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Haiti confirms new cholera outbreak amid political, economic crisis

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PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI - People gather to stage a protest against government after two days of successful strike throughout the Haitian national territory, several sectors of national life began this September 28, 2022, a series of three days of demonstration to demand the resignation of the government deemed incapable of leading to a way out of the crisis in Port au Prince, Haiti on September 22, 2022. (Georges Harry Rouzier - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 13, 2022 - 03:15 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Haiti has confirmed a new cholera outbreak, adding to the woes of the Caribbean nation, where a crisis has intensified over the past few days.

Powerful criminal groups have blocked the country’s main fuel terminal since September, crippling basic supplies such as water and food and preventing businesses and hospitals from operating.

Clashes between armed gangs have also paralyzed the country for months, with the escalating violence leaving hundreds of people dead and driving thousands of people to flee abroad.

Adding to the chaos, the Ministry of Health has reported a new outbreak of cholera.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization said there had been 16 cholera deaths and 32 confirmed cases.

The latest outbreak is occurring 12 years after the country experienced a cholera catastrophe in the wake of a devastating earthquake. In 2010, around 10,000 people died of the disease.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry has asked the international community for military assistance to address the cholera epidemic and the actions by criminal gangs. The Biden administration in the US sent a delegation to the capital Port-au-Prince on Wednesday to address the nation’s humanitarian and security crises.

The president of neighboring Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, warned at a press conference that if international troops are sent to help against gangs, “we would close and block the border.”

Abinader has taken drastic measures against migrants since the crisis in Haiti worsened a year ago by beginning to build a wall along the border.

Political turmoil, high food costs and rising inflation have aggravated the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, which has been grappling with a continuing escalation of violence since the assassination of former President Jovenel Moise in July last year. ​​​​​​​

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