The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Haiti reported that 1Q 2023 marked an increased violence by local armed groups, a situation worsened following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, earthquake and the socio-political unrest.
In addition, OCHA noted that local gangs have been better organizing for several months by using technological means including drones.
Kidnappings have become part of Haitians´ everyday life, power cuts, fuel shortages, piles of trashes littered on the streets, armed robberies and attacks, as well as a great number of violations of basic rights such as access to education and healthcare, OCHA condemned.
Particularly speaking, kidnappings multiplied many times over showing a rising trend, as 277 were reported from January to mid-March, a period in which 531 people were killed and 300 others wounded.
OCHA also warned about new community self-defense groups, because locals feel little or no protected, while noting incidents were reported between these groups and organized gangs.
Plus, OCHA laid stress on dramatic humanitarian impact of abductions, gunshot wounds and killings. At least 1.5 million people or half of the Port-au-Prince people are directly affected by violence.
The number of people in need of protection has nearly doubled in a year, while armed attacks on schools including shootings, looting and kidnappings, ramped up nine-fold.
Haiti´s present violence situation forced over 136,500 people to displace by the end of March. Many hospitals such as Doctors Without Borders, which temporarily suspended health services given severe insecurity, were shut down.