US calls on Americans to leave Haiti amid worsening crisis

A deepening political crisis and a serious . in between lack of fuel The United States is urging US citizens to leave the Caribbean nation, which has affected hospitals, schools and businesses in Haiti.

In a statement on Wednesday, the US State Department warning That “widespread fuel shortages can limit essential services in emergencies, including access to banks, money transfers, urgent medical care, the Internet and telecommunications, and public and private transport options”.

US citizens should “carefully consider the risks of traveling to or living in Haiti in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges”, it said.

“If commercial options become unavailable, the US embassy in Haiti is unlikely to be able to assist US citizens with departure.”

It is unclear how many US citizens currently live in Haiti, but the rare warning from the State Department comes as the Haitian government and police struggle to control gangs blocking fuel delivery terminals for weeks.

The US State Department warned that 17 missionaries, including 16 US citizens, were abducted last month, who are still held captive. [Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters]

Top government officials acknowledged the widespread fuel shortage during a news conference on Tuesday, saying they were working to resolve the situation, although they did not provide any details.

The State Department’s warning also comes as a group of 17 Christian missionaries who were Kidnapping Last month, including 16 US citizens, still held captive.

Haitian Police Inspector Frantz Champagne in October said A gang that is referred to as 400 mawozo was behind the kidnapping, while a top Haitian official told the Associated Press that the gang is seeking $1m per person in ransom.

“The kidnapping took place on October 16 and we are still waiting and praying that the group of 17 be released, if God so desires,” Christian Aid MinistryThe US-based group that organized the trip wrote on its website on Wednesday.

“As you pray, remember the millions of Haitians who are suffering through times of grave upheaval and unrest.”

But details about the ongoing efforts to locate and rescue the group of missionaries are scarce. Officials said US President Joe Biden is being briefed daily about law enforcement efforts.

The incident has attracted global attention. gang violence in Haiti, which has worsened amid economic and political crises following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Mois in early July.

Moise was murder in his house On 7 July the capital Port-au-Prince had a new prime minister, Ariel Henri. Sworn in Less than two weeks later, amid uncertainty over who will take the crucial position.

But Henry – supported by Joe US and other international actors – Has struggled with legitimacy. In September, he dissolved the electoral council and postponed the planned elections for this month. The new date has not been decided yet.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Enold Josef said the government was investigating why 30 fuel tanks sent to the southern region of Haiti went missing, saying he found petrol being sold on the black market.

Le Nouveliste newspaper also recently reported that truck drivers have been kidnapped and fuel trucks hijacked.

A gallon of petrol, when available, currently costs about $15 in Haiti [Adrees Latif/Reuters]

Southwestern Haiti is still battling Devastating, 7.2-magnitude earthquake occurred in August, killing more than 2,200 people, injuring thousands, and destroying or damaging buildings and major infrastructure.

Fuel shortages have also threatened Haiti’s water supply, which relies on generators.

On Wednesday, Doctors Without Borders (Medicines Sans Frontieres, or MSF) warned that shortages have forced it to reduce medical care since last week, with staff treating only patients with life-threatening conditions.

The aid group said its hospital and emergency center will run out of fuel for generators in three weeks or less if new supplies don’t arrive.

“As tensions and armed conflict escalate in Haiti’s capital, the lack of fuel, public transport and drinking water is putting medical facilities and patients at risk,” MSF said. “Almost all public and private health facilities in Port-au-Prince have stopped or limited admission to only severe cases or closed their doors because of similar problems.”

The situation has also increased food prices in a country of more than 11 million people, where more than 60 percent of the population earns less than $2 a day.

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