Written by 16:30 World

New Haitian Leader Visits Washington Seeking Additional Support

Top Democrats in Congress met on Tuesday with Haiti’s newly installed prime minister, Garry Conille, and pledged to push for additional American assistance days after a U.S.-backed international police mission arrived on the Caribbean island to restore stability to a country that for months has been under siege by criminal gangs.

The Biden administration is planning to release $100 million for the mission, of which the United States is the largest financial backer, doing so over Republican opposition. But Mr. Conille told the Democrats on Tuesday that more money would be needed, and soon.

“This is a critical point,” Mr. Conille said in an interview on Tuesday afternoon following meetings with lawmakers and officials at international financial institutions, where he shared appreciation for the support that has already been committed and stressed the dire need for continued investment.

“I need to have the funding necessary to quickly implement basic infrastructure, repair basic infrastructure, and make sure that the services are available to people,” he said.

“The issues in Haiti are such huge issues and we are making sure that we know what his priorities are and how we can address security and also the economic needs and to make sure the funding is really present,” Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Democrat of Florida and the only Haitian American member of Congress, said in an interview. “We’ve been wrestling here in Congress since October to make sure the funding is available, because we have a short window for success.”

Eight months after the United Nations authorized the use of international forces to be deployed to Haiti, the first wave of forces in the Multinational Security Support Mission, led by Kenya, arrived on June 25 to try to stamp out the violence and regain control of the country.

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Last modified: 3 July 2024
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