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News > Latin America

Ten Challenges Facing Haiti In 2022

  • View of a Haitian neighborhood from a Gessica Geneus film, 2021.

    View of a Haitian neighborhood from a Gessica Geneus film, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @JeanAbbiateci

Published 31 December 2021

The magnitude of the problems in this Caribbean country is condensed into a single data: only 72,102 out of 11 million citizens have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Dec. 17.

The year 2021 was very convulsed and left Haiti with many economic, political and social problems to solve. Some of them are summarized below.


Haitians Witness a Bloody Attack on Two Minibuses

HOLD ELECTIONS. In the five months of his tenure, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has failed to create the necessary conditions to hold elections at the end of 2022. As a consequence of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Haiti does not have a government elected directly by the people. In addition, Parliament has been closed for two years and the country lacks a fully operational Judiciary.

CLARIFY THE MAGNICIDE. The investigations of the Moise murder case stalled because the responsibility was only attributed to a mercenary commando. There are 44 detainees, including 12 policemen, as well as 18 former Colombian soldiers, and 6 Haitians, among whom is Christian Sanon, the alleged mastermind of the operation. The president's widow, Martine Moise, says those responsible have not yet been arrested.

CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM. Besides organizing general elections, Prime Minister Henry must launch plans to adopt a new Constitution. The draft plans to strengthen the presidential regime, create the position of vice president, and eliminate the figure of the prime minister. The proposed new constitution maintains the current rules on presidential reelection, which allow two non-consecutive terms, each lasting five years.

CONTROL URBAN VIOLENCE. The National Police do not have the capacity to subdue the armed criminal groups operating in the country. In recent years, these gangs have staged bloody clashes for control of areas of Port-au-Prince, where thousands of people were displaced from their homes in June. These groups finance themselves through kidnappings. Over the last year, the Center for Human Rights Research and Analysis (CARDH) registered 949 kidnappings, 55 of which involved foreigners from five countries.

IMPROVE THE CONDITIONS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS. Thousands of Haitians are living in makeshift camps after being displaced from their homes due to the August 14 earthquake, gang-related conflicts in Port-au-Prince, and the June fires in the Martissant and Bas Delmas neighborhoods.

The tweet reads, "Did you know? The Afro-Venezuelan Jose Leonardo Chirino carried out a great revolt against slavery in 1795 after having made a trip to Haiti and met the protagonists of the Haitian revolts."

EXPAND COVID-19 VACCINATION. Haiti is one of the 20 Latin American countries that has not yet managed to vaccinate even 40 percent of its population. In a country of 11 million people, only 72,102 citizens have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Dec. 17, according to data from the Health Ministry.

REDUCE FUEL PRICES. The gangs have increased the number of robberies and kidnappings of fuel truck drivers. This has forced many of them to refuse to work for fear of insecurity, which has led to fuel shortages and created a black market where prices are out of reach for the majority of the population. Haiti remains on the brink of paralysis as electricity is generated by fuels. Although the Police are escorting fuel trucks, the shortage problem continues and prices remain very high.

PROTECT MIGRANTS. In the last quarter of 2021, at least 14,127 Haitians were forcibly returned to their country, where multiple simultaneous crises prevent authorities from offering the care that migrants may need. Most likely, many of them will try to migrate again towards the United States. In 2021, this country deported 10,776 Haitians, 1,940 of whom were minors.

SOLVE THE FOOD CRISIS. Haiti is the Latin American country with the highest prevalence rate of hunger (46.8 percent), according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Food insecurity, poor drinking water supply, and lack of health care increased after the August 14 earthquake.

TACKLE THE EARTHQUAKE AFTERMATH. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake left at least 2,248 dead, over 300 people missing, and 690,000 Haitians affected. It also generated a loss of 15 percent of the country's 2021 GDP. It was the largest earthquake since January 2010, when over 300,000 deaths were killed and 1.5 million people were affected.

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