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Haiti fuel crisis update

Many of you may well have seen on the news in recent weeks the deteriorating instability facing Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince (PAP).

Following the political volatility of recent years, the assassination of the President in July and the devastating earthquake in August, a void of leadership in Haiti has become filled in part by armed gangs who now control large areas of PAP. This has led to a significant increase in kidnapping, including the recent abduction of 17 missionaries, the majority American citizens. Growing insecurity has also led to a critical fuel shortage across the country and a national lock down in protest to the current realities.

Unfortunately this week the fuel crisis has threatened the ability for many health facilities to remain fully operational. With unreliable government power, the majority of hospitals rely on generators run by fuel to operate their key services. Our partner hospital, HCBH, is no different. While we have invested heavily in solar power to help the hospital be as sustainable as possible, the system currently doesn’t have the capacity to support the full consumption needs of all services and so we too are reliant on fuel. 

Last Friday we feared the real possibility of having to close some services earlier this week. However, the community of HCBH have rallied together in an inspiring way to keep the hospital open another week.

An SOS through local staff contacts led to different members of the community bringing their own personal supply of fuel in small cans, as donations to keep the hospital alive.

An extraordinary act of generosity and in some cases bravery, when the national lockdown often prohibits movement.

Staff arrived at the hospital ready to work multiple shifts over several days and the electrics team (with HHA support) have worked with great ingenuity to stretch our solar and limited fuel for as long as possible.

Through the sacrifices, hard work and courage of the local team the hospital has remained open! Even yesterday I heard of a mother close to the HHA family, who in the last 48 hours has received an emergency c-section at HCBH and further critical support following complications.

However, while the team are doing everything within our means to keep HCBH open, we also wanted to inform you, our supporters, that there is sadly a real possibility HCBH will run out of reserve fuel in the coming days. Should this happen, some difficult decisions around temporarily suspending some services will regrettably be required. Sadly this is a reality facing the vast majority of facilities in the country.

With this in mind, I wanted to send this email for a few reasons. First, as an update for all our supporters on the situation in Haiti, not only around the instability but also the inspiring stories of communities in Haiti whose positive sacrifices often go unreported. But second, I also wanted to encourage those who share in our heart for prayer to join with us this weekend and pray that the hospital will receive some new fuel. I have just returned from a trip to Uganda where I heard how beneficiaries had described some HHA funded emergency food rations as ‘miracle food’. We now need some 'miracle fuel' in Haiti and we would value your faithful prayers for this.  

Aside from the fuel crisis, please keep Haiti in your thoughts and pray for peace across the country, the safe release of those who have been kidnapped and a pathway forward so Haiti can flourish into the amazing country we know it can be. 

With our deep thanks,

Carwyn and the HHA Haiti team