The President of the Republic of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated on the morning of July 7 in his residence. His wife, Martine Moise, was injured in the attack and is now receiving treatment in the United States.
This horrific act comes at a time when Haiti is experiencing unprecedented political instability. The phenomenon of gangsterization of working-class neighborhoods is spreading throughout the country. There is hardly any safe area in the country as we speak. Cases of violence, armed robberies, crimes and forced kidnapping for ransom, battles between armed groups are recorded all over the country with more predominance in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. National roads #1, 2 and 3 are often cut and this causes great difficulty for the free movement of the population.
“We are truly saddened by this tragedy that the country is experiencing,” says Ms. Faimy Carmelle Loiseau, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Haiti. “SOS Children’s Villages in Haiti continues to take measures to ensure the safety of children, young people and employees by being vigilant as unrest and violence are unpredictable and spare no one.”
The country is now a gloomy and suspicious state. The frightened civilian population remains cloistered at home. Public transport is virtually paralyzed. Public and private companies and institutions remain closed. Doubt and fear hangs over the country’s future.
To ensure the safety of children, youth and staff, the National Office of SOS Children’s Villages in Haiti is monitoring the situation in the event that security protocols and procedures need to be implemented. The villages have enough food and supplies for two weeks, after stockpiling in advance of the recent tropical storm Elsa.
“Fortunately, we have not yet recorded any cases of violence or attacks against the organization in general, either participants in our programmes or staff. For several weeks now, principally in the area of Santo, we have had a police patrol the village area regularly. Also, our security company has stepped up awareness-raising measures in all our programs to strengthen their vigilance,” says National Director Loiseau.
In addition, all program offices and the National Office are closed, and colleagues must stay at home until the political situation stabilizes.
Children and families in Haiti are suffering from political instability and rampant violent crime following the assassination of their President.