Reports of criminal gangs stealing aid shipments at gunpoint are hampering the effort to help Haiti’s earthquake victims

Men hand out supplies to a crowd of earthquake victims during the distribution of food and water at the '4 Chemins' crossroads in Les Cayes, Haiti, August 20, 2021
Men hand out supplies to a crowd of earthquake victims during the distribution of food and water at the ‘4 Chemins’ crossroads in Les Cayes, Haiti, August 20, 2021 Photo by REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR/AFP via Getty Images
  • Criminal gangs in Haiti have slowed down aid efforts trying to reach those injuries by the recent earthquake.
  • Tropical storm Grace has also hampered humanitarian efforts.
  • On August 14, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, killing 2000 people and injuring 12,000.
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Rescue workers had to battle with armed gangs in Haiti to deliver aid to those suffering after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Aid convoys were attacked in Haiti and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was forced to negotiate with the gangs that allowed the aid to be passed through.

Haitians are getting so desperate for supplies and support that on Friday, 20 August, Reuters reported that an aid truck was looted.

The BBC report that a major hospital in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, had to be closed for two days after two doctors were kidnapped by criminal gangs.

A pregnant mother and her baby died while waiting for an emergency Cesarean section meant to be performed by one of the captured doctors.

On August 14, Haiti was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, killing 2000 people and injuring 12,000 people – 332 people are still missing.

Jerry Chandler, head of Haiti’s civil protection agency, spoke at a news conference to say that there are 600,000 people in need of emergency assistance, with the UNICEF stating that over 500,000 children have no access to shelter or safe water.

Homes have been destroyed by the earthquake, leaving people having to live in makeshift campgrounds and shelters.

Fears of a public health emergency are rising, with the cramped, damp conditions and an inability to access healthcare spiking fears of disease and even more deaths.

Aftershocks from the quake are still shaking the island, but they’ve not caused any additional fatalities.

“Our hearts are tearing apart; some of our compatriots are still under the rubble,” he said, appealing for the troubled nation to come together at a time of crisis. “The days ahead will be difficult and often painful.” Reuters report Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry as saying.

The aid effort has been further hampered by poor weather conditions inflicted by tropical storm Grace.

US aid agency USAID – who have transported 143 medical and search and rescue staff and 6,800 pounds (3,084kg) of medical supplies to Haiti – have said that many roads were inaccessible due to the weather conditions.

The nation – still reeling from a devastating 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000 people – is now battling the shock of this earthquake and political tensions from the recent assassination of their late-President.