The Escalating Crisis in Haiti – February 2024

Statement on the Current Situation in Haiti:

On Sunday, March 3rd, Haiti declared a state of emergency. Gangs used the absence of Prime Minister Ariel Henry—who was abroad working to assemble an international security force—to attack the country’s two largest prisons and free thousands of inmates. They also targeted the international airport and national soccer stadium in Port-au-Prince. On the island of La Gonave, where most of our work is based, the price of gas is rising as the insecurity limits travel and shipping, a threat which could lead to acute food insecurity on the island. The situation is still developing, but this marks a significant intensification of the violence and humanitarian crisis on the ground.

The staff of Rasin Devlopman, our partner organization in Haiti, are doing everything possible to stay safe while continuing to work for the people of La Gonave. They exchange messages about the violence happening outside their windows in between messages about project reports and spreadsheets. “The team in Port-au-Prince is affected by the political tension and high insecurity. It is very stressful and psychologically damaging, so their productivity is not at 100%, but despite this difficult situation, the team continues to work,” shared Andy Vibert, Communications Coordinator for Rasin Devlopman.

We urge you not to succumb to the overwhelming nature of the current crisis in Haiti. Let the dedication and resolve of the Rasin staff and all its partners—the Haitian people as a whole—serve as inspiration to overcome any sense of despair or defeat. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to stand with and support the remarkable resilience and determination of the Haitian people.

While the international community debates action, Roots of Development is working hard to center Haitian voices and provide permanent, sustainable solutions to Haiti’s challenges. On April 4th, Roots of Development and co-organizers, the American University Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) and the Haitian American Foundation for Democracy (HAFFD), will hold an event in Washington, DC, titled Haiti: From Crisis to Catalyst. The half-day symposium will bring together Haitian leaders and members of the diaspora with prominent policy makers, experts, academics, and organizations to examine and offer solutions to three of Haiti’s greatest challenges: migration, aid, and security.

As Karl Racine, Board Member and former Attorney General of Washington, DC, aptly stated: “The Haitian diaspora is blessed with talent and it should be relied upon to assist in the process of rebuilding our beloved Haiti. Haitians yearn for freedom, security, and the deep desire to raise their children in peace. With your strong support, Haitians can find solutions for Haitians.”

Please continue to show Haiti and its people your support. Contribute to our efforts in Haiti and join us in Washington, DC, on April 4th to determine the path forward. For more information, visit

Kenbe fe m Ayiti—Stay strong Haiti. We are with you.

Roots of Development is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and advocate for a community-led approach to development. Roots of Development believes in a world in which the very communities living in poverty are the ones leading the fight against it; a world in which marginalized communities decide their own future and manage their own development. Roots of Development has been providing assistance to community-based organizations and local leaders in Haiti for over 15 years.

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