U.S. Government Organizes Charter Flight to Rescue Americans from Haiti Amid Escalating Hunger Crisis: “A Lot of People are Desperate”

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TL/DR –

The US government is arranging a charter flight for American citizens with valid passports to leave Haiti amidst escalating violence in the country. The flight will depart from Cap-Haitien International Airport, while travels from Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital, are deemed dangerous. The country, which is being overwhelmed by violent gangs that have triggered a low-scale civil war, is also grappling with a severe food crisis, with 1.4 million Haitians on the brink of famine, and more than 4 million in need of food aid.


US Government Arranges Charter Flight for Citizens amid Haitian Crisis

The U.S. government reported on Saturday that it’s organizing a charter flight from Haiti to the U.S. for passport holders. The flight will depart from Cap-Haitien International Airport, where operations are limited due to the ongoing violence in Haiti. Interested U.S. citizens and family members need to complete an intake form.

The State Department cautioned that the journey from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, to Cap-Haitien is risky and suggested that individuals should only consider this flight if they can safely reach Cap-Haitien airport. The government is looking for alternatives for departures from Port-au-Prince.

The country is grappling with violent gangs that have plunged it into a low-intensity civil war. Over 1.4 million Haitians are at risk of famine, with 4 million requiring food aid.

Challenges in Aid Distribution Amid Gang Violence

Officials are struggling to deliver food, water, and medical supplies due to gang violence in Port-au-Prince and beyond. Since February 29, gangs have attacked key institutions, shut down the main international airport, and released over 4,000 inmates from two prisons.

Violent gangs have forced Prime Minister Ariel Henry to announce his resignation. Officials reported that the gangs are blocking aid distribution routes and paralyzing the main port, leading to a scarcity of grains, beans, and vegetable oil in the World Food Program’s warehouse.

More than 200 gangs are believed to operate in Haiti, controlling 80% of the capital and vying for more territory. The recent attacks have resulted in numerous deaths and over 15,000 homeless.

The Devastating Impact on the Haitian Population

Tens of thousands of people have had to flee their homes due to the escalating gang violence. The situation has also hindered the operations of aid groups like Food for the Hungry at a time when their help is most needed.

USAID reported that nearly half the population of Haiti – some 5.5 million people – requires humanitarian aid. The organization has pledged $25 million in addition to the $33 million announced earlier. However, the U.N. reported that the humanitarian appeal for Haiti this year is less than 3% funded, with the World Food Program needing $95 million in the next six months.

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