Haiti requests international support amid criminal port blockades and cholera outbreak

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The United States Department of State on Saturday said it was reviewing a request for international support from Haiti, which says it is seeking a “specialised armed force” to address a crisis caused by the blockade of the country’s main fuel port.

Haiti has ground to a halt since a coalition of gangs blocked the Varreux Terminal, the main fuel port, in the capital Port-au-Prince in mid-September. The lack of gas and diesel has crippled transportation and forced businesses and hospitals to halt operations.

In a statement, the Department said criminal actors were undermining the country’s urgent efforts to curb the spread of cholera.

“In that context, we will review the Government of Haiti’s request in coordination with international partners and determine how we can increase our support to help address Haiti’s fuel shortage and security constraints,” said the State Department’s spokesperson Ned Price.

The statement did not offer details on how the United States might help Haiti address its security constraints.

It has also led to a shortage of bottled water, just as the country confirmed a new outbreak of cholera, the spread of which is controlled through hygiene and clean water.

The United Nations Security Council, on Thursday, announced that they will hold a session later this month on the security situation in Haiti.

In the meantime, the organisation’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs has called for a humanitarian corridor to be opened to allow for fuel to flow into the city so that the organisation can ensure an emergency response to the potential cholera outbreak.