Reference : V-P-HT-E-00774
Date : 13/12/2022
Country/Region : HAITI
Caption : Street littered with waste.
Photographer : TODRES, Nadia
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : "Roadblocks and check points. Very few ambulances and some unequipped. Frequent threats and acts of aggression towards healthcare workers and facilities. Closure of health structures. Life-threatening wounds and limited medical staff. This is what medical personnel and volunteers of the Haitian Red Cross ambulance service face on daily basis when trying to provide assistance in the streets of Port-au-Prince.
"The humanitarian situation in Haiti has dramatically deteriorated in the recent years. Intensifying clashes among armed groups or between armed groups and the National Police of Haiti, have resulted in increased levels of humanitarian consequences for communities already suffering an acute economic crisis, with inflation going beyond 48% and nine out of ten Haitians living below the poverty line.
"However, when injured or sick, their only option to get treatment is travelling to a hospital, given that health services in these neighborhoods are barely existent and medical staff have stopped in many cases to work there due to insecurity.
"Red Cross volunteers and staff are not immune to violence either. The growing insecurity has forced the Haitian Red Cross (HRC) to limit its ambulance services to certain areas of Port-au-Prince. "In addition, the ambulance service faces the lack of financial, material, and human resources to maintain minimal operations in Port-au-Prince and in at least four of the country's major cities: Cap-Haitien, Cayes, Jérémie and Gonaïve", stressed the President of the HRC, Güetson Lamour.
"Red Cross teams trying to deliver healthcare in such a volatile and insecure environment rely purely on acceptance and respect from all armed actors in order to access these areas and suffer a high level of distress when carrying out their work.
"In a coordinated effort with other Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners, the Norwegian Red Cross is training HRC volunteers to better deal with situations of armed violence in the context of their work. Kidnapping, road blockades, verbal, and armed aggression are some of the incidents they might face, stressed Derek Spranger, Operations Advisor of the Norwegian Red Cross. Together with the equipment that will be provided, in coordination with the ICRC in the next months, such as reinforced work boots, specialized helmets, or extra uniforms, among others, these trainings aim to help them mitigate those threats."

Source: ICRC website, article 04/10/2023.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 8688x5792
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour