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- US State Department warning comes amid a deepening political crisis in the troubled Caribbean nation.
- According to MSF, its hospital and emergency room would run out of fuel for generators in three weeks or less.
- The US Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist US citizens in Haiti with departure if commercial options become unavailable.
The United States Department of State warned US citizens in Haiti that “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,” urging all Americans to leave the troubled Caribbean nation as soon as possible.
All American citizens “should carefully consider the risks of traveling to or remaining in Haiti in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges”, the US State Department said in a statement.
“The US Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist US citizens in Haiti with departure if commercial options become unavailable.”
It is not clear how many US citizens currently live in Haiti, but the rare warning from the State Department comes amid a deepening political crisis and a severe fuel shortage that has impacted hospitals, schools and businesses, as the Haitian government and police are struggling to control gangs that have blocked fuel distribution terminals for several weeks.
According to Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF), its hospital and emergency center would run out of fuel for generators in three weeks or less if new supplies do not arrive.
The fuel shortage also has threatened Haiti’s water supply, which depends on generators.
The situation also has led to a spike in food prices in a country of more than 11 million people where more than 60 percent of the population makes less than $2 a day.
The US State Department warning also comes as a group of 17 Christian missionaries who were kidnapped last month, including 16 US citizens, still remain captive.