MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Haiti is in crisis.
The country’s government isn’t functioning. On top of that, COVID is now on a rampage. With a vaccine program that’s all but nonexistent, hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.
“The several hospitals have no place to welcome them anymore,” said Bishop Oge Beauvoir. “Hospitals are saturated. The hospitals are running out of oxygen, medicine.”
Beauvoir is Food For The Poor’s executive director in Haiti. On the ground, he sees a lot.
“There are dead bodies in the streets – dead bodies, relatives have fled,” he said.
The bishop is in South Florida to meet with his colleagues at Food For The Poor. The Christian-based organization, which operates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, is the largest nongovernment aid agency in Haiti.
“I know that we have 125 containers on route to Haiti already. We are going to handle an emergency food appeal for people of Haiti,” said Ed Raine, president and chief executive officer of Food For The Poor.
Hunger in Haiti has always an issue. Four million are said to be food insecure. With COVID on the rise and election turmoil in the streets even more critical, the pandemic battle looks bleak.
“I think the first responders are getting sick with COVID because I don’t think there is any vaccine in the country – no vaccinations available,” said Raine.
The U.S. government promises vaccines are on the way. But can the Haitian medical infrastructure support it?
Beauvoir said there’s little equipment to keep the vaccine cold, and simple logistics for delivery are difficult.
“In the past two weeks, 52 people have died of COVID,” said Beauvoir, “and we are testing less than 1,200 people per day.”
Street violence and COVID has been a brutal brew in a country that seems to have endless tragedies.