US Issues Rare Warning to Americans in Haiti

Leave while you can amid severe fuel shortages, says State Department
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 11, 2021 11:54 AM CST
US to Americans in Haiti: You Should Come Home
Police officers attempt to control a crowd gathered at a gas station hoping to fill their tanks, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.   (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

The US government is urging American citizens to leave Haiti because of the country’s deepening insecurity and a severe lack of fuel that has affected hospitals, schools, and banks, per the AP. The rare warning from the State Department comes as Haiti’s government and police are struggling to control gangs that have blocked fuel distribution terminals for several weeks. It’s unclear how many US citizens currently live in Haiti. A State Department official told the AP that it does not provide those statistics, and US citizens are not required to register their travel to a foreign country.

“Widespread fuel shortages may limit essential services in an emergency, including access to banks, money transfers, urgent medical care, internet and telecommunications, and public and private transportation options," the State Department warned, adding that the US embassy would probably not be able to get people out if commercial flights become unavailable. Doctors Without Borders also warned that the shortages have forced it to reduce medical care since last week, with staff treating only patients with life-threatening conditions. (The US warning comes as authorities are trying to secure the release of 17 members of an American missionary group who were kidnapped last month.)

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