Haiti: The obligation to safeguard health-care services
Port-au-Prince, 26 October 2021 — As armed violence continues to rock Haiti, disruptions to fuel supplies are worsening the already dire humanitarian consequences for its people who struggle to access basic services, including health care.
Power cuts are preventing health-care facilities and services from functioning properly and could lead to paediatric, maternal, trauma, emergency and hospital care services having to be shut down altogether. Health-care delivery is also affected by the fact that health-care workers are unable to get to work. Diesel fuel supplies are urgently needed by hospitals so that they can power their generators and so save lives.
The Haitian National Red Cross Society, supported by its partners from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is playing an active part in the response to the humanitarian consequences suffered by people in the wake of the earthquake that hit the southern part of the country. The fuel shortage is also threatening the operation of an emergency hospital set up there, which receives over 100 patients a day.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement wishes to remind everyone that health-care workers, vehicles and facilities, whose mission is to prevent and alleviate the suffering of people who are injured or sick wherever they may be, must be protected and treated with respect and must never be hindered or prevented from carrying out their work.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an impartial, neutral and independent movement whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of natural disasters, armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance whenever necessary.
In this regard, and in the name of humanitarian principles, respect for the red cross and red crescent emblems, for aid workers (including volunteers) and for all ambulances and support vehicles is crucial.
For more information, please contact:
Périclès Jean Baptiste, Haitian National Red Cross Society,
tel: +509 4895 6149
Nicolas Lenssens, ICRC – Mission for Haiti,
tel: +509 3153 8698
Susana Arroyo, IFCR – Americas Regional Office,
tel: +507 6999 3199