The political, social, environmental and economic chaos in Haiti continues to be probably the Dominican Republic’s greatest challenge. Instead of improving, nevertheless, over the years the situation in the neighboring country seems to be worsening as evidenced by a recent violent assault on an orphanage.
The Vatican News reported a brutal attack by armed men on the Kay pè Giuss orphanage manned by Italian nuns in the slum area of Waf Jeremie, Haiti. Sister Marcella Catozza told the Vatican News that the emergency situation in Haiti is “perennial.” The orphanage houses 146 children, including 30 that are seriously disabled, and receives around 400 day children. The shelter was founded after the 2010 earthquake.
During the assault, the armed bandits stole the power generator, sanitary material and the mattresses and all else they could take. Sister Marcella Catozza says the country is going towards the abyss, and the citizens are increasing being exposed to violence. We are not building anything that can guarantee a different future: we work as if we were always in an emergency. “
“There is a lack resolve to change things,” said Sister Catozza. She has worked in Amazonia, Albania, Vietnam, but in the Caribbean country she finds almost insurmountable difficulties. The lack of interlocutors, for example, so much that they cannot call the police after the attacks, because “the police are afraid of bandits,” she explained. “There is no one to turn to, there is nothing objective: you change things in the running, every day, depending on the employee you find in the office. It’s like always having to continuously start over and the state does not help you,” she told the Vatican News.
She explained that the program Doctors without Borders, for example, is leaving the country: they have already closed three hospitals because the state has imposed on exorbitant taxes on the facilities. Doctors Without Borders ran free hospitals: now people do not know where to go. “This is the drama of this country: there is no will to change things,” she complained.
Joint efforts of the Dominican Republic and the European Union to establish a hospital in Haiti to reduce the demand of Haitians on the free public health system in the Dominican Republic has met with indifference on behalf of the Haitian authorities. The Dominican Republic shares more than 300 km border with Haiti.
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26 December 2018