Aid delivery to Haiti’s earthquake-stricken south is slowly improving, but gangs continue to patrol key transport routes, international freight carriers have raised costs, and snags related to Brexit and COVID-19 are causing lengthy air and shipping delays.
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti’s southern peninsula on Aug. 14, killing more than 2,200 people, injuring more than 12,000, and delivering another blow to a region that has been by a succession of natural disasters in recent years.
A humanitarian corridor – negotiated between aid groups and the gangs that have terrorised the capital, Port-au-Prince, in recent years – has allowed aid shipments to move from there to the affected areas in the south, but some relief trucks have still been looted, and clashes have been reported along the border route from the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
A month after the earthquake, several roads and bridges also remain damaged or blocked following heavy rains and floods triggered by Tropical Depression Grace days after the earthquake. As a result, many aid organisations have had to rely on bringing goods in by sea or air.
Shipping costs of humanitarian aid have also tripled. Fuel scarcity in Port-au-Prince hand a global shortage of shipping containers as well as a backlog of containers across ports in the Caribbean has further complicated logistics.