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Haiti Receives $110 Million Boost in Security Aid from US

by Violet Dawson
0 comment

The US government offered an extended aid of providing more vehicles and radios through various sources in order to cater to the issues raised

The US State Department bypasses a months-long hold on the funds by the Republican lawmakers. The Republican government has been blocking the funds of an armed security mission to Haiti.

The repeated delay brought in many doubts of whether or not the mission will come through. The US government states that it should happen in sooner times on the basis of the assurance from the Kenyan government. Although they have declined to prove any date citing the security concerns. The government faces a new challenge from the court over the deployment and has stated that the litigation should not affect the police officers’ arrival.

The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has asked the State Department to proceed with nearly $110 million in funds. The funds are sent over in the form of security and police assistance. They frequently assist Kenyan special forces officers deployed to Haiti to assist the country’s weak national police in combating armed gangs.

The Secretary, Antony Blinken made the decision after more than 100 briefings by the State Department to Congress. It was known that the administration of Biden was committed to working closely through consultation with that government body. 

Blinken’s decision which was known to be the nuclear option overrides the Republican hold on the funds. These and other court challenges along with Nairobi led to the delay in the mission’s deployment. With the authorization of the Secretary of State, there are no funds to fulfil the needs and purchase equipment that are required prior to the office’s arrival in Port-au-Prince, it also sends a strong signal to other nations.

About 6 nations have requested the United Nations to allow the plan to send some of their officers as a part of the mission. Despite the UN being responsible for the allocation of funds, the countries have been slow in terms of providing equipment or money. This led to the US taking the burden upon itself alone and pledging $300 million. On the brighter side the Defense Department did not have any issues with securing the $200 million in funding. Although the State Department did face roadblocks after their request for $50 million out of the $100 million they had pledged. 

The visit of the Kenyan assessment team to Port-au-Prince led down the hope of deployment. The assessment was conducted to review the country’s readiness to conduct the mission as a result it said that there were not enough armored vehicles to move the foreign troops around, radios and communication equipment. It was also noted that there were not enough helicopters to carry out an evacuation for any casualties. 

According to the State Department, the funds of $109 million should help in buying new equipment required. The US government offered an extended aid of providing more vehicles and radios through various sources in order to cater to the issues raised. This will enable the mission to grow in full capacity and sustain the test of time. The police officers will be deployed in phases though the capacity of the mission is big and is expected to have as many as 2500 personals. 

“The people of Haiti cannot wait and Secretary Blinken made the necessary decision to follow through with our commitment to support the MSS mission, the personnel deploying to the mission and the HNP (Haiti National Police) in their efforts to provide security to the Haitian people,” the State Department official said. “Of course, we remain committed to close consultation with Congress.”

The State Department stated that while they were engaged with congress in terms of the approval of funds that they have seen essential and necessary for the deployment of Kenyan police into the Caribbean nation. This is where the spiraling violence from the gang had cut off their food supplies and had forced hundreds of thousands  of people out of their homes. 

Foreign affairs committee leaders have approval power over the money, but the administration has the authority to overrule their holds if it determines that a situation is extreme enough to warrant proceeding.

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