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Current Unrest in Haiti

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

News Highlights:

  • 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.

  • Most schools, including St. Barthelemy, have been shut down nationwide.

  • Clinique Espérance et Vie is continuing to address patient needs via emergency services and telemedicine.

 

December 9, 2022


Esperance et Vie's Chief Operation Officer Rachel Bruno has informed us that more people are moving through the streets of Terrier Rouge. Previously gangs were threatening those who left their homes. This is a good sign that tensions around travel are easing. St. Barthléméy is currently assessing if it would be safe for 9th and 13th graders to begin classes soon. Pray that things continue in this direction.

 

November 12, 2022

Although St. Barthélémy is closed, one of our recent graduates is attending the Universite Chretienne de la Communaute de Caiman in Pignon that has recently reopened. The university is 2.5 hours from Terrier Rouge where St. Barthélémy is located. We are hopeful that more schools will open soon.

 

October 24, 2022


Since the end of August, there has been a lot of riots in Haiti. These rampages are creating major issues for everyone and are affecting the daily functioning of the population. The roads are constantly blocked, the cost of basic goods has skyrocketed, major businesses are not able to function normally, schools are closed, petrol has become a rare commodity.


With the lack of gas, the main antennas of Digicel and Natcom are not powered in some places. At Terrier-Rouge, daily communication with the staff has been challenging and internet connection is a luxury. The school is closed. Only the necessary staff remains on the premises. At this time, we do not have a clear idea of when school will resume. But

we are hopeful that it will be soon.


The clinic operates on a reduced schedule and on a rotational basis. The lack of electricity in the community is affecting our daily operations especially at the lab, the ophthalmology, and the dentistry departments. A gallon of gasoline costs 2,500 gourdes and we must run the generator for at least 3 hours daily. This is very unprofitable for the clinic. The school can function because of its solar panels. We are currently looking into re-installing some solar panels at the clinic as well.


We are counting on your prayers, and we want to reiterate our gratitude for our partnership.


Rachel Bruno

Chief Operation Officer

Esperance et Vie

 

October 17, 2022

A Note from Father Bruno


Espérance et Vie distributed rice in Terrier Rouge yesterday. Notice that people who used to receive 6 pounds of rice only received 3 pounds because the product is more expensive and rare.


Thank you for your efforts to help our people survive.

JMB+


 

October 12, 2022

A Note from Father Bruno


The situation in Haiti is taking away my sleep. I cannot stop thinking about it. You know how I am concerned about those who are suffering because of lack of food and their way of living. Their conditions are worse now than before as it is difficult to get food to them and some other items because of road blockage, lack of communication, the uprisings and finances.


We are doing the best we can to reach out to those who are the most affected.

I am really optimistic that things will be improved that the Lord will help us solve this terrible situation. Every day is a surprise. You cannot predict anything for the time being. The banks open three days per week. Some weeks they are completely closed because of the terror and the violence going on.


We count on the generosity of our friends to support our people. Although things are very expensive and rare, we can find ways to get them.

I want to make an appeal to our brothers and sisters as they always do it in those times of trials to make an extra effort with their generous gift for our poor people the ones who really are struggling to survive.


Yours always,


JMB+

 

October 5, 2022

A Health Update from WHO


As of October 2, the World Health Organization confirmed that cholera has resurfaced in Haiti after more than 3 years with no cases reported.


[Violent armed gangs have] blocked access to the mail fuel terminal, forcing businesses and hospitals to reduce their hours or shut down altogether. The fuel shortages have also compelled at least one major distributor of potable water to shut down. Gang blockades have prevented water trucks from resupplying some neighborhoods, and fuel is also needed to make city water pumps work, Guito Edouard, Chief of Haiti's sanitation agency, said [Sunday].
All of this is a problem for controlling cholera, which is spread primarily when people ingest contaminated food or water. The disease is extremely virulent and if untreated can kill people within hours."

The Washington Post


We currently do not have any knowledge of cholera in Terrier Rouge.


 

September 22, 2022

From Our Board President


What we know--


All of us know that the chronic difficulties of life in Haiti have in recent weeks 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-au-Prince and Cap Haitien. 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. Barthélémy, 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.

Espérance et Vie, our Haitian partners of almost 40 years, is working non-stop to assess 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.


Dan Horton

Board President

Bethlehem Ministry

 

September 19, 2022

A Letter From Espérance et Vie's Chief Association Executive


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.

Regards,


Sarah Bruno

Chief, Association Executive

Espérance et Vie

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