Haiti: Insecurity, Fuel Shortage Threaten Delivery of Health Care and Humanitarian Aid

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[Washington, D.C.] – Three months after the earthquake that hit the southwestern region of Haiti, recovery has been impeded by rising insecurity and a severe fuel shortage, compounding an already alarming humanitarian situation. Disruption of fuel supplies has hindered the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Including health care services provided by Project HOPE’s medical team in Les Cayes.

“Haiti faces many challenges which have been exacerbated by a deteriorating security situation,” said Adib Fletcher, Director of Humanitarian Programs at Project HOPE. “The security situation has become unpredictable. Affecting our day-to-day operations and our ability to provide vital multi-sector support to health facilities and surrounding communities we support.”

Negative Impacts

As a result of fuel shortage, Project HOPE in Les Cayes was forced to reduce the number of medical visits undertaken by its mobile health clinics in October. As of last week, Project HOPE has resumed all its operations after securing 400 gallons of fuel. The fuel will ensure continuous operations for 14 days before running out.

“The fuel shortage has had a negative impact on our operations as well as that of other aid organizations. As a result, we face daily logistical challenges and have had to start rationing fuel to ensure our doctors and nurses can reach the clinics.  As well as the communities we serve to provide health care and help save lives,” Fletcher said.

The fuel shortage is also threatening the functioning of health facilities across the country. Subsequently causing life-threatening risks to patients in need of critical care.

Following the earthquake that damaged or destroyed approximately 90 health centers, access to adequate health care remains a challenge. Especially in the affected areas where health services are still interrupted.

Goals for the Future

Before being severely affected by the fuel shortage, Project HOPE had reached earthquake-stricken communities. Especially in remote areas like the Sucrerie Henry clinic.  The clinic which had been destroyed and was still lacking necessary resources and aid needed for recovery. Upon arrival, the clinic’s administrator said, “People have been suffering here for two months since the earthquake, and no one has come to their rescue.” Project HOPE treated 172 patients and supplied medicines and hygiene kits on that first day. Many other patients could not be treated due to a lack of electricity.

Health Equity International, Project HOPE, and funds from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is supporting the restoration of basic primary health services to earthquake-affected communities. As well as health facilities across the Sud, Grand’ Anse and Nippes departments.

Haiti being highly susceptible to epidemics. Project HOPE is also supporting access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services.  They are undertaking minor repair of water systems, providing water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies.

 

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