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Canada pledges $80.5M for Kenya-led mission to improve security in Haiti

Global Affairs says Canada will give $80.5 million for a mission to improve security conditions in Haiti, where gang violence has caused an ongoing crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Odelyn Joseph Global Affairs says Canada will give $80.5 million for a mission to improve security conditions in Haiti, where gang violence has caused an ongoing crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Odelyn Joseph
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OTTAWA -

Ottawa is putting $80.5 million toward a mission to improve security conditions in Haiti, where rampant gang violence has caused an ongoing crisis, Global Affairs Canada said Thursday.

The money will go towards a multinational security mission led by Kenya to support efforts by the Haitian National Police, the department said.

It's expected to support training, communications and logistics for police deployed to the mission and expertise in areas like human rights due diligence.

The announcement came after Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly attended an international pledging event in support of Haiti at the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in Brazil on Thursday.

The Kenya-led mission is not a United Nations operation but it was authorized by the UN Security Council in October. The Haitian government requested the mission in 2022.

It has since encountered multiple legal obstacles, including a January court ruling in Kenya that blocked the deployment of Kenyan police officers.

Last week, Haiti's government announced it was working on an official agreement with Kenyan officials to secure the long-awaited deployment and set a deadline for the arrival of Kenyan police forces.

Joly said in a statement Thursday that Canada "remains committed to working with Kenya and other international partners to support a successful deployment of the (mission) and ensure that our efforts are mutually reinforcing."

Gangs have filled a power vacuum in Haiti following the assassination of its president in 2021, and the UN warned earlier this month the situation is becoming ever more dire.

Haiti has suffered widespread hunger, a collapse of basic health services and disturbing accounts of sexual violence.

Global Affairs also announced $42.5 million in previously announced funding will be allocated to various UN initiatives.

The bulk of it, $27.1 million, will go to the United Nations Office for Project Support to buy personal protective equipment, vehicles, and logistical and communications equipment for the Haitian National Police.

Another $5.9 million will go toward addressing gang-related sexual and gender-based violence.

Canada is also allocating $5 million for an anti-corruption program and $4.5 million to strengthen capacities and improve security at Haiti's border.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2024

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