‘Tough’ decisions needed to help Haiti – President Ali


Leaders of the regional trade and integration bloc CARICOM are battling with how to help Haiti, their poorest and most populous member, with President Irfaan Ali saying that anything that impedes rescuing the country from its humanitarian, political and security crisis must be removed.

There has been strong opposition to Prime Minister Ariel Henry, with calls for him to step down. On Sunday morning, CARICOM leaders met with Henry.

President Ali said CARICOM is committed to Haiti, adding that the people of Haiti must realize their full potential in peace, security and with good governance.

“We owe it to the people of Haiti,” President Ali stated.

That’s when he said that sometimes CARICOM leaders must make tough decision and that that toughness “is always in the interest of the region’s people.”

President Dr Irfaan Ali address the opening of the 46th Regular Meeting of CARICOM at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown (Photo: News Room/ September 25, 2024)

The outgoing CARICOM Chair, Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, said the luxury of time is not available in helping Haiti, saying that Haiti needs to be helped “yesterday.”

CARICOM countries Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize have agreed to back a UN-force, led by Kenya to fight gang violence in Haiti.

After the CARICOM Summit ends, Prime Minister Henry is expected to travel to Kenya to finalise the details for the deployment.

The United States to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian A. Nichols are in Guyana for meetings with CARICOM leaders.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is expected to push CARICOM into backing the Kenya-led mission to Haiti.

She will “reiterate the urgency of establishing a credible and inclusive path toward elections to enable the return to democratic order for the Haitian people,” the United States Mission to the UN stated.

This week, Canada became the latest country to pledge support for the Kenya-led mission to Haiti, committing CAN $123 million.

Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen is in Guyana and is expected to hold talks with CARICOM leaders.

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