471 casualties in one week of violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: UN

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Humanitarians are delivering aid primarily in the Cite Soleil neighbourhood of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, where a week of violence claimed 471 casualties, a UN spokesman said.

“In the past few days, the UN has distributed enough food to feed 7,000 people for a week,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“We have also distributed drinking water, as well as kits of basic relief items, including hygiene and baby supplies, plastic sheeting and repair items for damaged houses.”

Haq added that the world body tallied more than 471 people killed, injured or unaccounted for in clashes between rival gangs in the capital city on July 8-17 alone. About 3,000 people fled their homes, including hundreds of unaccompanied children. At least 140 houses were destroyed, several of them by fire.

Access to healthcare is limited or non-existent, while food and water have been in short supply, he said.

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Ulrika Richardson, called on all parties to end violence and to ensure unhindered access to provide emergency humanitarian and medical assistance to civilians in need, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Protection remains a real concern,” the Spokesman told correspondents at a regular briefing, adding there were reports of serious incidents of sexual violence against women and girls and boys recruited by gangs.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported earlier this month in a background report that since June 2021, violent clashes between armed gangs have dominated socio-economic life in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, spreading fear and terror among the population. The security situation has deteriorated significantly and reached new levels since April 2022.

The report cautioned that “the situation is expected to remain tense and volatile in the coming months”.

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