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Haiti crippled by violent protests

People have been on the streets demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise due to allegations of corruption.

Tearfund | 20 Feb 2019

Haiti protests (credit: VOA)

Violent protests in Haiti have put much of the country in lockdown, making it harder for Tearfund’s partners to operate.

People have been on the streets demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise due to allegations of corruption. It’s reported at least seven people died during the protests in the capital Port au Prince.

As inflation soars, protestors are also calling for an investigation into embezzled funds, an accusation Moise has rejected.

Behind closed doors

On Monday (18 February) the government issued a statement saying that all businesses, schools, and other offices should open and get back to normal. But opposition leaders are vowing to continue with demonstrations this week.

‘For ten days our work was completely crippled – it all came to a standstill’
Jean-Claude Cerin

Many Haitians remain holed up in their homes. With roads blocked it’s difficult to access drinking water and food. 

Schools, businesses, and even churches are closed, due to the violence. Hospitals are functioning but staff are prioritising those injured in the protests. 

Strong partnerships

Tearfund has been working in Haiti since the 1970s, and has built strong relationships with local churches and communities. Our local staff team and their partners work with communities so that they are better able to withstand the effects of natural disasters. 

‘For ten days our work was completely crippled – it all came to a standstill,’ says Jean-Claude Cerin, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Haiti. ‘My hope and prayer is that there will be agreement on a common vision for Haiti and a strategy to get out of this situation. This would help bring an end to the suffering of the Haitian people.

‘I also hope that the church may be able to use its prophetic voice to bring about a peaceful and sustainable solution to the problems of our country.’

PRAYER FOCUS

• Pray the violence will end and public order will be restored, so that the Haitian people can be free from fear and able to access essential services.
• Tearfund partners have resumed activities but are still facing disruption, pray for their staff as they seek to overcome challenges and that their programmes will be able to continue.
• Lift up all political leaders in Haiti, and ask God to give them wisdom and grace at this difficult time.

(Banner image credit: Voice of America)


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