots fired near a camp for the displaced.

Endemic poverty, which particularly affects children, is increasing dramatically after the nation is facing a cholera epidemic, and was recently scourged by floods and new earthquakes, from which it has still not recovered.

According to the latest UNICEF estimates, armed gangs have expanded their territory and now control communities of some two million people, mostly women and children, forced to live amid frequent summary executions and sexual violence.

This has fuelled a humanitarian crisis that, according to UNICEF, has resulted in the internal displacement of over 165,000 people, prompting many to attempt dangerous boat escapes to escape the daily hardships.

Cindy McCain, the World Food Programme's executive director, said there are at least five million Haitians struggling to eat every day.

"The humanitarian needs are even greater today than after the devastating earthquake of 2010, but with far fewer resources to respond," likewise lamented UNICEF's executive director, Catherine Russell.

Respect for the rule of law

The Haitian Church, which has chosen to be an agent of peace and which is doing its utmost to support the hungry and suffering population, is moving in this difficult context

Bishop Pierre-André Dumas of Anse-à-Veau-Miragoâne told Vatican News his conviction that one must "work for the normalisation of the country by implementing a real 'Marshall Plan' for integral human development."

Moreover, the Haitian Bishop underscored, there is a need for "respecting the rules of justice and the rule of law," noting, "the international community should be more involved in this."


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21 June 2023, 13:18