The armed group, the G-9 Families and Allies, seizing control of the fuel terminal at Varreux has dominated news from Haiti for the past two months. The group’s blockade of fuel entering the country impacted food delivery and medical supply chains just as cholera was presenting again. The blockade, and apparent inability of Haiti’s police to deal with the situation, became the chief talking point for those seeking an armed intervention. Over the last six days the situation has changed.
The Quixote Center supports smallholder farmers in Haiti to build sustainable livelihoods. The Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center located in Grepin, Haiti, just outside of the city of Gros Morne, is our primary partner.
The Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center houses a tree nursery, a garden and multiple classrooms. These resources help farmers increase the yields of their farms, find new markets for their products, and gain access to the seeds and technology they need to succeed. The agronomy team from the JMV Center travel throughout the Arrondissement of Gros Morne to deliver workshops organized with a network of small farm associations, the Catholic Church’s Caritas network, and schools.
Haiti Reborn was initially launched in 1991 during a period of renewal in Haiti, following the election of Aristide and the rise of Lavalas, a popular movement for democratic reform. The coup that ousted Aristide later that year led us to focus our efforts on speaking out against United States intervention in Haiti. Today we are still monitoring the impacts of US policy and advocating for change.
Last week we reported on the a decision by the USDA to block the importation of Haitian mangos because Haitian based inspectors were placed on leave due to security considerations. Below is a reflection on what this decision means for Gros Morne from Guy Marie Garçon, the chief agronomist & agronomy team coordinator for Karitas Pawas Lachandlè at the Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center.
Mangos are one of Haiti’s most important agricultural exports.
A portion of Haiti’s population is experiencing famine conditions for the first time since the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) system was created in 2004. 19,000 people in Cite Soleil are estimated to be at risk of starvation. Outside of Port-au-Prince, the situation is also dire. IPC estimated 4.7 people are facing severe food insecurity, with 1.8 million people at “urgent” levels.
Haiti’s acting Foreign Minister, Jean Geneus, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, met with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, last week to discuss the crisis in Haiti.
On Wednesday, September 7, thousands of people mobilized throughout Haiti in demonstrations against the de facto government of Ariel Henry. Protests against the government have been growing as insecurity has gotten worse, and the economy continues to decline.
In mid-September of 2021 thousands of migrants began gathering at the Del Rio border crossing in Texas. The majority of the estimated 15,000 people who arrived over the course of a few days were from Haiti. The message from the Biden administration was clear: Don’t come! If you do, you will be sent back.
The security crisis in Port-au-Prince continues to deteriorate. In July alone, nearly 500 people were killed when rival gangs warred in Cite Soleil. Armed groups control transportation routes into and out of the capital, extorting and kidnapping travelers.
Early in the morning of 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwest Haiti, killing 1200 people, injuring 12,000, and causing hospitals, schools and homes to collapse. Hundreds of thousands of people were in immediate need of humanitarian assistance, and many still are.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio promoted his policy ideas for Haiti in a recent op-ed. He called out the Biden Administration for a failure to fully engage what Rubio calls a looming crisis of political collapse and unauthorized migration. Rubio's arguments are similar to other recent opinion pieces in The Washington Post and elsewhere, calling on the administration to “do more!”