Lamp for Haiti update April 11, 2024

This is the fifth in a series of updates from Lamp for Haiti on the current crisis in Haiti and how it is affecting Lamp and the people we serve. To view earlier updates, please go to our web site – – and scroll down to the Blog.

Here’s hoping that the crisis will be over soon, but the pace of change is not fast. We will update you every two weeks, going forward!

I had a lengthy conversation with Lamp manager Benoit Florestal yesterday on the situation in Port-au-Prince and prospects for the future. The following update reflects his opinion on these things.  

Benoit had just arrived at the Lamp office/depot. He reported that roads seemed safer; the increased number of vehicles showing that gang activity has lessened. 

Most businesses, however, remain closed. Banks have greatly reduced the number of days that they are open each week. There is a $200 limit on withdrawal of US dollars. Schools have not, in fact, opened, despite the fact that the Ministry of Education issued a schedule of final exams last week. (Schools are open in most of the country outside of Port-au-Prince.) Benoit tells me, though, that some schools have opened but have told their students to dress in casual clothes since their uniforms might attract too much attention (!) The airports (local and international), the ports, and the land border with the Dominican Republic remain closed, and this has led to shortages of every type, including fuel. Many businesses simply do not have any products to sell. Electricity is available for an hour or so per day. People that previously invested in solar power systems, such as Benoit (and Lamp!), are in a much better place than their fellow citizens. 

On the political side there is predictable in-fighting as all political actors in the country struggle to have their representatives included in the transitional council. Meanwhile, various gangs have formed a coalition called Viv Ansamn (Live Together) and are threatening a coup, under recently returned leader Guy Philippe. 

For the Lamp, concern centers around activities related to the international airport, since our depot and both service sites are close to the airport. Police – acting as a virtually independent agency — are making a concerted effort to increase security around the airport. Part of that effort, unfortunately, includes the destruction of makeshift homes all around the airport perimeter.

Nevertheless, for Lamp, the importance of the airport means that our sites are in an area in which order will be imposed as a priority. Benoit suggests that the airport may be re-opened soon and this would greatly assist in the normalization of activity in this part of the city. 

Lamp has a large quantity of medical supplies, purchased before the recent crisis, and can resume full services at any point.

I know that not everyone is interested in the details of the situation in Haiti. Our next update will be focused more on the Lamp itself. One thing is certain, however: Lamp is accumulating unmatched local knowledge which has allowed us, and will allow us, to provide critically needed services with effectiveness and discernment in this challenging environment.

Take care everyone,

Keep Haiti in mind!


adminLamp for Haiti update April 11, 2024