Press note

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation outraged at the passivity of the government in the face of the plight of the population of Carrefour-Feuilles

The inhabitants of the Carrefour-Feuilles district, Savane Pistache and its surroundings are desperate in the face of attacks by armed men from Grand-Ravine, while the police and government authorities are almost absent to meet their obligations. Indeed, for more than a month the inhabitants of Carrefour-Feuilles, Savane Pistache, among others, have continued to suffer attacks from armed groups in Grand-Ravine, Martissant district in Port-au-Prince. Many families, men, women and children do not know which saints to turn to in the face of the imminent danger they face every day. The metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince has almost become, according to all observations, unlivable as long as its inhabitants are victims on a daily basis. They are at the end of their tether in this situation, with no identification of a possible outcome, without help from the State. In two weeks, nearly 60 people were murdered, including children among the victims, and several dozen injured were recorded.

According to our observations in 17 accommodation sites in the capital around 10 thousand people of all ages are displaced in disaster to escape the abuses of bandits who seem to be guided by political interests. Furthermore, vulnerable people (infants, elderly people, pregnant women and people with disabilities) are identified on inappropriate temporary accommodation sites. Without help, these fleeing residents used several centers in the capital as shelters such as: the Lycée de Carrefour Feuilles, the Gymnasium Vincent, the Ciné El Dorado, the École Tertullien Leclerc, the Place Carl Brouard, the École Nationale du Paraguay, Ecole Classique la Pyramide and in many other unidentified places. The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation notes that there are children who are experiencing this disastrous situation which is not without consequences on their mental health. Since this assessment, the number of displaced persons and victims continues to increase. The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, being an organization working in the field of child protection, feels outraged by the dehumanizing and infrahuman situation experienced by this population in general and children in particular.

The testimonies of these people are very shocking. Most of them left their homes burning without taking anything with them. Some people are burned inside houses in this area invaded by the armed group of Grand-Ravine. This means that they do not have a change of clothes and are exposed to hunger, thirst and all forms of infectious diseases. Despite cries of distress and calls for help, police and government authorities are slow to intervene to protect the population of Carrefour-Feuilles and its surroundings. While it is clearly written in chapter II of article 19 of the amended Haitian Constitution of 1987 that: “The State has the imperative obligation to guarantee the right to life, to health, to respect for human person, to all citizens without distinction, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Therefore, the “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation believes that it is obvious for the State to establish a strategy to address the issue of children affected by armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

Based on its experiences in managing children in emergency situations, either in Belladère, in the department of Nippes or in Port-au-Prince, the “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation asks the State to consider the question of child protection in a much more systematic and comprehensive approach, in order to analyze risks encompassing all types of vulnerability. The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, concerned by this alarming situation experienced by the inhabitants of this area, is sounding the alarm so that urgent actions can be taken to come to the aid of the affected population.
Done in Port-au-Prince, August 24, 2023

Manoach PRESNA
Tel: 509 3746 7196/3396 1778