Travel Insurance For Haiti

Country Risk Code: High

Overall: High Risk

Haiti is a High Risk destination: reconsider travel.

Security: High

High Risk locations can be dangerous and may present unexpected security risks.Travel is possible, but there is a potential for severe or widespread disruptions.

The Political landscape in Haiti

Amid a worsening spate of gang-driven crime, an alarming uptick in kidnappings and acrumbling economy, President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by a group of foreignmercenaries in his home on 7 July 2021. Following two weeks of power struggle and astate of siege, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph resigned and appointed ArielHenry – who was handpicked by President Moïse just two days before hisassassination – as prime minister and acting President. As of January 2023, the termsof all elected officials have expired as elections have failed to take place since 2016.Following a wave of gang attacks and civil unrest, Henry announced his resignment on11 March. He will remain in charge of a caretaker government until a transitionalcouncil of two observers and seven voting members, including representatives frompolitical coalitions, private sector, civil society and one religious leader, is established.It remains to be seen when the long-postponed general elections will be held, or if theplans to renew the constitution that would further strengthen the presidency will goahead. In any case, elections are likely to be plagued with violence, as was the case in2006, 2010-2011 and 2015-16.

Jovenel Moïse of the Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK) was elected in a significantlypostponed presidential election in November 2016, following 10 months of politicaluncertainty following a voided first-round in 2015 due to allegations of fraud andmajor damage from the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. PresidentMoïse governed by decree from 13 January 2020 when the Chamber of Deputiesreached the end of its term. Haiti plunged deeper into a constitutional crisis on 7February 2021 after at least 23 opposition figures, including the Inspector General ofthe National Police of Haiti and Supreme Court Justice Yvickel Dabrézil, weretemporarily arrested on charges of organising a coup against then President Moïse.Protest clashes erupted in Port-au-Prince on 8 February amid a general strike asopposition figures appointed Supreme Court Judge Joseph Mécène Jean-Louis as aninterim president, claiming that Moïse’s term ended on 7 February, an assertionbacked by the country’s high court but denied by Moïse, the UN and the United States(US). Civil society groups had been calling for a transitional government for months,claiming that Moïse’s government had ties to street gangs. After uniting a part of Portau-Prince's warring factions Jimmy 'Barbecue' Cherizier, leader of the G9 gang, hasallegedly attacked Moïse’s political opponents, facing little resistance from securityforces. Gang attacks and clashes have displaced tens of thousands and targetedcrucial services in Port-au-Prince since 2022. Two days ahead of the termination of

the Senate's term, on 8 January 2023, Senate President Joseph Lambert was injuredafter unidentified gunmen opened fire on his vehicle in the capital.Late President Moïse struggled to deal with the intense pressure to increase thestandard of living for millions of Haitians living in poverty as well as properly addressinternal corruption scandals, which triggered widespread riots on numerous occasionsduring 2018-2019. The worsening living standards have pushed more than 70 percentof the population below the poverty line as of 2022. Haitian politics embodiesinstability, and politically motivated violence has been common since the 30-yeardictatorship of the Duvalier family (1957-1986) followed by several military coups andelectoral violence. The UN and donor governments including the US have pledgedbillions of dollars of reconstruction funds to Haiti and are keen to support a stable,legitimate leadership to take charge of the recovery. PM Henry's call for a foreignintervention to establish control over gangs is pending the establishment of a newtransitional council. Tackling social inequalities and creating jobs in the WesternHemisphere's poorest nation, where the wealth gap between the impoverishedCreole-speaking black majority and the French-speaking minority remains largelyunaddressed, fighting corruption and gang-driven crime remain the greatestchallenges for political stability.

Security overview

Political Instability High Risk

Haitian politics embodies instability, underscored by the assassination of PresidentJovenel Moïse in July 2021. Politically motivated violence has been common since the30-year dictatorship of the Duvalier family followed by several military coups andelectoral violence. A United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission (2004-2017) wasunable to prevent this. A question remains how much control caretaker Prime MinisterAriel Henry can assert ahead of general elections with government institutions havingceased to function effectively. Main challenges include to increase the standard ofliving of millions of Haitians as well as properly address gang crime and internalcorruption scandals, which triggered widespread riots during 2018-2019.

Conflict: High Risk

Despite the absence of external threats, the country remains mired in domesticturmoil due to chronic political, social and economic instability as well as thegovernment's inability to combat the gang crime and the effects of natural disasters.The prospect of a coup led by former or current military troops or nationwide unrestspearheaded by criminal gangs, continue to linger in the background of daily politicallife. Tensions have long existed between the Dominican Republic (DR) and Haiti overborder limits and illegal immigration.

Terrorism: Low Risk

Despite rampant levels of lawlessness, Haiti does not have a history of terrorist attacksnor domestic or international terrorist groups operating within its borders. Thecountry's general lawlessness and weak security presence may draw internationalterrorists seeking safe haven, while providing an opportunity to plan and organise.

Unrest: High Risk

Peaceful protest is rare in Haiti, where the majority of demonstrations, marches andstrikes often escalate into violence and result in fatalities. Whether protesting highfood prices, rampant levels of crime or election results, common tactics used by sticksand-stones wielding demonstrators include road blockades, burning tyres, looting andclashes with police particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Crime: Extreme Risk

Violent crime and lawlessness is widespread in Haiti, making appropriate securityprecautions imperative. Homicides, sexual assaults, robberies and armed assaults arehistorically intense and relate to heightened gang activity. Criminal activity typicallyintensifies in February-March and August-September. Crime problems arecompounded by police corruption, a lack of resources and poor police presence andresponse, with some officers implicated in kidnapping and drug trafficking.