Guyana rallies regional leaders to provide assistance to Haiti

…as US Rep to UN says Benin also wants to join multi-national force

In his capacity as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), President Dr. Irfaan Ali on Monday rallied other Heads of Government to provide much needed assistance to Haiti, in restoring the beleaguered nation to some semblance of normalcy.
The President was at the time addressing the business session of the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, which was held at the Marriott Hotel on Monday. According to him, the assistance Caricom provided to Guyana in brokering peace with Venezuela, could go a long way towards also assisting Haiti… which has been engulfed in turmoil since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenal Moïse.

US Rep to UN, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henri

“Caricom Heads met on Saturday to commence discussions on the challenges we have with Haiti. This morning (Monday), with the friends of Haiti and an expanded grouping of all stakeholders working with Haiti, we are hopeful that sometime today, we will be able to point the Haitian people, the region and the global community in the direction through which we believe long-lasting sustainable solutions can be achieved.”

President Dr Irfaan Ali

“Of course, this requires all stakeholders in Haiti especially to give a bit, compromise a bit, and to express a collective willingness to achieve the outcomes that we’re setting ourselves to achieve. It speaks to one important subject and that is when we trust each other in the region and find solutions among ourselves,” President Ali said during the session.
Meanwhile, US Representative to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who held a press conference on Monday at the US Embassy in Georgetown, revealed that during extensive discussions with Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henri (who is in Guyana for the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting), discussions centered on the needs of the Haitian people.
“The Haitian people need security. They need an opportunity to do the normal things that ordinary people do. Go to school. Go to church. When I heard over the past two and a half days, that women are afraid to even go out of their houses, to attend church, to shop for their families. So, security is uppermost in all of their minds.”

The flag of Benin

“So, we talked about how to address those issues, as well as having discussions on how to more urgently move the political process forward. So, in tandem with security, there is a political process that will lead to free and fair elections and democracy restored in Haiti. Caricom countries all expressed their strong commitment to Haiti.”
She also related that Benin, a West African country that shares commonalities with Haiti such as language and religion, has offered to join the coalition looking to help restore order in Haiti, with the contribution of up to 2000 troops.
“As you know Kenya has volunteered to lead this multi-national force. We learned just before I started this trip that Benin has offered up to 2000 troops to support this force. Other CARICOM countries have also volunteered to have troops that would provide training and other support, to the multi-national force. Jamaica has been key in galvanizing the contributions from Caricom countries.”
She also reiterated US support for the multi-national force, particularly when it comes to providing money and logistical support. However, the Ambassador emphasized that Haiti does not need to feel as though it is being occupied by foreigners, hence the need for the region and other African countries to be engaged.
“The US is committed to supporting the multi-national force. We’re committed to providing the multi-national force with what it needs to deploy on the ground. And we’re committed to providing a lot of the logistical support that is required. What we have heard and again, this is something you’ve heard as well, Haiti does not need what appears to be an occupying power.”
“And this is why we think its so important that the region has engaged and that African countries have engaged. We have committed US$200 Million to supporting that process. We’ve committed to provide logistics. We’ve committed to providing equipment and support to the multi-national force,” she said. (G3)