Nearly 170 Haitian children arrived in Port-au-Prince yesterday with their parents after being expelled from Cuba mainly and the U.S., according to UNICEF. Most of the children are from southwestern Haiti and left two to three weeks after the August earthquake in an attempt to reach the U.S.
“Most Haitian children and their parents who were expelled yesterday are from the southern peninsula of Haiti which was hit by a massive earthquake last August. They left the country early September as they had lost everything. These children are likely to leave again for the US unless conditions are created for them to live decent lives in their communities,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.
In just one day, seven flights from Cuba and one from the United States carried Haitian families, including 73 girls and 96 boys, back to Haiti. According to UNICEF estimates, 80 per cent of these children are under five years of age. Many had left Haiti on makeshift boats, and at least two people were reported dead when their boat capsized off the Cuban coasts. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 1069 people were expelled from Cuba and the U.S. yesterday, 34 per cent among them are women and children.