Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced an additional $65 million in U.S. assistance to Haiti to further professionalize the Haitian National Police and strengthen its capacity to safeguard communities. The United States is also imposing additional visa restrictions on current and former Haitian officials who are enabling the violence that has engulfed the Haitian people.
Secretary Blinken called the situation in Haiti “dire.”
“More than 2,000 killings in the first six months of this year; more than 1,000 kidnappings in the same period; over five million Haitians who urgently need humanitarian assistance, tens of thousands of Haitians facing catastrophic hunger, nearly 60,000 suspected cholera cases. Nearly half of those cases are children.”
Hosting a Haiti-focused event on the sidelines of the recent U.N. General Assembly, Secretary Blinken urged the Security Council to pass a resolution authorizing a U.N.-backed Multinational Security Support mission to Haiti. The Kenyan Government has expressed willingness to serve as the lead nation of the mission, and the United States, said Secretary Blinken, is prepared to give substantial assistance.
“We intend to work with our Congress to provide $100 million in support. And our Department of Defense is prepared to provide robust enabling support - including planning assistance, intelligence support, airlift, communications and medical support. We urge the international community to pledge additional personnel, as well as equipment, logistics, training, and funding. We cannot be successful without these contributions.”
Secretary Blinken stressed that progress must also be made on Haiti’s political crisis. “The support mission will not be a substitute for political progress,” he said, but “it can help create space for Haiti to move forward.”
With international support, the mission could be deployed within months, said Secretary Blinken. “We really have no time to lose. We can and we must do what’s necessary to make that happen,” he declared. “The safety, the security, the future of the Haitian people – and people across the region - depend on the urgency of our action.”