In November 2021, political tensions in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, made it nearly impossible for hospitals to stay open. Armed groups held up deliveries of fuel from the city’s main port, creating a widespread fuel shortage. The streets all but emptied of motor vehicles, and it was difficult and costly for health staff or patients to come in.
On top of a staffing crisis, the fuel shortage also disrupted supplies of electricity. Because Haiti’s electric grid is unreliable, most hospitals use their own diesel generators to power everything from lights to lifesaving medical equipment. As fuel for generators dwindled, many health facilities had to stop accepting new patients.
“Medical facilities in Port-au-Prince face the same challenges—no fuel, no electricity, no medical care,” said Jean-Gilbert Ndong, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontière (MSF) medical coordinator, calling for fuel deliveries to resume.