The fuel crisis is worsening in Haiti and the Professional Syndicate of Banks announced, on Friday, that its institutions will reduce working hours and working days due to the lack of fuel amid the closure of many gas stations in the capital.
Starting next week, banks will only operate three days a week instead of the usual six and will close earlier.
The few gas stations that continued to operate this week were the scene of huge lines, fights and crowds, and a gallon (3.78 liters) cost the equivalent of about $15 in some places.
Motorcyclists, business owners, and even policemen have had to scavenge for fuel, and many people wait hours to be laid off.
In recent weeks, shortages have affected hospitals, schools, ambulances, public transportation and other sectors, accompanied by increasing anger and frustration.
The government claims gangs have shut down petrol distribution stations, and Le Nouvelleste reported on Friday that several truck drivers had been kidnapped and at least four tanker units stolen.
At least one gang demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in exchange for the lifting of the blockade.
Henry noted last week that the country is not running out of fuel and that tankers are waiting to be unloaded.
He noted that the police had set up a “security corridor” to protect gasoline shipments and truck drivers, and that airports, coast guard ships, some hospitals and telephone companies had received fuel.
He also said that officials from various government agencies are working together to find a quick solution, though he did not provide details.
But the situation appears to have worsened this week, and the head of the gas station association warned that the meetings held with the authorities did not result in a solution.
“The real crisis will begin in the next few days,” Marc-Andre Dervons told Radio Magic 9.