People are protesting in Haiti because they are tired of the inhumane living conditions; the cost of basic goods and gasoline have sky-rocketed.
With the lack of gas, the main antennas of Digicel and Natcom are not powered in some places. As a result, communication is inconsistent and difficult.
The roads in and out of Terrier Rouge have been blocked.
Schools, including St. Barthelemy, have been shut down nationwide.
Clinique Espérance et Vie is continuing to address patient needs via emergency services and telemedicine.
September 22, 2022
What we know--
All of us know that the chronic difficulties of life in Haiti have in recent weeks have grown much worse. Allan Siegal, a behind-the-scenes icon in American journalism, is remembered for having said, “Readers will believe more of what we do know if we level with them about what we don’t know.” We at Bethlehem Ministry promise to do our very best to keep you our faithful donors, as up to date as we can, to let you know what we know, and what we don’t know. The political, social, and humanitarian crisis embroiling Haiti is obviously rooted in deep frustration over retching declines in the quality of life. The associated desire to see the prime minister step down is also an important catalyst. Unrest and gang violence have seriously eroded the basic fabric of society, particularly in Port-A-Prince and Cap Haitian. Sadly, the social malaise has spread to the rural northeast. The roads in and out of Terrier Rouge have been blocked. Thugs are intimidating people to prevent them from leaving their homes. Schools, including St. Barts, have been shut down nationwide. Clinique Espérance et Vie is continuing to address patient needs via telemedicine, though patients struggle to reach our pharmacy. There is grave concern that lack of fuel for generators may shut down cell service. Clinic personnel who live in Terrier Rouge are providing limited emergency medical services.
Esperance et Vie, our Haitian partners of almost 40 years, is working non-stop to access the
situation and support their people. Their focus is on facilitation of food supplies, medical and emotional support, and other essentials such as wire transfer of funds from the U.S. We will update you as updates from Haiti reach us. For now, we reiterate our sincere appreciation for your faithful support of the so richly deserving people of northeastern Haiti. We all hope fervently for this storm of unrest to exhaust itself. And we long for a lasting, patient commitment to a fairer and more prosperous Haiti. We ask that you keep Haiti in your prayers.
September 19, 2022
Since the end of last month, there has been some instability in the area. However, yesterday, after the Prime Minister's speech, things took a turn for the worst in several parts of Haiti. Several roads are blocked, including the bridge in Terrier Rouge, leaving people confined to one area. According to what has been shared in the news and on social media, the goal is to protest until the Prime Minister leaves office. People are tired of the inhumane living conditions; the cost of basic goods have sky-rocketed and let's not even talk about the price and scarcity of gas. On my recent trip to Haiti five weeks ago, while I was in Cap [Haitien] I purchased a loaf of wheat bread for over 6 dollars at Leah Market. That was just one of many examples, in order to give you an idea of the current situation, even if my visit was for a short period of time especially since I live and earn a wage in the US; therefore, I can't imagine what my fellow Haitians go through daily.
These riots are creating major issues for everyone. Our CFO Jean Robert, who lives in the capital, was not able to get home from work last week due to barricades. He had to leave his car and walked over 3 hours to make it home safely to his wife and 3 children. He has not been back to work since and still hasn't recuperated his vehicle (if it is still there). Today, we have been informed that a new issue has risen. With the lack of gas, the main antennas of Digicel and Natcom are not powered in some places. As a result, communication is inconsistent and difficult. Therefore, Rachel and I can hardly communicate with Jean Robert and the team members in Terrier Rouge. We do our best to constantly reach out to some key members for updates, but out of everyone, we could only reach Yvon.
Regarding the clinic, it has not been opened since most of the team members are not able to get there.
The 2022-2023 school year was supposed to start on September 3rd but was moved to October 3rd; but, with the current situation, it is unsure.
We are concerned about the safety of all of our team members and we hope they are ok.
Another concern is the looting of places where there is food. There are rumors that our partner Food for the Poor, which supplies most of the food for the school, is on the list to be attacked.
An attempt was made to raid the customs office in Terrier Rouge but the UDMO force, a specialized unit of the National Police, was there to defend it; nevertheless, it is my understanding that someone got hurt.
Father Bruno and the family have been praying and I am soliciting you to join us in prayers in these difficult times. We hope the Lord will help us see the light at the end of this long dark tunnel. I will keep you informed as we continue to receive updates and I take the opportunity to reiterate my gratitude for our partnership.
Chief, Association Executive
Esperance et Vie