[JURIST] Gustavo Gallon [official profile], the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, called Monday for increased aid to victims of Hurricane Matthew. In his initial report [press release], Gallon recounted visiting High School Nord Alexis, a school where 525 affected families have sought refuge. Gallon said [UN News Centre report] that these families and others similarly situated required additional shelter and humanitarian aid. Gallon also commented on numerous other human rights issues in the country, including high rates of illiteracy among the general population, poor prison conditions, and an increase in verbal and physical attacks against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Gallon is expected to present his report to the UN Human Rights Council [official website] this month.
Haiti is still recovering [BBC report] from Hurricane Matthew, which killed approximately 1,000 people in October. Along with decimating infrastructure and leaving thousands internally displaced, Hurricane Matthew threatened to interfere with the general election scheduled for November of that year. The election was scheduled after the 2015 election was met with widespread allegations of fraud. Despite the hurricane, the elections went forward, and Jovenel Moise [Al Jazeera report] was elected the nation’s new president. Critics are challenging his election after only 21 percentof eligible voters where able to reach the polls on election day. Many believe this is due to the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.