Haiti: Oxfam media lines on our ongoing humanitarian response & political protests
After this week’s protests following the announcement of the results from the first round of the Presidential elections, Saturday and Sunday have been relatively calm. However, protests are expected to resume this week, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince. This is putting a huge amount of pressure on Oxfam’s programs, particularly our cholera prevention program which is currently reaching over 701,000 people in Port-au-Prince, central Artibonite and northern Cap Haitien.
Cedric Perus, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Program Manager in Haiti said:
“The timing of these protests is very worrisome, given the nationwide cholera outbreak. We’re doing our best to deal with the situation. We’ve checked on all our work sites, refilled our water bladders in camps and distributed water purification tablets in cholera affected areas.
“The uncertainty around whether we’re able to reach our projects safely and continue our cholera prevention programs is very frustrating. The riots have kept many of us at home as streets were blocked and parts of the capital were unsafe. We have over 800 Haitian staff who are eager to get back to work to help their friends and neighbors stay safe from cholera.
“We can put a hold on our programs for a couple of days, but we can’t keep interrupting them day after day. What concerns us the most is that the cholera outbreak is far from over and in cities like Cap Haitien and in the central Artibonite province, our work is literally saving lives. We must be able to get back to full capacity and stop the spread of cholera.
*** Oxfam is reaching 701,000 people with cholera prevention programs and over 850,000 people as part of our earthquake response.
Julie Schindall, Haiti media officer, +509 3701 0651 / +1 617 735 5572 / firstname.lastname@example.org