70 people were killed and 40 injured in clashes between rival gangs in the neighborhoods of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince's largest slum, between April 14 and 19, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti (OCHA) said Sunday.

Among the fatalities are 18 women and two minors, according to the data, which also indicates that 12 women were injured.

The humanitarian and security situation in many areas of Cité Soleil, which has several hundred thousand inhabitants, "has reached an alarming level," Ocha said in a statement.

"Women and children are especially exposed to gang brutality," the document reads.

The fighting is also depriving people of their freedom of movement and access to essential goods and services, and has led to the closure of many schools and health centres in the area.

"Clashes are intensifying in Cité Soleil. The situation in Brooklyn, for example, is dramatic. People feel besieged. They can no longer leave their homes for fear of armed violence and gang-imposed terror," said Haiti Humanitarian Coordinator Ulrika Richardson.

In addition to armed violence, the population of Cité Soleil is severely food insecure and is one of the epicentres of the latest cholera epidemic. The torrential rains of recent weeks have worsened the sanitary and living conditions in the neighborhood.

Located in front of the sea, at the foot of the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, the commune of Cité Soleil is flooded by waste from the capital. As a result, garbage completely blocks access to the Brooklyn neighborhood and no vehicles, including tankers, can enter.

The situation favours the resumption of the cholera epidemic and the spread of other epidemics.

The Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti reiterated the imperative of the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid to those in need, as well as the protection of health, education, humanitarian and essential personnel and infrastructure, including water supply. The population must have safe access to basic services and goods and humanitarian aid.

"Above all, they must be able to live in safety and dignity," he concluded.

The socio-economic and political crisis has worsened in recent months in Haiti, which is suffering a spiral of violence and the resurgence of cholera, which has already caused nearly 600 deaths in the country since last October.

All this led Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to ask last year for the sending of a foreign force, a request still without concrete response.

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