Nfld. & Labrador

Team Broken Earth delays mission to Haiti amid escalating violence

Team Broken Earth was scheduled to leave for its latest medical relief mission on Saturday. Now, those volunteers are rebooking their trips for next year.

Explosion of riots and protests lead to 'difficult' decision

Dr. Andrew Furey has made dozens of trips to Haiti with Team Broken Earth, helping those affected by the 2010 earthquake that devastated the already impoverished nation. (Team Broken Earth)

Team Broken Earth has postponed its latest medical relief mission to Haiti.   

Dr. Andrew Furey, Team Broken Earth's CEO, issued a statement Saturday saying his team made the "difficult" decision to delay the next two or three teams of volunteers due to an escalation of violence in Port-au-Prince, the nation's capital.

"This was not an easy decision to make, obviously, but safety of our volunteers is paramount in any decision-making that we do," he said.

Over the past month, riots, roadblocks and protests have affected transportation in the Caribbean country, isolating communities. 

'Not easy for anyone'

Furey said volunteers of Team Broken Earth are aware of the country's unstable political climate when they sign on, but they've chosen to postpone this month's trip as a precautionary measure.

"Inside the hospital is always safe.… It's an armed facility, and we always feel safe inside the walls of the hospital," he said. 

"The more real risk is just moving to and from the airport. Even though it's a short drive, if there's protests that day there's a risk of not being able to navigate our way to the airport or around the city itself," said Furey. 

Team members initially dispatched to leave this month will now be making the trip in 2020. 

"It's not easy for anyone, but most importantly not easy for those who are living in Port-au-Prince," Furey said.

Team Broken Earth has completed more than 50 trips to Haiti since an earthquake devastated the island nation in 2010.

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