October 3, 2022 –
The current situation in Haiti is dire. For the last several weeks, violence has escalated. Gang violence has brought chaos and death to many, and Port-au-Prince has been in an almost total lockdown for 19 days. There is no fuel, and hospitals are either closed or rationing care. Inflation continues to skyrocket, and there have been no formal food imports into the country for 13 days. Warehouses are empty and people are going hungry.
In the past, our work on La Gonave has often been somewhat insulated from these types of crises by the island’s isolation, but this current upheaval is affecting everyone, and deeply, including the more than 85,000 residents of La Gonave and the staff of our partner organization Rasin Devlopman.
Gasoline is nearly impossible to find on the island, and even then, it is $25 a gallon! The costs of basic goods like food have become prohibitively expensive for many, leaving them either hungry or reliant on remittances from family outside the country.
Other organizations have had to significantly reduce or suspend operations in Haiti, but because the work we do is driven entirely by Haitians themselves, we are able to adjust and sustain our efforts at a time when they are more necessary than ever. In fact, the approach we have to development and the work we do on La Gonave represent the very approach and solutions needed in Haiti as a whole…
Gas is expensive and unreliable; we have been supporting the installation of solar-powered energy systems in schools and clinics and solar-powered streetlamps across La Gonave for years, and the La Gonave Community Leadership & Development Center we are building will run entirely on solar energy. Food is expensive and unavailable; for over five years we have supported agricultural projects being led by local leaders that increase production on the island. Trust has dissolved between the national government and the people of Haiti; Rasin Devlopman brings local officials, community leaders, and local organizations together to communicate, build cooperation, and work together to increase trust and transparency in the government of La Gonave. We hope that the changes we have helped bring about on the island will someday help all of Haiti become strong, peaceful, and prosperous.
As the situation progresses, we will continue to keep you updated. If you wish to show your support at this moment, as we focus on building a better Haiti from the ground up, please donate at rootsofdevelopment.org/donate.
It is at these moments that we need your support the most.
Roots of Development is a co-organizer of this protest in Washington, D.C. If you’re in the DMV-area, please join us this weekend to help advocate for a change in U.S. policies toward Haiti. Learn more and endorse the letter here.