UNICEF Urges all Parties to Safeguard Children Amid Latest Unrest in Haiti
Statement attributable to Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti
NEW YORK (February 8, 2024) – UNICEF is deeply concerned by recent reports highlighting the violence faced and witnessed by children during the current socio-political events in Haiti. We urge all stakeholders to ensure that children are protected, regardless of their situation.
Protecting children should be the priority. UNICEF calls on everyone to protect children and take all necessary measures to prevent their exposure to violent events, which could jeopardize their safety and lives.
Working closely with government and partners, UNICEF is tirelessly monitoring the situation and doing its utmost to ensure that prevention and care services remain operational at all levels.
The escalating violence is simply too much for Haiti's children to bear. Children and families are already enduring relentless waves of brutal violence perpetrated by armed groups in their neighborhoods, with each day bringing new horrors, the loss of loved ones, homes being destroyed by fires or bullets, and an ever-present shadow of fear.
The population is facing some of the worst human rights violations and threats to their lives in the country’s recent history. Years of political turmoil, poverty, institutional and socioeconomic crises, disease outbreaks, increased rates of malnutrition, disasters and escalating armed violence have left over three million children in need of humanitarian assistance. Many more children will need support if the humanitarian situation deteriorates further. The longer this crisis persists, the deeper its impact may cause irreversible harm to children’s well-being.
The current socio-political unrest has already led to the interruption of essential social services such as education, health, and protection, and is impacting the mental and physical well-being of children. We encourage all stakeholders, including authorities at all levels, to cease the violence and focus on safely reopening and providing essential social services for children where they were previously nonfunctional.
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
For more information please contact:
Jenna Buraczenski, UNICEF USA, (917) 720-1432, firstname.lastname@example.org