• Hunger and Rage

    Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    An orphan boy begs for food in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Haiti is full of orphans. Many parents leave their babies on the street, mainly because they have no food and no sources to maintain large families which they have.

  • An angry woman shouts and accuses the US together with the United Nations for being a cause of the deep poverty and overall misery in the slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Haitians are angry. A considerable part of them accuse the US together with the United Nations being a cause of the deep poverty and overall misery in Haiti.

  • Handcarts of the street venders are seen in the La Saline market, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    The economic situation in Haiti is desperate. The informal sector significantly predominate within the poor Haitian economics.

  • Haitian people fight over food in a food distribution center run by a private Christian organization in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    The fight over food is quite common in all food distribution centers in Haiti. Christian Church and Christian organizations seem to be those who help for the most part.

  • Pigs lie in the rotten garbage next to the shacks in the slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Social and living conditions in Haitian slums like Cité Soleil are a human tragedy. People live here in the extreme, hardly imaginable poverty.

  • People shout and protest against the government on a wild and violent riot in the centre of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    There are wild demonstrations throughout the country, often violently repressed. Haitian administration is higly corrupted. MINUSTAH (UN peacekeepers on Haiti) are generally not welcomed.

  • An abandoned wife, living alone with a lot of children, stands in the door of a shack in the slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Haitian wives are frequently abandoned, living alone with a lot of children to take care of. Men leave them with no legal obligations, giving them no support at all.

  • The bullet holes in the wall and the house ruins seen in the slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    It reveals there have been a lot of violence and military coups in Haiti in the last years.

  • Haitian children wait to be given food for free in front of the Saint Claire Parish in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Pastor Gérard Jean-Juste runs an educational center here, together with a food supplies distribution.

  • Women process pork intestines after the pig was slaughtered in front of a shack close to the La Saline market, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    The sources of food on Haiti are very limited. The owners of pigs (or other animals) are generally considered as rich people. When slaughtered, animals are eaten totally.

  • Haitian kids pluck a bird while it is still alive in the shanty town of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Hunger force them to eat whatever is available with no mercy.

  • Haitian children wait in a queue in the food distribution center Saint Claire Parish in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    All property and food sources on Haiti are highly protected (sometimes by gunmen) due to frequent social storms and lootings.

  • A woman sells dried cakes made from a mixture of yellow dirt (sort of kaolin), water and salt in the shanty town of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Haitian people suffer from hunger. Those in extreme need buy and eat dried cakes made from a mixture of yellow dirt (sort of kaolin), water and salt.

  • A girl feeds his younger brother by rice in the slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Rice is a basic source of nutrition for all Haitians. Rice is almost entirely imported from the US. Haitian farmers can not compete with the low dumping price of the US state-aided rice.

  • A Haitian mother works and takes care of her children in the slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    Half of the population in Haiti are illiterate. Children do not go to school, the system of the public education does not exist, 90% of schools are run by communities or churches.

  • An empty tear gas cartridge seen in front of the Presidential Palace in the centre of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    The UN blue helmets from Nigeria guard the president René Préval. The tension in Haiti continues with undiminished strength.

  • Copyright © 2017 Jan Sochor

Hunger and Rage

Haiti

July - August 2008

Although the Caribbean islands are widely considered as a holiday paradise, Haiti – a state lying on the Hispaniola island, in the Greater Antilles – evokes a hell and a disaster rather than anything else. Hundreds years of slavery and colonialism, the Duvalier family dictatorship in the last century, accompanied by mass violence, left Haiti hopeless and as the poorest nation of the Americas.

The overall situation in Haiti gets worse every year and the extreme, hardly imaginable poverty hits more and more people. The Haitian economics is paralysed, there is no infrastructure, no food supplies, the population suffers from hunger, social and living conditions in Haitian slums (e.g. Cité Soleil) are a human tragedy. People live together with pigs surrounded by rotten stinking garbage with no electricity, no drinking water, no meals, suffering and dying of diseases which may be easily curable if there was a public health system. There seems to be no way out of this misery.

The whole situation got even worse last year in summer when Haiti was hit by four successive hurricanes and several tropical storms. The massive deforestation of Haiti has allowed large floodings.

Haitian administration and the judicial system are (and always have been) higly corrupted, misappropriation of public funds is common. MINUSTAH (Blue Helmets installed in Haiti by the UN in 2004) substitute the police therefore they are generally not welcomed by the Haitian population. Wild and violent riots repeatedly affect all the country.

The rage grows and the tension continues with undiminished strength.

Photography by Jan Sochor
Music by Manno Charlemagne – “Banm Youn Ti Limye”, Les Inedits de Manno Charlemagne (2006)