Mayor Adams, Rev. Al Sharpton call on U.S. to do more to help Haiti

Leaders call for more aid for Haiti as families struggle

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams and Rev. Al Sharpton joined with Haitian leaders at City Hall Wednesday to call for U.S. aid and action in Haiti amid the ongoing crisis there. 

They discussed the ongoing crisis in Haiti, where gang violence has thrown the nation into turmoil as armed groups battle for territory. More than 362,000 people have been internally displaced, and 2 in 3 children are in need of urgent assistance, according to the United Nations.

New York City is home to one of the largest Haitian communities outside of Haiti, so the crisis hits close to home. Many local Haitians say their loved ones there are in a desperate situation

CBS New York's Natalie Duddridge spoke to Haitian New Yorkers about the struggle to survive, like Molino Joseph, who's in Les Cayes in southern Haiti. 

"The situation is very critical," Joseph said. 

He said the violence has escalated in the last few months, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince, as armed gangs battle for territory. The nation is in turmoil. 

Many Haitians have fled to other parts of the island, and are now without access to shelter and supplies. 

"The roads are blocked," Joseph said. 

Which means extreme challenges to bringing food to those in need. 

"Estimated 500 Haitians dying daily from hunger. We need immediate humanitarian support," aid organization Capracare founder Jean Pierre-Louis said. 

Haitian medical student Smith Altema was able to escape to the U.S. two months ago, but worries about his family. 

"They are really scared because, at this moment, a lot of people die over there because they can't receive treatment. There's no medication," Altema said. 

"The Haitian people are our neighbors," Adams said. 

At City Hall Wednesday, Adams and Sharpton joined Haitian leaders to call on the U.S. government to provide assistance. This comes after congressional Republicans blocked $40 million in aid requested by the Biden administration. 

"That money should be released immediately," Sharpton said. 

Adams also called on the U.S. to investigate the flow of American guns being trafficked to Haiti. 

"Far too often in this hemisphere, weapons that are made here in America are being used in Haiti," Adams said. "We have an obligation to make sure ATF and other federal agencies investigate." 

"Haiti don't produce guns. They don't make any, so where are they coming from?" Pierre-Louis said. "Let's investigate and see how we can stop the traffic of guns coming in. If there's no guns, no ammunition, these gangs are powerless." 

With airports closed, the U.S. State Department is still working to evacuate Americans trapped in Haiti as people like Joseph and Pierre-Louis work to help families find food, water and shelter. 

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