Here is a picture of Delimart Plaza in Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince, Haiti being looted during a protest over fuel price increase on July 7, 2018.
On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the Haitian Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38%, 47% and 51% price for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene respectively, it triggered days of violent civil unrest and demonstrations. Major protests erupted in the country with demonstrators using burning tires and barricades to block major streets across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Dozens of shops were looted and burned and cars were set ablaze. At least four people were killed.
Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, and many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled.
On Saturday, July 17, 2018, looters pillaged burned and vandalized Delimart Plaza. Delimart Plaza is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The superstore was founded by Dr. Reginald Boulos in 2000 who is a medical doctor and former chairman of Intercontinental S.A. Since its foundation the shop kept growing to become the biggest supermarket chain in the entire city. It the best place for quality goods at the lowest price, especially the one at Delmas 32, Delimart is comparable to any Publix or Walmart grocery stores in the U.S as far as the range of products and prices are concerned. However, unfortunately, this shop has been completely destroyed by the violent agitators.
The local management is presently engaged in quantifying the damages, both in financial and human terms. As per news dated, July 11, 2018, the Delimart S.A has announced that their properties located in various locations in Haiti such as in Delmas 32, Delmas 30 and Clercine were looted and some burned. The management has decided to keep their shops closed until further notice. The Directorate General of Delimart is aware of the precarious and difficult situations that will arise due to this closure.
This closure of the stores will severely and lastingly affect hundreds of direct and indirect jobs. The local suppliers will bear the brunt of the negative effects. Moreover, the entire national economy will suffer with the rise of the unemployment rate as about 673 people will lose jobs in the stores due to this indefinite closure.
Following an official notice of fuel price increases at the pump by the Government of Haiti, violent protests erupted. Major casualties include Deli-Mart, a major supermarket. Several cars parked in front of Hotel Best Western and Royal Oasis were burned to the ground.Barricade erupted in many streets, including the road to the only airport, preventing people from flying out of the country.
On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the civilians were busy with the Russia quarter-final world cup matches, the Government quietly published an official notice of fuel price hike at the pumps. As per government statement, this was done in order to comply with the IMF's "Staff-Monitored Program" (SMP) signed last February. Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste reports, prices for gasoline were to rise 38% while diesel prices were to go up 47% and kerosene 51%. The revised prices for the petroleum products, effective from July 7, 2018, in Haitian Currency, will be as follows (per gallon): Gasoline: 309 Gourdes; Diesel: 264 Gourdes; and Kerosene: 262 Gourdes. Before the rise, the prices for these products were: gasoline 224 gourdes; diesel 179 Gourds and kerosene 173 Gourdes.
The announcement triggered days of violent civil unrest, demonstrations erupted on Friday in Port-au-Prince. Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled. Three people were killed on Friday as protesters used burning tires and barricades to block major streets. Demonstrations also broke out in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest city, as well as in the communes of Les Cayes, Jacmel and Petit-Goave. Following the riots, Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned on Saturday. As per last news, the Haitian government bowed to pressure and suspended the fuel price hike on Saturday after widespread violence.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told during a briefing, generalized fuel subsidy put a significant strain on Haiti's fiscal accounts. Earlier this year, Haiti signed a $96 million low interest agreement with the IMF and reduction of subsidy was one of the terms of that agreement. The country is currently facing double-digit inflation, a depreciating currency and slow growth. It also has a budget deficit of more than $150 million.