Haiti, already grappling with numerous economic and social challenges, is now on the brink of another fuel crisis that could severely impact the transportation sector and disrupt fuel supply throughout the country. The Association of Petroleum Professionals (APPE), representing oil industry experts, has raised the alarm about the exorbitant tariffs imposed by gangs, which are impeding the smooth distribution of fuel within the nation.
The situation is particularly worrying as transporters face extremely difficult conditions when trying to access the Varreux Terminal. To gain passage rights, they are required to provide 15 gallons of fuel per truck in addition to paying substantial fees to gangs. These gangs charge 200 thousand gourdes to allow trucks to leave the terminal and an additional 800 thousand gourdes per fleet to pass through the airport road. Moreover, further negotiations and payments are demanded along the northern route, depending on the specific itinerary.
The crisis is compounded by a near blockade at the Martissant level, which effectively blocks the southern exit of the capital. In the unfortunate event of fuel trucks being stolen or diverted, transporters are forced to bear the cost of recovering the stolen product. These exploitative practices are putting immense financial strain on transporters and fuel distribution companies, thereby posing a significant threat to the proper functioning of the sector and creating an environment of economic uncertainty.
In response to this alarming situation, oil professionals have urgently appealed to the authorities, especially to the Minister of Finance, seeking intervention. They emphasize that these exorbitant tariffs and disruptions in fuel supply have the potential to paralyze the transportation sector, leading to severe fuel shortages across the entire nation. Such a crisis would have catastrophic consequences on the daily lives of Haitians, who are already vulnerable due to prolonged periods of instability.