Number Of Haitians Fleeing Gang Violence Up 60 Pct Since March: UN

Number of Haitians fleeing gang violence up 60 pct since March: UN

United Nations, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jun, 2024) About 580,000 Haitians have now fled their homes due to gang violence, a 60 percent spike just since March, a United Nations agency said Tuesday.

"The figures we see today are a direct consequence of years of spiraling violence -- that reached a new high in February -- and its catastrophic humanitarian impact," said Philippe Branchat, head of the International Organization for Migration.

"The unending crisis in Haiti is pushing more people to flee their homes and leave everything behind. This is not something they do lightly. What's more, for many of them, this is not the first time," he added.

The IOM issued a report Tuesday that said Haiti now has 578,074 displaced people, compared to 362,551 in early March.

The year is not even half over and the figure is almost the same as that for all of 2023, the agency said.

Around 10 million people live in Haiti, where a recently formed government is attempting to restore order after prolonged chaos triggered by gang violence, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Haiti has long been rocked by such unrest, but at the end of February armed groups launched coordinated attacks in the capital, saying they wanted to overthrow then prime minister Ariel Henry.

Henry announced in early March that he would step down and hand executive power to a transitional council that is supposed to lead the country toward elections. No vote has been held in Haiti since 2016.

A new acting prime minister and cabinet have been appointed.

The rise in the number of displaced Haitians stems largely from people fleeing Port-au-Prince for other provinces, which lack the resources to handle them, the report said.