The UN mission in Haiti reduced to “essential” personnel – MercoPress

The UN mission in Haiti reduced to “essential” personnel

Wednesday September 28, 2022 – 10:00 UTC

Violence erupted again as fuel and food prices rose

The United Nations mission in Haiti has been reduced to a minimum after all non-essential workers were ordered to evacuate the violence-torn Caribbean nation. The announcement came two months after the UN Security Council voted to extend the mission’s presence for at least a year.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the latest outbreaks of violence and urged all parties to seek to de-escalate hostilities.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that “support for law enforcement and criminal justice services in #Haiti must be one of the priorities to help the population and prevent any regional destabilization”.

UN officials also described the situation in the country as a “humanitarian catastrophe” that has reached “a new level of desperation” after two weeks of violence and looting.

“The economic crisis, the gang crisis and the political crisis have combined to create a humanitarian catastrophe,” explained the UN envoy to Haiti, Helen La Lime.

In the past two weeks, attacks on World Food Program (WFP) warehouses “resulted in the loss of 2,000 tons of food aid worth $5 million, intended for the 200,000 most vulnerable next month,” La Lime explained.

Meanwhile, the Varreux oil terminal, the largest in the country, has been “besieged” by gangs for more than a week, and fuel shortages are affecting the country’s economy. “Instead of the progress hoped for and dreamed of, the situation in Haiti today has reached a new level of desperation,” according to WFP Deputy Executive Director Valérie Guarnieri.

“We expect food security to deteriorate further this year, surpassing the record 4.5 million people in crisis, including 1.3 million in a state of emergency,” she added.

La Lime also urged the Security Council to adopt urgent measures to find a way out of the convergence between “an economic crisis, a gang crisis and a political crisis”.

According to La Lime, the top priority is “a Haitian-led political solution” for its government, institutions and people, 1.5 million of whom have been affected by recent protests and riots after Prime Minister Ariel’s administration Henry announced that she would not continue. to subsidize fuels and raise the price of petrol, diesel and kerosene, which was followed by another increase in food prices.

Mexico’s Ambassador to the Security Council, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, described the situation of violence in Haiti as alarming and said that the focus should be on security first.

But Haitian Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus argued that “apart from isolated cases, the situation is generally under control and calm has returned to several regions of the country.”

Earlier this week, 145 Haitian female prisoners escaped from a local facility housing 230 inmates. A law enforcement officer died during the incidents. Authorities also explained that 3 were captured but one died due to breathing difficulties resulting from her asthma.

Michelle J. Kelley