The hopes of Christian nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter being released by her captors has taken a turn for the worse after they demanded a $1 million ransom.

An urgent effort is underway to free the kidnapped American Christian nurse and her child in Haiti, while the worsening situation in the Caribbean nation has U.S. officials warning Americans to stay away.

Dorsainvil and her child reportedly have been kidnapped in Haiti. The faith-based organization with ties to Dorsainvil, El Roi Haiti, says the pair were taken near Port-au-Prince as the country continues to see an increase in gang violence and crime.

Dorsainvil spoke about her work in a video made by the ministry and humanitarian relief organization, El Roi Haiti.

Now, according to the Associated Press, the captors have demanded $1 million in ransom, a standard practice by the gangs to get money to fund operations.

“(The kidnapping) is definitely going to have a chilling impact on the work that particularly smaller aid groups do in the country,” said Renata Segura, International Crisis Group’s deputy director for Latin America and Caribbean. “People are going to be thinking about it twice before returning to those communities.”

Smaller grassroots organizations like Dorsainvil’s are particularly affected, Segura said, because they have fewer resources to deal with the violence. People in Cite Soleil protested the kidnapping, carrying signs that read, “She is doing good work in the community. free her.”

Protesters marched to the medical facility where Dorsainvil was kidnapped. It had closed doors.

AP says gang warfare has increasingly plagued Haiti since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. The killing worsened criminal control of Haiti and today the innocent are regularly killed, raped and held for ransom.

A local nonprofit has documented a significant rise over previous years.

That number is almost certainly underreported in Haiti, where many people fear authorities in addition to the gangs. Hospitals and other aid organizations — often the only institutions in the country’s many lawless areas — have increasingly been criminals’ targets.

El Roi Haiti, the ministry Dorsainvil is tied to in Haiti, has yet to provide fresh updates. “Our team at El Roi Haiti is grateful for the outpouring of prayers, care, and support for our colleague,” the ministry said in a recent statement.

“We continue to work with our partners and trusted relationships to secure their safe return.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of to your inbox.