Updated: Jun 11, 2019
At Espwa, the children and staff are participating in activities to celebrate the rights of children while Haiti braces for more anti-corruption protests this morning in the capital of Port-au-Prince and other cities around the country, calling for the president’s resignation and action on corruption in the Haitian government.
Our dedicated staff have been focusing on activities for the children, keeping them safe, and assuring we have resources for this uncertain time as well as educating them on conflict and change. Everyone feels the tension and anxiety from this long period of instability but we strive to promote the tools of education with both children and families that will eventually change the future.
In February 2018, waves of protests began when an oil-for-loans deal with Venezuela came to an end and money that was supposed to be directed by the Haitian government towards infrastructure, social, and economic projects – about $3.8 million – was nowhere to be seen.
President Jovenel Moise has recently be implicated in a report released on May 31 by the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation (CSCCA), which details the alleged fraud by the current president as well as his predecessor Michel Martelly. The release of this report has sparked a rejuvenated outrage among the Haitian population.
Citizens leading the anti-corruption efforts are asking for everyone to repeat the scale of protests that rippled through Haiti in February earlier this year. The country was shut down for over a week as citizens took to the streets, many becoming violent and several lives taken victim in the destruction.
Regardless of the outcome of upcoming protests and calls for action, Haiti faces a challenging future. The country continues to experience an
ongoing fuel shortage,
deepening economic crisis with no functioning government after Prime Minister Jean Henry Cèant was fired in March,
increasing gang violence,
deep political tensions,
and a collapsing economy.
If protests rage as they did earlier this year, the country may once again face a standstill.
Local markets shut down or are inaccessible, cutting off food and supplies to local communities.
Streets are blocked by barriers and burning tires, limiting the movement of people and supplies.
Looting of businesses and vendors often occurs.
Prices of goods and other critical resources rise as transportation networks are cut off and vendors rely more precariously on the income.
Gang violence increases, forcing families to remain at home and all activity to halt.
When families can not access basic resources like food, clean water, and medical care, getting through the day becomes increasingly difficult.
We are not exempt from these challenges. The cost of living has drastically increased throughout the first half of the year, and securing resources for the children is a challenge to navigate.
We ask that you pray for the safety of the children and their families, our staff and their families, our partners serving Haiti, our surrounding communities, and the larger population of Haiti as they face an intensifying crisis.
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