Haitians run on the street while tires burn during a protest in Port-au-Prince
Haitians run on the street while tires burn during a protest in Port-au-Prince November 28, 2010. The US state department has warned citizens against travel to Haiti. REUTERS

US citizens are urged to avoid any “unessential” travel to the Caribbean country Haiti because of the high crime rate and recent cholera outbreak, a travel advisory from the State Department warned.

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Haiti unless essential and only if travel is fully supported by organizations with solid infrastructure, evacuation options, and medical support systems in place, the government said in a statement.

The advice against travel is for the capital city Port-au-Prince and other provincial cities where crime incidences such as abductions and murders are on a rise, the statement said.

“In a number of cases in the past year, travelers arriving in Port-au-Prince on flights from the United States were attacked and robbed shortly after departing the airport, the advisory said, adding that some kidnapping victims have been physically abused, sexually assaulted, and even killed.

According to the state department, lack of adequate medical facilities and limited police protection further makes visiting Haiti full of risks.

Once Haiti's significant sector, tourism has come to suffer tragically in the poorest country of the western hemisphere. The devastating 2010 earthquake served severe damages to the country’s infrastructure while a more recent cholera outbreak weakened social security. A year on, Haiti is still reeling under the effects of the earthquake, and the recent political instability has added to the unrest in the country.