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UN chief welcomes new government in Haiti amid ongoing challenges

HAITI / USA – UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday welcomed the swearing-in of Haiti’s new government, urging stakeholders to continue making progress towards restoring democratic institutions through elections.

The new cabinet, according to reports, completely replaces all the ministers from the government of the former prime minister, Ariel Henry, who was forced to step down earlier this year following pressure from criminal gangs that control large parts of the island nation.

The new cabinet includes women ministers in key portfolios.

Security needs

Addressing journalists at the regular press briefing on Thursday, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said the “positive transitional governance milestone” should be accompanied by urgently needed security gains.

The secretary-general therefore reiterates his call for the swift deployment of the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission to Haiti to support the Haitian National Police in addressing the dire security situation,” Haq said.

The UN chief also appealed to Member States to ensure the MSS mission urgently receives the financial and logistical support it needs to succeed, he added.

Humanitarian assistance

Meanwhile, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that the UN and partners are continuing to support those displaced by violence in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Between 8 and 12 June, the World Food Programme (WFP) – UN’s emergency food assistance agency – distributed more than 40,000 hot meals to over 9,000 displaced people in the city.

Since the beginning of the year, WFP has distributed more than 1.1 million hot meals to over 120,000 displaced people.

Alongside, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) supplied 900 dignity kits to women and girls last month, as well as deploying eight mobile clinics providing sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services and support.

The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been offering psychosocial support, including by phone and in camps hosting displaced people (IDPs).

Continued worries

However, the situation in the south remains concerning, with reports of over 268,000 people now displaced, a 95 percent increase since March.

The health system also continues to face serious challenges, crippled by both the recent violence and years of lack of investment, Haq said, noting that currently, just 20 percent of health facilities in Port-au-Prince are functioning normally.

“This year,’ Humanitarian Response Plan, which calls for $674 million, is just 23 per cent funded at $156 million,” he added.

Fully funded, the Plan aims to reach 3.6 million of the most vulnerable among the 5.5 million Haitians who need assistance. Key areas for support include protection, medical and healthcare, water and sanitation, and food security.



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