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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY Mon. Nov. 1, 2021: Pope Francis included Haiti in his praters Sunday following the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.

He urged civil authorities in Haiti to protect people as gang-related violence spikes.

The Pope focused on the Haitian people, who he said are “living in borderline conditions.”

“I ask the authorities of various nations to help this country, and to not leave them alone,” he urged, asking everyone to pray for the people of Haiti. “Let us not abandon them.”

Violence and gang-related activity has spiraled out of control in recent months, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July.

Seventeen Christian missionaries from the US and Canada remain kidnapped by a powerful gang in the capital of Port-au-Prince, which is demanding a ransom of US$17 million. Negotiations for their release are ongoing. The missionaries were kidnapped 17 days ago today, Nov. 1, 2021.

Fuel remains scarce as a coalition of gangs blocks access to fuel terminals to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, signaling the growing power of criminal organizations.

Haiti’s fuel shortages continue to threaten the operations of medical facilities, which cannot depend on the unreliable power grid for electricity, putting an additional burden on a population already struggling under rising malnutrition and gang violence.

Haiti’s hospitals generate electricity using diesel generators. But gangs in the increasingly lawless nation have blocked access to port terminals that supply that fuel, forcing hospitals to shut many of their wards. United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Sunday that fuel shortages in Haiti are putting the lives of hundreds of women and children at risk.

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