News Alert: Haiti in Turmoil

by | Feb 15, 2019 | Child Sponsorship

Unrest in Haiti has been escalating over the past 9 days and the State Department along with many international organizations have begun evacuating the island. Roads are blocked, schools are closed, and families are being told to shelter in place. Due to violent protests, rising inflation, and a shortage of gas, a desperate time now faces Haitians as access to power is limited and food supplies and clean water—already scarce in many areas—have become an issue. The challenges facing the island are complex and not easily solved. 

While the solutions to the turmoil may be unclear, however, World Hope International (WHI) remains committed to the people of Haiti. 

“Since the beginning of December, the fuel shortage has been increasingly impacting our staff’s ability to complete projects or travel around the country” said Katie Kirkpatrick, WHI’s Director of Child Sponsorship and Village Partnerships. “Long-term solutions are needed in the current crisis and despite the obstacles, WHI is committed to our partner communities.” 

In our most rural community struggling with food security, WHI had plans this week to launch agriculture training and tools to improve the food supply for students and their families. When the roads become passable, WHI will carry on with this plan.

Although schools are currently closed, over 300 students will eventually return to school with the support of WHI sponsors, learning to be changemakers in their own communities.

WHI will be able to install a well in the community of Canaan and pipe water to the community of Percin as soon as the fuel shortage is resolved and violence deescalates. These two new communities will receive life-changing access to clean water.

And though water and power are currently in short supply, the creativity of the solar-powered water farm WHI is fundraising to install on La Gonâve with partners will run independently of the power and gas supply in the country. It will allow the local hospital to function even when no other clean water can be found or accessed.

“The children and communities with whom we work through sponsorships and village partnerships face so many obstacles and challenges that children especially should never have to face,” Kirkpatrick notes. “Their futures matter and we work to provide sustainable solutions not because they are easy or quick to implement but because they are life changing and transformative—and the families taking shelter right now need to know that they are not forgotten and they are not alone.”

WHI’s Haitian staff are currently safe and stocked with supplies to get them through several more days. World Hope will be monitoring the situation and will give notice should the situation persist and emergency relief becomes necessary. 

WHI has been working alongside Haitian communities for more than two decades with the support of our sponsors, partners, and donors.

We address education and sustainable market-based solutions for agriculture, secure food supply-chains, and access to clean water through our Child Sponsorship and partnerships with villages programs as well as the Solar-Powered Water Farm we are working with partners and the local community to launch on La Gonâve.