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Canada uses Biden visit to announce CAN$100M to shore up Haiti police





Canada announced Friday it will provide CAN$100 million (US$73 million) to bolster Haiti’s police force, a move that did not “disappoint” US President Joe Biden.


Biden, on a two-day visit to Canada that began Thursday, was expected to press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to have Canada lead an international military force into the chaotic country, an issue Canada has been lukewarm about.


At a joint press conference with the two leaders Friday, Biden was asked if he felt let down that Canada provided money rather than intervene directly in Haiti.


“No, I am not disappointed,” Biden responded, calling the situation in Haiti “difficult.”


Canada’s decision to bolster the Haitian police was the right one, according to Biden, who said the “biggest thing we can do” is to increase the police force “capacity to deal with the problems they face.”


Haiti has been in upheaval since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021.


The violence recently accelerated with armed gangs moving in to parts of the country formerly considered safe.


Cholera and malnutrition have taken a terrible toll particularly on children and devastated the country. In the 11 days ending March 23, new clashes between rival gangs left at least 187 people dead and 150 wounded, the UN reported.


“The situation is all the more alarming for children, who are often subjected to all forms of armed violence, including forced recruitment and sexual violence,” the UN in Haiti said. “Sexual violence is also used by gangs against women and girls to terrorize, subjugate and punish the population.”


Reports say the gang leaders use proceeds from kidnapping and extortion as their main source of income.

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