World February 28, 2024 | 8:31 am

Guyana commits financial support for Haiti amid international cooperation

Georgetown.- Guyana has pledged additional financial support for the upcoming peace mission in Haiti, according to United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as reported on Wednesday. The announcement was made during the Caribbean Community (Caricom) summit held in Guyana, with a primary focus on addressing the crisis in Haiti.

Thomas-Greenfield disclosed, “I don’t know what the amount is, but the (Guyanese, Irfaan Ali) president has committed to providing additional funding,” during a meeting with journalists at the summit.

The US ambassador also mentioned that Guyana will extend support for “the future security and humanitarian needs” of Haiti. Jamaica is leading Caricom’s coordination of support for the peacekeeping mission, which the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom are eager to initiate.

However, Caricom, a bloc of 15 mostly English-speaking Caribbean countries, expressed concerns about the language barrier in Haiti, where French is spoken – also a member of the organization.

Thomas-Greenfield commented, “They want more French-speaking countries, and we hope to support this effort.” Benin, led by Kenya, also expressed support for the mission on Monday, pledging to contribute 2,000 troops.

The ambassador reiterated the United States’ commitment to supporting the multinational force with equipment and “much of the logistical support,” rather than deploying US troops. The US is also providing $200 million in financial support. Thomas-Greenfield stressed that Haiti does not need what might seem like an occupying power, and the positive commitment from Caribbean and African countries is crucial.

While no date has been set for elections in Haiti, the ambassador emphasized the importance of supporting the Haitian National Police, creating conditions for free and fair elections, and improving conditions for humanitarian aid to reach the population.

Thomas-Greenfield underscored the need to listen to the Haitian opposition, stating, “It is important for everyone to sit down and find an agreement on the way forward.”

During one of the summit meetings, Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali called on all stakeholders for commitment and “collective will” to achieve lasting solutions. An important declaration regarding Haiti is expected on the last day of the Caricom summit, following the meetings in Guyana, which included the participation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

The primary obstacle to the mission’s deployment, approved by the Security Council in October, lies in Kenya. Despite Kenya offering to lead the police force and provide 1,000 agents, a Kenyan court on January 26 paralyzed the country’s participation, deeming it unconstitutional. President William Ruto later expressed plans to proceed with the mission. Currently, the committed countries to the mission in Haiti include three from the Caribbean (Jamaica, Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda) and two from Africa (Kenya and Benin).

Source: EFE

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