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According to reports: Kenya postpones deployment of police officers to Haiti

According to reports: Kenya postpones deployment of police officers to Haiti

Gang violence in Haiti has led to the head of government announcing his resignation. The humanitarian situation is serious. A multinational security mission that has long been approved has not yet been able to start.

After the Haitian head of government announced his resignation, Kenya is delaying the promised deployment of police officers to the Caribbean country, according to media reports. From the perspective of the Foreign Ministry in Nairobi, deployment as part of a planned multinational security mission will only be possible once Haiti has a government again, as reported by the New York Times and the Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation, among others. Meanwhile, the humanitarian emergency in Haiti is worsening – the World Food Program (WFP) warned that the country is on the brink of a devastating hunger crisis.

After talks in Jamaica, the Caribbean community of states Caricom announced the establishment of a Haitian Transitional Presidential Council, which will determine a new interim government and pave the way for elections. Shortly afterwards, interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced that he would step down once the Council had chosen his successor.

No president and no parliament

Henry took over the reins of government shortly after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. Since then there have been no elections and the country has neither a president nor a parliament. When Henry announced a massive increase in fuel prices in 2022, there were large protests and looting.

According to the United Nations, brutal gangs control around 80 percent of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. The two most powerful gangs joined forces in late February to demand Henry’s resignation while the head of government was on a foreign trip. He has not returned from there to this day – Henry is currently said to be in Puerto Rico. The trip took him, among other places, to Kenya, where on March 1st both countries agreed to send 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti. A Kenyan court had previously declared the operation unconstitutional.

Other countries also promised emergency services

The UN Security Council had already approved the mission to support the Haitian police in October. Kenya agreed to take the lead. Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados and Chad also promised emergency services. At the Caricom meeting in Kingston, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken increased the US financial aid commitment for the mission by $100 million to $300 million (around 274 million euros).

However, the US Congress has so far only released part of it. According to a UN spokesman, only $10.8 million was received to finance the operation.

Half of the residents suffer from acute hunger

The spokesman also said the plan to address humanitarian needs in Haiti, which requires $674 million, is only 2.6 percent funded. According to estimates by the United Nations, almost half of the country’s approximately eleven million inhabitants suffer from acute hunger. Haiti is experiencing one of the worst food crises in the world, said WFP Country Director in Haiti, Jean-Martin Bauer. “1.4 million Haitians are one step away from famine.”

The UN organization fears that the already insufficient efforts to provide humanitarian aid could come to a standstill because the poor security situation is hindering access to the people, but also because financial resources are drying up. Welthungerhilfe also called on international donors to increase humanitarian funding for Haiti.

Source: Stern

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