July 31, 2023

U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible …

The United States Department of State with an updated Level 4 Travel Advisory for Haiti ordering the departure of non-essential U.S. government workers and family members of U.S. government employees.

Why It Matters: The updated Level 4 advisory, issued on July 27th, includes the updated information pertaining to U.S. government employees and their families, and a clear message to all Americans: "Do not travel" to Haiti. The U.S. government explained, "Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure."

Context: 19 countries have a Level 4 travel advisory – including Sudan and Russia. Haiti already had this guidance, but the addition of the wording, "ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees," adds another level of urgency.

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince also issued this alert: "The U.S. government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti." It goes on to state: "Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Local police generally lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents."

More news: The official advisories came the same day (July 27th) an American nurse and her child were abducted, according to the nonprofit she worked for; her husband was also the director and founder of this nonprofit.

Context: Earlier in July, the National Human Rights Defense Network reported that kidnappings and deadly violence have been upsurging in Haiti; from May 1 to July 12, at least 40 people were abducted and 75 people killed in the island nation that continues to be impacted by political and economic instability.


by Jenna Lee,