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Haiti’s main airport reopens months after closure for gang violence

Passengers boarding the flight at Toussaint-Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince Associated Press/Photo by Ramon Espinosa

Haiti’s main airport reopens months after closure for gang violence

The first commercial flight since March left Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince on Monday. Local carrier Sunrise Airways organized the flight to Miami, Fla. U.S.-based airlines are not expected to operate flights from the airport until late May to early June. The airport reopening could help with civilian shortages of basic supplies and medications. About 5.5 million Haitians require humanitarian assistance this year, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA. On Sunday, Haitian National Police at the airport received 10 armored vehicles from the United States for their fight against gangs, according to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti.

Why did the airport close? Gangs seized control of the capital city in late February and early March when they overran police stations and freed over 4,000 inmates from Haiti's two largest prisons. Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation in March after the violence began. Gang violence has killed more than 2,500 people within the first three months of 2024 alone, according to the United Nations. Haiti is experiencing its worst crisis since the 2010 earthquake, said UN World Food Program Deputy Executive Director Carl Skau.

Dig deeper: Read Travis K. Kircher’s report on the experience of an American missionary evangelizing amid Haiti’s descent into chaos.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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