Bloomberg — The US said it intends to increase its support to Haiti after the Caribbean nation appealed for more international help to control gang violence and unblock roads to allow the flow of fuel and aid.
“We will review the Government of Haiti’s request in coordination with international partners and determine how we can increase our support to help address Haiti’s fuel shortage and security constraints,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Saturday.
Haiti has been paralyzed by anti-government protests amid anger over rising fuel and food prices. Heavily-armed gangs now control large parts of the capital. The country is also grappling with a cholera outbreak that is spreading throughout the population.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government agreed on Friday to allow him to request foreign troops, the Associated Press reported, citing a document signed by Henry and cabinet members. The US statement didn’t mention any kind of military aid.
Henry appealed for more international help in a speech on Oct. 5, saying the “whole country has been taken hostage.”
“It’s preventing our children going to school, it’s preventing the sick from having access to health care, it’s preventing people from accessing potable water, and even blocking roads and keeping food from being transported in the country,” he said.
Price said the US was closely watching the worsening health and security situation in Haiti, “particularly the ongoing actions by criminal actors” that are impeding aid.
Diplomats and the private sector asked this week for a humanitarian corridor that would allow fuel to be delivered from the Terminal Varreux port, which supplies fuel to Port-au-Prince, the capital.
Violence in Haiti has risen since the 2021 murder of President Jovenel Moise and long-overdue elections get further delayed.
Read more on Bloomberg.com