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Montevideo, January 19th 2022 - 10:31 UTC



Gov't of Haiti and transport unions reach deal over price of fuel

Thursday, December 16th 2021 - 09:00 UTC
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The accord also provides for the creation of a regulatory body for the oil market The accord also provides for the creation of a regulatory body for the oil market

A memorandum of understanding was signed Wednesday between the Government of Haiti and transport unions barely a week after an increase in the price of fuels was decreed by Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Union spokesperson Anderson Desroches explained the agreement encompassed wages, regularizing motorcycle taxis, and granting driving licenses and registration plates, as the main issues.

The accord also provides for the creation of a regulatory body for the oil market as well as keeping some subsidies regarding public transport. The Government is also due to grant access to vehicles to those whose ageing units are no longer fit for service, it was reported.

The agreement came after protests ensuing the 24% price hike for gasoline and 100% for diesel and kerosene. Transport operators had threatened to paralyze the country until a solution was found.

Union leader Changé Mehu warned that “after this week, if the Government does not do anything about the subsidy, we will set the prices of the trips in the ten departments of the country in accordance with the recent increase in petroleum products.”

Meanwhile, while this crisis was unfolding, news from Cap-Haitien added to the Haitian nightmare as the death toll of the explosion involving a tank lorry had increased to 75 from the 60 reported originally. Local authorities also reported 56 people were still hospitalized in critical condition. Most of the new deaths fatalities were patients hospitalized with severe burns.
A few hours after the accident, 15 people were airlifted to Port-au-Prince and the city of Hinche to receive treatment at hospitals specializing in burn injuries.

The accident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, after a tanker truck overturned around a curve in a street in a central neighborhood of Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city. Dozens of people tried to steal the fuel from the truck, for which some hit the tank with hammers.

It is yet unclear what caused the spark that caused the explosion, which also affected about 20 homes located in adjacent streets.

The Haitian government also announced Tuesday that it was building two field hospitals to treat the wounded, as the two main medical centers in Cap-Haitien were already saturated.

Henry decreed three days of official mourning nationwide.

Read also: Dozens killed or wounded after explosion in Haiti


Tags: Haiti, oil.

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