Country in Crisis

By Carter Cormier

Haiti faces one of the worst crises in recent history due to gang violence, a cholera outbreak, and the assassination of their president a year ago. Their government is in shambles with no president since, and a prime minister who was never technically sworn in. They are facing widespread food insecurity, inflation, and closure of schools due to the pandemic. 

The gang violence that has rocked the country has only become more potent since the volatile political instability that has sustained since the assassination of their president. Thousands are fleeing the country and the U.S. continues to deport some of the people back. Although president Biden has put in Deportation relief to those already within the state by offering Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to an estimated 264,000 Haitians. 

TPS works by providing protection to those who have a good reason not to return home; such as natural disasters, dangerous conflicts, and other factors. President Donald Trump had attempted to abolish the TPS system but was prevented by federal courts. 

Another major crisis facing the Haitian people is their cholera outbreak. Haiti encountered another outbreak of cholera back in 2010, but recovered and did not have a single confirmed case in between 2019 to February of 2022. Now, as of January 3, 2023, there have been 20,000 confirmed cases. Haiti has little preparations in place for the outbreak, despite it being their second one. Although the cases are in the process of declining, Haiti is in dire need of emergency water treatment, increased surveillance, and targeted oral cholera vaccination campaigns.

Arguably more important than political stability, Haiti’s hunger crisis affects an estimated 4.7 million people; 2.4 of which are children. With a mere 11.8 million people, just under half of their people are going to bed hungry. There are a number of humanitarian organizations attempting to assist the various catastrophes that Haiti is currently facing: Hope for Haiti, Save the Children, SOIL, and UNICEF being some of many. 

Haiti has been considered a third world country ever since their independence from France in 1804. The people have struggled to form a healthy and cohesive government, and have been inhibited by oceans and political instability since. Hopefully, with the help of charities and international aid, Haiti and its people can reverse their fortunes and heal from the various crises currently facing them.