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Haiti5 min read


Reign of Terror in Port-au-Prince: A Brief Overview of Life in Haiti

Megan Stoia
Jul 18, 2023


A country in turmoil.

People are being massacred in the streets. Inflation is running rampant. People are dying of starvation and cholera.

This is the reality of life in Haiti … and while living here has never been easy, things took a turn for the worse in 2021.

Here’s the latest on the situation:

The Assassination of the President

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Parents fear what the future holds for their children as gang violence escalates

On July 7, 2021, Colombian mercenaries surrounded President Jovenel Moïse’s house in Port-au-Prince.

As they approached the gates, they claimed to be U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officers. When they entered the property, they met no resistance from Moïse’s guards or staff … leading many to wonder if they were involved in the violent act to come.

Quickly, they made their way inside, where they shot the Haitian president 12 times. And with his death, the country sank further into chaos.

To this day, no one knows precisely why this happened. The Haitian police believe that 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans planned the attack, but they don’t know who hired them.

Even though it happened almost exactly two years ago, the people of Haiti are still suffering the consequences.

Currently, the country is run by Prime Minister Ariel Henry. He promised to hold another presidential election soon after he took office, but to this day, it has yet to happen.

The Haitian government is crumbling. And to make matters worse, as of Jan. 10, 2023, the term of the nation’s senators expired. Now, over 11 million people have no representation in their government.

Even if Henry tried to hold an election now, it may be too little, too late. Gangs have risen to power and will likely continue to prevent elections so they don’t lose their authority.

Violent Gangs Gain Power in Port-au-Prince

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Without help from people like YOU, children in Haiti can’t escape a life trapped in poverty

There are over 200 gangs in Haiti, and over half of them are fighting for control of Port-au-Prince. They now run at least 60% of the capital, and no one is safe. The most powerful gangs have snipers on the street who shoot anyone entering their territory.

Mass murder and sexual assault have become commonplace. On July 8 last year, 95 people were killed in just one day. Between Feb. 27 – March 9 of this year, 187 were murdered, and another 150 were injured.

Haiti also has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the entire world. Gang members snatch people off the streets to extort their families for money. And now that they control the city, they also hold the supply lines.

Last September, the G9 gang captured an essential port for almost two months, not letting any fuel into Haiti. Gas stations shut down … hospitals couldn’t provide critical services … grocery stores had limited hours of operation … and that was just the beginning.

More than half the population faces acute hunger. An outbreak of infectious diseases like cholera has occurred, and people can’t receive the medical care they need to heal.

Because of the gang’s blockades, people can’t go to work to earn money or to the market to buy food. Police don’t have the resources or manpower to stop violence breaking out on the streets.

Without outside intervention, there is no hope of things getting better … and it doesn’t look like help will be coming any time soon.

How YOU Can Help Meet Some of the Most Urgent Needs in Haiti

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You can provide emergency aid like food, clean water, and medical care to someone in need today

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Haiti and its people are struggling. But even though the situation is grim, it’s not hopeless … and YOU can make a difference.

Recently, the World Help team spoke with our partner in Haiti about the country’s greatest needs.

“The biggest thing is for people to be able to thrive, not just survive,” she said.

And right now, the people of Haiti are barely getting by. Inflation increased by nearly 50% in January, and is forecasted to stay above 40% for the remainder of 2023. Plus, with the gangs’ roadblocks, even the people who can afford to buy food can’t get to it.

They’re hungry, scared, and losing hope … but YOU can help make a difference today!

First and foremost, please pray for Haiti. Pray for the protection of civilians as they navigate the dangerous streets of Port-au-Prince and beyond.

Pray for leaders who can bring about change to come into power. And pray for God to continue to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the Haitian people.

Second, you can give. For just $12, you can provide help and hope to someone living in extreme poverty.

Your generosity could help someone struggling to survive in Haiti, provide emergency aid to a Ukrainian refugee, or help meet another urgent need. It will also be a powerful example of God’s love in a dark time.

Please give your best gift now to provide essentials like food, clothing, clean water, God’s Word, and more to one person waiting for help.  


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