Canada, the United States and their allies discuss aid to Haiti during a meeting | Your money

TORONTO (AP) — Haiti’s growing insecurity and mounting concerns about its ability to hold a general election following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse prompted two dozen top international officials to meet Friday and agree to increase aid.

Canada, which hosted the more than three-hour meeting with representatives from countries including the United States, France and Mexico as well as UN officials, pledged $39 million in aid while d Other countries have pledged to improve Haiti’s security situation so that it can hold successful elections. . They also pledged to bolster Haiti’s National Police as violence spikes and gangs grow more powerful, with more than 20,000 Haitians forced to live in unsanitary shelters amid the pandemic after losing their homes these last months in gang battles.

“The increase in violence only worsens the already precarious humanitarian situation,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said ahead of the meeting, which took place behind closed doors. “We must work together to restore stability and protect the security and well-being of the Haitian people.

Representatives from 19 countries attended, including Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“In order to combat insecurity, the partners have agreed to strengthen their current and future support to the security sector, including the Haitian National Police, with an emphasis on respect for the rule of law, of justice and human rights,” the office of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said. said Minister Mélanie Joly in a press release after the meeting.

Joly said all stakeholders in Haiti must work together and “without such an agreement, restoring security will remain a challenge, as will holding free and credible elections.”

Henry, the Prime Minister of Haiti, said he expects to have a provisional electoral council in place in the coming days and has pledged to hold elections this year, although he did not provide of date. He thanked the international community for helping Haiti during “a particularly difficult time” and noted that the violence was significantly disrupting daily life and isolating several towns and villages in the south of the country, cutting off much-needed aid.

“There is an urgent need to address these issues and find lasting solutions,” he tweeted during the meeting. “I am convinced that the root cause of such a situation lies mainly in the abject poverty in which a significant part of our population lives.”

Haiti is a country of 11 million people where about 60% earn less than $2 a day, and it faces a worsening economic crisis, with soaring inflation and about 4.4 million people threatened with hunger. He is also struggling to recover from the July 7 assassination of Moïse at his private residence and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck last August, killing more than 2,200 people and destroying or damaging some 137,500 houses.

The murder of Moïse complicated an already fragile political situation in Haiti.

He had been ruling by decree for more than a year after dissolving a majority of parliament in January 2020 amid delayed legislative elections that have yet to take place, with just 10 senators currently in power.

Opponents, meanwhile, have claimed Moïse’s own term should have ended in February 2021, while he insisted it would continue until February 7 this year – the fifth anniversary of his inauguration. , which had been delayed by the controversy over his election.

Some fear Haiti’s instability will worsen in early February when the slain president’s term expires. Shortly before his death, Moses had asked Henry to become prime minister and many observers believe Henry’s term should also end on February 7, although he is not expected to step down on that date.

An official who attended the meeting said there was no discussion of possible foreign intervention or the confidence ministers might have in Henry’s ability to govern.

Many parts of Haitian civil society are calling for agreements that would allow for consensual leadership of the country while waiting to renew its institutions through elections – although various factions differ on what the agreement should contain.

Jean Victor Généus, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti, met with journalists in Haiti after the meeting and welcomed offers of assistance from the international community, saying a stabilized Haiti would also attract investors.


Associated Press reporter Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince, Haiti contributed.

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