More than 10,000 Haitian migrants were sent back to the country in less than a month, the UN’s Organization for Migration (IOM) said Monday.
Among the 10,218 returnees to the Caribbean nation since September 19, 7,621 people flew back from the US, while another 1,194 Haitians were sent back from Cuba and 797 from the Bahamas. 19 per cent were children.
Bruno Maes, a representative for UN children’s fund UNICEF in Haiti, tweeted that he saw hundreds of Haitians expelled from Cuba on six flights on Saturday.
Most said they had tried to reach the US city of Miami by boat at the beginning of September, and among the group were many children under five, some of whom were malnourished, he said.
He said the majority of them came from Haitis’ south-west, which was hit by an earthquake on August 14 which killed more than 2,200 people.
Haiti is considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and is in a severe crisis after a succession of natural disasters and ongoing political turmoil since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July.
Many Haitians emigrated to Brazil and Chile years ago but due to discrimination and a lack of prospects in those countries as well as a new hope they could enter the US under President Joe Biden, they have decided to make the dangerous journey thousands of kilometres to the US.
Tens of thousands of migrants have found themselves stuck at borders on their way.