Haiti slipped from a political lockdown to a corona lockdown. For two years now, one crisis situation has followed the other. The lockdowns do not replace each other, but also run in parallel, at least in the last three months. The government did not organize elections, so Parliament is no longer functional and President Jovenel Moïse rules by decree.
Haitian Connection has informed and continues to inform the population about the corona virus.
From March 21 to July 17, 2020, there are almost 7,000 confirmed corona cases. 138 Haitians have died. As everywhere, the numbers are different!
On the evening of March 19, the president, who has ruled without parliament since January 2020, called for the lockdown. Three passengers, from three different countries, had tested positive for Covid-19. Borders, airports, industry, schools and shops were closed – the population was asked to stay at home and to respect the hygiene rules: wash hands, wear a face mask, keep a distance of 1.50m.
- The first reactions from the population were already available on March 20. A letter made the round of the radio stations. It read: “How can Haitian fathers and mothers stay at home? There is no water, no electricity, no food at home ». The markets continued to be well visited, where thousands of people come together without any distance, all over the country. There were always demonstrations. It is also not possible to keep a distance.
- The Haitians did not believe President Jovenel MOISE that the international pandemic had arrived in Haiti. He has already told and promised so much, and everything was a lie. At the end of March, the Ministry of Health printed flyers to comply with the hygiene measures: washing hands, keeping a distance, wearing masks, not touching face, nose and mouth with your hands.
- A poster read: This crisis of the corona virus reminds us that in Haiti we need doctors instead of 6,000 pastors, 30 large hospitals instead of 3,000 churches. A Dominican father laconically said that in Haiti we have three varieties of Corona and all three can be fatal: The CORONA hunger, the CORONA VIRUS, the CORONA UNCERTAINTY. Which of the three corona forms will claim the most victims is written in the stars …
- Parliament closed, ministers kept changing, criminal gangs simmering, the police underpaid, teachers, state employees in general, as well as doctors and nurses for months without wages, since no budget was voted on. All in all: one catastrophe. The school year 2019/2020 seems to be a lost year: Due to the uncertainty caused by weekly demonstrations, the schools were already partially closed from September to December until January and from March 20, 2020 to the end of the school year. With only 2 1⁄2 to 3 1⁄2 months of classes, it is difficult to start the next class. However, three months are to be compensated for from August to early November.
- Galloping inflation, which is around 25%, encourages hunger in corona times. The staple food is becoming increasingly unaffordable. There are also areas in the country that could not bring in crops due to drought at the beginning of 2020. As a result, life becomes extremely expensive, especially for imported staple foods. So the people suffer from hunger. 80% of the population live in poverty – and the trend is rising! In addition, thousands of Haitians abroad have become unemployed and can hardly support their families in Haiti.
- No uprising affects the Haitian president. Let’s hope for a change of government in the United States. Then, only then, may something change for the better in Haiti. “Today in Haiti, nothing is“ normal ”in our lives. The norm is death. People like dogs die here every day. The more we fail to demand justice for all those murdered, the more people will be murdered. » says Lyonel Trouillot, a well-known poet and professor of Creole and French Literature. To solve the problem of crime, the public must be provided with public services from the state. Today, STATE is just a word. It’s like we’re talking about something that doesn’t exist. State today is power for the sake of power. Take power to hold power. I claim the right to be angry with all the powers that are not doing their job as they should. »
- The well-known sociologist, Laënnec Hurbon, titles his analysis of June 11, 2020 with “Political power and the pandemic in Haiti” with the subtitles: “Violence and elections, pandemic and armed gangs”. He describes the current situation on three pages: «Coping with the Covid-19 pandemic in Haiti is characterized by chaos, contradictions and inconsistencies that show how difficult it is for the Haitian government to see itself as a force committed to protecting human lives . The Covid-19 got into a catastrophic economic context: 40% of the population (approx. 4 million inhabitants) are in a famine. – It turns out that the president ‘s interest in the fight against Covid-19, as well as development and democracy in Haiti is at the lowest level, while the core group (to which Trump and Bolsonaro belong), the OAS and UNIBH (office of the United Nations in Haiti) continues to see in Jovenel the right choice to lead the country out of the health and political crisis. These are colonial practices that should now be questioned. »
- Haitian Connection stands in solidarity with the Haitian people in general, and the people of the Grand’Anse and Jeremie in particular. We have made masks, distributed water buckets, soap and clorox, food, and helped with surgery and medical expenses of several families, and increased our loans to the microcredit groups. We are planning a community store in Latibolye. Those are small things, but they do help, and the people know that we stand with them We also constructed 3 additional houses, a huge life changer for the women who received them.