The Haitian National Police confirmed to AFP on Thursday that they have received evidence that proved that the 17 American missionaries who were abducted on October 16 are all still alive. The 17 American missionaries, which included five children aged as young as eight months to 15 years old, were taken two weeks ago by the 400 Mawozo Gang after they visited an orphanage just outside the Hatian capital of Port-au-Prince.

According to One America News Network (OANN), the 400 Mawozo Gang threatened to kill all 17 American missionaries if the U.S. did not provide them with $17 million. U.S. authorities have already reached out to the group with regards to the release of the hostages.

"We have [in the administration] been relentlessly focused on this, including sending a team to Haiti from the State Department, working very closely with the FBI, which is the lead in these kinds of matters," White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced. "In constant communication with the Haitian National Police, the church that the missionaries belong to as well as the Haitian government and we will do everything that we can to help resolve the situation."

The 400 Mawozo Gang's leader, Wilson Joseph, released a video on Thursday, threatening to kill the group of missionaries if his group does not receive the $17 million ransom. Joseph's gang has been notoriously behind several violent kidnappings and extortion plots in Haiti throughout the last few years. They were also responsible for the kidnapping of five priests and two nuns earlier this year.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured that the FBI is leading the effort to ensure the safe return home of the 17 missionaries from the U.S.-based Christian Aid Ministries. She added that President Joe Biden is regularly receiving updates on the situation and that the State Department and FBI are working towards "[bringing] these individuals home safely."

This week, the religious organization whose 17 American missionaries were abducted by a Haitian gang defended their work in dangerous areas, ABC News reported. In a statement, the Christian Aid Ministries said, "Occasionally we are asked why our workers were in Haiti. We want others to enjoy the joy, peace, and redemption we have experienced."

U.S. officials underscored how the government has already issued warnings in August with regards to working in Haiti, where the risk of kidnapping for ransom is high. On Tuesday, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the issue will be taken up in the upcoming G20 meeting, which brings together world leaders in Rome, Italy, on October 30 to 31.

"We need to manage this situation as carefully as possible so that at the end of the day, we achieve our objective, which is the safe return of every single one of those (abducted)," Sullivan remarked.

Meanwhile, the Christian Aid Ministries called upon the faithful to pray for the abducted 17 American missionaries, saying, "We don't know how God will choose to bring resolution, but we desire that His will be done."