(CNN) Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Sunday announced a new hike in gas prices, despite weeks of anti-government protests over the cost of living and raging gang violence in the country.
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Speaking at the first anniversary of the formation of his coalition government, Henry said the price increase was part of a bid to raise money for public administration.
“We’re going to raise the price of gas to make sure the government collect enough money to keep the country running. We can’t keep on subsidizing gas for people who can pay full price and buy the gas to sell it on the black market,” he said.
“The state is losing a lot of money and can’t collect enough taxes to keep the public administration running,” Henry added.
According to Haiti’s Institute for Statistics and Informatics, the country saw a 30.7% inflation rate increase in July this year compared to 2021.
Henry also called on Haitians to stay calm and make sacrifices for the country.
“Violence is not the answer, violence won’t help us move the country forward. I am urging everyone to stay calm and work together to resolve our differences,” Henry said Sunday.
At least 10 people, including two journalists, were killed in unrest over the weekend in the Cité Soleil area of capital city Port-au-Prince.
Henry, who assumed leadership of the Caribbean nation last year, has struggled to bring the country together for long-postponed elections.