In response to the growing needs, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will increase its humanitarian efforts in Haiti in 2024 with a focus on enabling humanitarian access for people most affected by armed violence.
Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s director-general, completed a two-day visit in Haiti on Oct. 10 to see firsthand the humanitarian impact of armed violence on people living there, and to discuss how to increase coordination with other stakeholders.
“All too often people wounded in violence can’t get to the hospital in a timely manner, in part because ambulances can’t circulate in areas affected by armed violence,” Mr Mardini said. “Our priority is to strengthen access and support to vital services in places like Cité Soleil, where few humanitarian organizations are present, by speaking with weapon bearers and in coordination with local actors.”
During the visit, Mr Mardini met with Prime Minister Ariel Henry and other country officials, UN representatives, emergency first responders, and community leaders to discuss urgent humanitarian needs and how best to strengthen ICRC’s humanitarian work.
The ICRC will reinforce its work in hard-to-reach neighborhoods, increase access to essential services like healthcare and safe water, and support its partner the Haitian Red Cross.
Too many people are physically trapped in their homes by the violence, but they are also suffering emotionally due to fear. We must also protect the hospital staff and help them cope with the deteriorating security situation
Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s director-general
Starting in 2024, the ICRC is also increasing the number of hospitals it supports with kits of medical material for wounded patients, trainings for both emergency health staff and community leaders, and support to Haiti’s ambulance services and the rehabilitation of health infrastructure.
The ICRC returned to Haiti in August 2021. Its new office in Port-au-Prince aims at helping provide health assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by armed violence in the metropolitan area of the capital. The ICRC has been working in Cité Soleil and Bas Delmas as well as supporting six hospitals, the work of the Haitian Red Cross, and the Centre Ambulancier National in Port-au-Prince.
About the ICRC
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.
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