War In Ukraine Responsible For Rising Prices In Haiti

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said Friday in a message to the nation that his country fears the impact that the war between Russia and Ukraine will have on Europe at a time when Haiti faces an unprecedented political and socioeconomic crisis.

“The country is at risk of being hit hard by the war that has broken out between Russia and Ukraine. This is starting to drive up all prices around the world and here in our country,” he said.

Henry warned that in Haiti “the price of fuel will go up, also the price of flour, the price of fertilizers and there is a possibility that the price of many other products will also go up.”


Condemns Russian invasion

The Haitian chief of staff recalled that at the beginning of the conflict the country made adjustments in fuel prices based on 85 dollars per barrel, while today crude oil is priced at 125 dollars.

“This is going to cause us a lot of difficulties and we know that another big adjustment cannot be made,” said Henry, who reported that he was “working” with members of his government to see how to manage the situation.

“I again ask Russia to stop bombing Ukraine, to respect its neighbor’s independence and to give diplomacy a chance to bring peace back,” he added.

He considered that the cessation of hostilities will benefit both countries and “the whole world”, including Haiti.

Seeks to reach an agreement with the IMF

According to Henry, for the government to help the poorest, the country must do everything possible so that much more money reaches the state coffers.

“The State loses every year more than 1,000 million dollars (due to evasion) in customs and in the Department of General Taxes. To all those who commit smuggling and those who do not pay their debts, I say that we cannot let people perish “, he warned.

Henry recalled that last week Haiti began talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that these “went well”, for which he predicted that an agreement with the credit institution “should” be reached in the coming days.

“After the signing of the agreement, all international or bilateral financial institutions that have stopped helping Haiti will be able to support us again,” he said.

“This will be a great relief for the state budget in these difficult times ahead,” he continued. “Unfortunately, these difficult times will come at a time when all of our institutions are dysfunctional.”

Regrets the ravages of insecurity

During his speech, Henry said that the issue of insecurity greatly worries his government and the population. He gave assurances that his administration “does not participate in the protection of bandits” who spread terror in the country.

“Our country is facing many problems. In addition to the high cost of living and unemployment, insecurity and kidnapping are our two biggest concerns, which cause a lot of stress and consume the entire economy that a person has and even make us spend what that we don’t have,” he admitted.

He said he knows what the population is going through because the problem affects him personally. He stated that he “hears the suffering” of the people every time they kidnap a mother, a father, a son, a brother, a sister.

“It is a whole family that is a victim. It is the whole society that is affected because the gangsters do not respect anything or anyone,” he lamented.

In that order, he believed that the State should regain control of the entire national territory.

“This is too much. Fear must change sides,” he added.

Call for dialogue

Henry revealed that from the “political school” he comes from, dialogue is the best way to solve problems in general, political problems in particular.

“I have always done it and this is what I have done since I took office. I continue to reach out to all my compatriots who want to see Haiti come out of the crisis it finds itself in,” he said.

“I launch a solemn call to all political parties, including, especially, the compatriots of the Montana Agreement and those of the Pennsylvania agreement (…) to the formal and informal private sector, to the religious sector, to civil society in general, to that everyone comes to sit down to build a broad consensus on fundamental issues for the future of the country,” he said.

He advocated the drafting and adoption of a new Constitution and the organization of “good elections” so that the Haitian people can elect their leaders with complete freedom.

For Henry it should not be “too difficult” to reach an agreement on these issues.

“No one has THE right to veto the future of the Haitian people,” he stated and affirmed that he counted on the good faith of all the actors to save democracy in the country.

“It is in the dialogue where we must seek and find the appropriate solutions,” he added. EFE

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