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PM Skerrit makes impassioned plea for regional support of Haiti

Street scene in Haiti

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has called on the Caribbean Community to provide a collective commitment and support to Haiti as that country is presently faced with security issues. CARICOM Heads plan to meet virtually this week to address these concerns.

“For me, as Chairman of the conference of heads I have indicated, very sincerely, that the Haitian situation is my number one priority,” he said. “We owe it to the Haitian people and it is important that the entire Caribbean Community, not only Heads of Government, but the entire Caribbean Community is engaged and [aware] of the issues confronting Haiti and for us to collectively provide that moral, collective commitment and support to Haiti.”

According to Mr. Skerrit, CARICOM has to guard against any attitudes of Haiti fatigue from various quarters around the world.

“We are in touch with members of the security council, because at the end of the day, it’s the security council that’s going to make a determination as to what kind of support the United Nations can provide,” he explained.

He further explained that there are countries who want to provide support, but would want to have a UN decision to provide them with the necessary legal cover of being present in Haiti.

An article published on September 1, 2023, on  stated that Haiti is in the grip of “extreme brutality”, with gang-related violence continuing to force thousands from their homes amidst widespread suffering, said the UN’s top humanitarian official there. The desperate situation prompted a tweet on Friday from Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths calling for an immediate end to the fighting.

“This carnage needs to stop,” said the UN relief chief.

The article further stated that in the past two weeks alone, 71 people have been killed and injured in capital Port-au-Prince, marking a major escalation, according to UN Humanitarian Affairs office, OCHA, which Mr. Griffiths heads.

“Entire families, including children, were executed while others were burned alive. This upsurge in violence has caused unspeakable continued suffering of Haitians,” Philippe Branchat, acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country said in a news release on Thursday.

So far this year, gang violence in the Caribbean country has claimed more than 2,500 lives, with over 1,000 injured.

At least 970 Haitians have been kidnapped, and 10,000 forcibly displaced from their homes.

The latest wave of violence has also resulted in the forced displacement of over ten thousand people who have sought refuge in spontaneous camps and host families.