Ready to evacuate nationals from violence-hit Haiti, if required: India


New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Asserting that it is ready to evacuate its nationals from violence-torn Haiti, if required, India said on Friday that it has set up a 24-hour control room in the Ministry of External Affairs and an emergency helpline in the Dominican Republic, to provide information and assistance.Haiti has been in the grip of increased armed attacks by criminal gangs that have left Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region paralysed and reportedly displaced more than 15,000 in the past few weeks.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that there are some 50 to 80 Indian community members in Haiti and the Indian Embassy is in touch with all of them.

“We are monitoring the situation… if required, we are ready to evacuate… Our embassy in Santo Domingo is monitoring the situation. The ministry also is fully monitoring the situation,” Randhir Jaiswal said addressing a weekly media briefing.

He added that some of the Indians there are working with the Missionaries of Charity.

The Ministry of External Affairs, in view of the ongoing developments in Haiti, shared the helping numbers in a release issued on Friday.

The contact details of the Control Room are as under:

1800118797 (Toll free), +91-11-23012113, +91-11-23014104, +91-11-23017905, +91-9968291988.

The release said that the Embassy of India in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which is concurrently accredited to the Republic of Haiti, has also set up a 24-hour emergency helpline, which can be accessed as per the following contact details:

+1 (849) 398-9889, +1 (809) 870-3923, +1 (849) 507-7612, Landline: +1 8298934233, Extn: 203, Landline: +1 8298934233, Extn: 213.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep concern over the “rapidly deteriorating” security situation in Haiti in the wake of a weekend jailbreak, which saw nearly 4,000 criminals return to the streets.

According to the UN, Haiti has been living under a 72-hour state of emergency and curfew, and around 80 per cent of the capital is now controlled by armed gangs.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recently said that the violence has increased the price of food items by almost 25 per cent.



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