NAMPA, Idaho — At Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Nampa, crews are repairing an aircraft that was used to transport resources to Haiti for many years.
“Mission Aviation Fellowship has been in Haiti for 35 years,” said Brad Hoaglun, Director of Corporate Communication for MAF. “Serving people in the outer areas. Even though it’s an island, they have a lot of isolated areas, and a part of our mission is to serve people whether it's their holistic needs for health care and mission care for spiritual sides of things.”
One of MAF's bases is located in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. The Caribbean nation is in turmoil in the wake of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and MAF is keeping a close eye on the situation.
Hoaglun said the people at the MAF base in Haiti are staying safe.
“The situation in Haiti is very volatile. We have everyone sheltering in place and we’re not doing any flights at this time,” Hoaglun said.
Hoaglun hopes the situation will improve so they can resume their flights.
“It definitely impacts what we can do when you shut down the international airport and supplies and other goods can’t come in that are needed for those isolated communities,” he said. “We’re just hoping things will open back up because we have people out there who need services, who need medical care. We have mission folks out in the field who want to come back in and get back to the United States and right now we can’t serve them.”
On Thursday, White House Press secretary Jan Psaki said they support elections to occur in Haiti.
“We know that free and fair elections will facilitate a peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected President, and we certainly continue to support Haiti’s democratic institutions. We will call on all political parties, civil society, and stakeholders to work together in the wake of the tragedy and echo acting — the acting prime minister’s call for calm,” Psaki said.
U.S. Embassy officials in Port-au-Prince said Thursday it won’t be offering consular services on July 9 and is working on trying to confirm if airports throughout Haiti might resume commercial flights on Friday. It recommends for travelers check in with their airlines for more information.
Embassy officials are monitoring the situation to make sure U.S. citizens in Haiti are staying safe and informed and recommend these steps:
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds
- Do not attempt to drive through roadblocks
- If you do encounter a roadblock, turn around and get to a safe area
- Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans
- Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance
- Make contingency plans to leave the country