“Enough, we're hungry” Haiti goes through desperate situation

Haitian Jesuits Comuniqué. April 2008

Jesuits who perform various tasks in Haiti witness the plight millions of Haitians, our brothers and sisters, face  every day. 

Like Jehovah did in the desert, we witness the misery of our people and hear their cries "I am Jehovah, your God. I have witnessed your misery and heard your cry". 

These are the miseries our people suffer today: 

  • Millions of Haitians suffer an extreme increase in the price of staple goods, and they cannot satisfy their basic needs, not even buy food.
  • A halt in production that affects all sectors, leading to famine and poverty.
  • The embarrassing impoverishment of our rural and urban populations.
  • A rise in crime rates, kidnappings and desperation among young people.
  • Our country is ridden with shame and despair, its sovereignty has been tarnished and the biggest part of the population lives in inhuman conditions.

 

A few other we could name: 

  • The inability shown by our leaders to tackle the fundamental problems of our society
  • The absence of a political opposition capable of  controlling and supporting the government in working to improve our nation
  • The total annihilation of the political functions of the Parliament through dishonest actions like corruption, bribes...
  • The lack of help from the International Community, specially those nations that claim to be friends of Haiti, of international financial institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, American Bank for Development, etc.) that have not kept their promise with Haiti and that cynically witness how the Haitian society fall into an abyss.

 

The Haitian people, brave as few, can't endure this ordeal any longer. Oppressed by misery, they cry. Their cry is a call. Their cries are the cries of: 

  • Thousands of young people who roam the streets crying they can't take this situation any longer,  and demand political leaders to act as such.
  • Millions of unemployed citizens, struck by hunger, who cry their desperation down the streets of Puerto Principe and other cities.
  • Parents who can't eat in days and who cry their misery at demonstrations.
  • Starving children in the slums and in the countryside who cry everyday because they don't have any food and because they have no future.

 

We feel it is our responsibility to stop this ordeal that threatens to throw our nation into a desperate situation. We are strongly bound to this suffering people. That is the reason why, in the name of our Christian faith and our compromise as Jesuits, we strongly demand

From our political leaders

  • From the President of the Republic, to make quick decisions to bring back confidence and peace to our nation and to undertake a deep reform of public institutions to set our nation on the path of development.
  • From the heads of State to elaborate an emergency plan as soon as possible in order to palliate the suffering of our people, and to use intellectual resources (national and foreign) to elaborate a real national development plan in the long run.
  • From political parties and organizations to perform their duties as government watchdogs, to help in finding solutions to the problems our society faces and to take an active role in reforming the State to rescue our nation from the deadlock it's caught in.

 

From merchants, factory owners, importers, bank managers and other live forces of our nation to contribute in soothing the suffering of our fellow citizen and to realize that we need to work together if we are to solve the problems our nation faces. 

From all fractions of form civil society: religious leaders, educators, students, union leaders and members, craftsmen, retailers, farmers to stand up and find solutions to the problems that trouble us. 

From the International Community, specially from those nations who claim to be our friends, and from  international financial institutions, to keep their promises and help our nation out of this ordeal.

 

Signed by: F. Pérard Monestime SJ, F. Dérino Sainfariste SJ, F. Kawas François SJ, F. André Charbonneau SJ, F. Miller Lamothe SJ, F. Claude Souffrant SJ, F. Ramiro Pampols SJ, F. Kénel Sénatus SJ, F. Gilles Beauchemin SJ, F. Gontrand Décoste SJ, Frère Mathurin Charlot SJ, Thomas Dabady SJ and F. Godefroy Midy SJ.

 

"Enough, we're hungry", by Olga Regueira, Entreculturas volunteer in Haiti

Olga Regueira, our volunteer in Haiti, describes the closure of Petionville market, a colourful place full of smiles, people shouting and greeting each other... and haggling, A market where retailers (a women majority) sell oranges, nail polish, pills for all kind of ailments, even Parkinson's disease, vegetables, fruit, spices, soap, clothes hangers, candles, "gold" necklaces, phone cards and even phone calls, a market where thousands of people shout prices, bargains, eat, sleep, struggle for a living... Read more