Haiti: New call to safeguard medical services, ensure humanitarian access and respect the red cross emblem – Haiti

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The Haitian Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reiterate the obligation to protect medical services, provide humanitarian access and respect the red cross emblem.

Port-au-Prince, October 19, 2022 – While violence in Haiti is not in sight, the Haitian National Red Cross Society, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) reiterate their call on all parties concerned to protect medical services, ensure humanitarian access and respect the red cross emblem.

While the violence continues to have a serious impact on the people of Haiti, this devastating humanitarian situation is exacerbated by the current shortage of fuel. Many people are now struggling to get around, eat and meet their basic needs. A new cholera outbreak is making Haiti’s already desperate situation even more acute.

As the country is plunged into crisis, it is now almost impossible to obtain regular supplies of water or fuel or to access health services. These services have been hit hard by the crisis and many are closing or will be forced into them imminently if the situation persists, leaving a large part of the population without access to healthcare. Providing hospitals with the diesel they need for generators is now the top priority in order to save lives.

The humanitarian consequences of this situation are disastrous and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Haiti calls on everyone to respect fundamental humanitarian principles. People must have free access to medicines and medical services, without discrimination, at all times and in all circumstances. Sick or injured people should not be arbitrarily killed or subjected to ill-treatment.

The cholera outbreak also poses a significant risk to the population, especially children and other vulnerable people, and the ability to prevent a potential outbreak depends on the full mobilization of health workers. The Haitian Red Cross, supported by its Movement partners in Haiti, is working actively to fight the cholera epidemic. However, like many other humanitarian organizations, its work is compromised by the severe shortage of fuel.

The International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Haiti therefore calls on all parties concerned to respect and protect medical personnel, vehicles and facilities in all circumstances. They must never be hindered in their work of preventing and alleviating human suffering, wherever it may be; nor should they be prevented from protecting life and health.

Finally, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement reminds everyone of its status as a neutral, impartial and independent movement whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts and other situations of violence, and to provide them with assistance whenever necessary. In accordance with these principles, it is imperative to respect the emblem of the red cross, ambulances and first aiders in Haiti.

For more information please contact:

Koné Yssouf, ICRC – Mission Haiti, tel: +509 31 53 8698
Pericles Jean Baptiste, Haitian Red CrossPhone. : +509 4895 6149
Susana Arroyo, IFRC – Regional Office for the Americas, tel. : +507 6999 3199

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