Haiti Crisis – Update 3-13-2024

Dear Lamp supporters,

It is clear that Haiti is in serious crisis.  Current media reports on Haiti are frightening and bewildering.  Many of you have asked how Lamp is faring in the midst of this upheaval.  As supporters of Lamp’s mission to provide care for the vulnerable, you have shown your concern, in a very concrete way, for those who bear the brunt of each crisis as it arrives.  You have been a positive part of Haiti’s recent history and we want to keep you abreast of Lamp’s efforts.  We would like, therefore, to initiate a weekly “news” post while this crisis persists.  Each Wednesday we will update you on the general situation, the specific issues that Lamp is facing, and the efforts that Lamp is making to counter the deadly effects of the current period. 

We prefer not to show scenes of street violence, but we also do not want to sugarcoat a terrible situation.  We will continue to reduce suffering wherever possible; we will protect our assets and our staff; we will prepare ourselves to be ever more effective when the situation allows.  We know that we are part of the long-term solution and take this responsibility very seriously.

One reason for this weekly update is that things are constantly changing in Port-au-Prince.  Last week, gangs took control of the area surrounding the international airport with the result that the acting Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, was not able to return to Haiti after his visit to Kenya.  The Lamp office/depot and both of our service sites (at Bwa Nef, and Clercine) are close to the airport, so that this gang activity affected us very directly.  At Clercine, we rent space at a partner called Haiti Communitere, which has, very reasonably, decided to close the location until the gang presence in the neighborhood diminishes. 

Ariel Henry has now resigned.  The government of the United States has always had an outsized influence on Haitian politics and when it finally withdrew its support for Henry, the result was immediate.  However, it is not clear who can take up the reins of government.  The US continues to push for a multi-national military intervention, and has provided significant funds for this force.  It is unclear what the effects of such an intervention would be.  A transitional government is needed to allow for elections to take place but the situation in the capital is not conducive to free and fair elections.  The future continues to look very murky.  We will keep you updated!

In friendship,

Jim, Henry, Kelli

adminHaiti Crisis – Update 3-13-2024