Update on operations due to unrest in Haiti

Dear Friends of Lamp for Haiti:

Some of you have undoubtedly heard about the civil unrest that has been percolating in Haiti over the past few months, which has now accelerated these past 10 days . The origin of the current unrest is, as is often the case, complicated. Suffice it to say, the poor are often caught in the middle of the crossfire and our goal at Lamp is to not lose sight of our mission.

I am writing today to give an update on our facility, our staff, our patients, and ultimately our mission.

I’ll start with the last point, because our mission has not changed. Our mission statement, found on our website, speaks to our commitment to engage the local community, and to improve lives of those living on the margin.  As always, our mission is our guiding light and we will hold steadfast.

Regarding the work, however, we have had to suspend our operations in Haiti this past week, as it is too unsafe to travel around in Port-au-Prince, even inside a vehicle. Reports of harm to both persons and property are real, and we just cannot take that chance with our staff.

As of now our Lamp staff and community, and our facility, all are safe and accounted for. To be clear, the majority of the protests are occurring within the larger urban areas. Hospitals have been closed, roads blockaded, and supplies have become scarce. The Lamp Health Center in Cité Soleil has been closed for the past week. We are not certain when things will normalize enough that we’ll be able to safely get staff and supplies back to our facility, though we hope that it’s soon. We will play it safe in the meantime.

Our community of Cité Soleil, which is situated on the edge of Port-au-Prince, is presently not the center of demonstrations, though supplies into and out of the zone have been limited. Should the protests persist more than another week or so, the challenge we will face will be in getting even basic necessities like food and water into our community, as it will require passing through areas where protests are currently underway.

Let’s hope that a resolution arrives early this week, allowing our staff to get back to work, and allowing us all to continue to work towards our mission. We are monitoring the situation closely.

We will continue to keep you abreast of significant changes. Thank you again for your solidarity and support of our friends in Haiti, and of Lamp for Haiti’s mission.

Sincerely,

James Morgan, MD

Board President

 

 

Other sources for information:

-Miami Herald –  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/

-AP News  https://www.apnews.com/Haiti

-CNN https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/17/americas/haiti-protests-state-university-hospital-intl/index.html

-NPR news  https://www.npr.org/2019/02/15/695095120/do-not-travel-to-haiti-u-s-tells-citizens-citing-violent-unrest

 

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