Gang-related kidnappings in Haiti increased 180 percent in the past year, with 655 of them reported to police, according to a report by the United Nations Security Council.
The French charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) has announced that it is temporarily suspending operations in an impoverished suburb of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, due to rising gang violence.
Thierry Goffeau, MSF's director for Haiti announced the temporary closure of a hospital in the Cite-Soleil neighbourhood in a statement on Friday.
"We condemn all forms of obstruction and violence against medical services, our patients and staff members," the statement said.
The hospital will remain closed "as long as security conditions are not guaranteed", it added.
The security situation in Haiti has been deteriorating for months, with gangs exerting influence far beyond the poor neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince.
The Caribbean nation is also facing an increase in kidnappings: between five and ten people are abducted every day in Haiti, according to Haitian human rights organisations.
The Cite-Soleil hospital opened more than a decade ago, and provides emergency care, although its service for serious burns had already been transferred to another hospital in the capital due to a previous wave of violence.
Last August, MSF was forced to permanently close a hospital it had been operating for 15 years in the Martissant neighbourhood, one of the most disadvantaged in Port-au-Prince.
The hospital closed after police fled their local station and a wave of gang violence and looting forced thousands to flee their homes.
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