While the updates about Haiti have been a little slower lately, it is only because the political instability and unrest has become more commonplace than noteworthy. However, the past few weeks have seen an increase in violence in the streets and more specifically that past week has seen one of the more severe gas shortages we have seen in Haiti. As you may notice in the picture at the top of this page, when a station gets gas they have hundreds of people lining up to try to get their share.
As you can imagine, a gas shortage has a tremendous affect on a country. In Haiti no fuel can mean no power, no job (there are so many tap-tap drivers and moto taxis), no transportation, and a poor economy growing even poorer by the day. It is hard to describe the type of suffering this can and has produced to a people who are already very used to suffering.
The gas shortage and the violence and rioting in the streets are all perpetuated by the current political climate in Haiti. Some people claim that it is not a popular uprising but a power grab by the wealthy ruling class in Haiti who want the President out of power. Other people claim that the population in general is tired of seeing money stolen and squandered by a government that does little more than line their own pockets at the expense of everything or everyone else.
As an American who barely understands my own political system in a lot of ways, I could not tell you which one was true. It is probably a combination of both and a lot of other things as well. There are some very complicated political things going on as we speak, and I will not get into them right now. The main thing to know is that things are still not good and in some ways getting worse than they were back in February.
These are the things driving the unrest right now:
- The gas shortage.
- The “opposition party” that wants the President removed from power.
- The general population seeing money come from all sorts of places but never seeing even the slightest benefit.
- The devaluation of the Haitian currency (currently sitting at about 42% less value than this time 1 year ago and about 126% less valuable than in 2014.)
- The resulting struggle for Haitians to send their children to school, to have enough food, and to find a job that pays a livable wage.
There will be a blog tomorrow that goes a little more in depth into this situation, but for now…
Please continue to pray for Haiti through this man made “disaster” and pray for the Bahamas after they were struck by Dorian. Our “September Sponsorship” push has been delayed until this coming Monday as we were waiting out the storm in America, but we will begin that push and ask that all current sponsors help us by sharing our posts on social media and recruiting friends and family to join our sponsorship team.