Deputy Secretary of State Sherman Attends High-Level Ministerial on Haiti Hosted by Canada
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman represented the United States during a high-level ministerial meeting hosted by Canada on January 21 that included senior Haitian government officials, 15 partner countries, and multiple international organizations to discuss sustainable, inclusive solutions to the challenges faced by Haiti and Haitians. The participants included Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as the EU, and multiple international organizations. The ministerial reaffirmed the continued international commitment to support Haiti as it confronts growing insecurity, works to restore its democratic institutions, and revives the country’s economic development.
Continuing Support to the Haitian People
The United States offers its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the January 24 earthquakes.
We will continue to stand with the people of Haiti and assist them in recovering from this natural disaster.
In response to heightened humanitarian needs in Haiti, USAID provided more than $92 million in assistance in fiscal year (FY) 2021, including approximately $86 million in emergency funding and nearly $6 million for early recovery, risk reduction, resilience (ER4) programming.
To respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, USAID has provided nearly $37 million to Haiti to strengthen laboratory and testing capacity, case management, infection prevention and control, medical oxygen supplies, and vaccination uptake, as well as provide humanitarian assistance to address immediate food, health, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene needs.
The United States has also donated roughly 500,000 safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided $34 million to support COVID-19 response efforts with $3 million specifically for vaccine administration. CDC also purchased durable laboratory equipment for decentralized COVID-19 testing (PCR and GeneXpert machines) and is supporting health systems strengthening for COVID-19 variant surveillance and vaccine adverse event surveillance.
U.S. Southern Command donated four field hospitals, 12 ventilators, 11 ultra-low temperature freezers, and additional hygiene kits and personal protective equipment to Haiti to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergent health crises. The donated equipment and material are worth over $5 million.
To address growing food insecurity in Haiti, USAID provided more than $33.75 million to the UN World Food Program (WFP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and six non-governmental organizations in FY 2021 to provide emergency food assistance and complementary services.
Through long-term development programming in Haiti, USAID is providing $75.5 million to promote economic growth, job creation, and agricultural development; provide basic health care and education services; build the resilience of local civil society; support electoral processes; and improve the effectiveness of government. In the near term, we are helping Haitians recover from natural disasters, combating hunger, and supporting the reception and reintegration of returned migrants.
In FY 2021, the Department of State provided nearly $6 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) appeal for the Americas, allowing UNHCR the flexibility to use the funds where they are needed most in the region, which could include assistance for Haitian refugees.
Investigation Assistance Following the Assassination of President Moïse:
Since the assassination of President Moïse, U.S. law enforcement agencies within the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have provided assistance to Haitian authorities in relation to their investigation.
The Department of Justice and U.S. law enforcement agencies are also investigating any possible violations of U.S. criminal law in connection with this matter.
Strengthening Haiti’s law enforcement capacity remains a key U.S. priority. nWe have provided longstanding support to fortify law enforcement and the capacity of the Haitian National Police to maintain peace and stability, and to respond effectively to civil unrest while respecting human rights.
In response to the worsening security situation, the Department of State recently allocated an additional $15 million for partnering with the Haitian National Police (HNP), including $12 million specifically to strengthen the HNP’s capacity to counter gangs, including community-based efforts to deter gang recruitment, additional anti-gang subject matter experts, and support to build the HNP’s anti-gang operations. As a direct result of prior/existing support to the HNP School, the number of trained officers increased from less than 10,000 in 2010 to nearly 14,000 officers today. The Department of State supports nine embedded subject matter experts in HNP leadership and specialized units to enhance the institution’s capability to provide election security, and support safer communities, more secure borders, and to prevent civil unrest.
The Department of State supports an advisor to the HNP judicial police and is bringing onboard an advisor to the HNP Inspector General. These advisors help the HNP improve the integrity of processing allegations of corruption, human rights abuses, and police misconduct. Their critical investigative capacity-building support will complement U.S. federal law enforcement assistance.
The Department of State continues to support training and to procure vehicles, radios, and protective equipment to build the capacity of the HNP to protect the Haitian people from violence.
We continue encouraging Haiti to take a holistic approach to countering gangs and have allocated $5 million to strengthen the HNP’s operational capacity to counter gangs while simultaneously working at the community level to improve security and resilience. We encourage Core Group members and key international partners to consider contributing to combatting insecurity in Haiti.
USAID currently supports pre-election activities that are intended for legislative and presidential elections when conditions permit. USAID has provided more than $3 million to the Consortium for Elections and Political Processes Strengthening, which includes the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and International Foundation for Electoral Systems.
These activities focus on improving electoral administration, strengthening the competitiveness of political parties, educating voters on electoral processes, promoting electoral transparency, and ensuring inclusive voter participation.
USAID is providing technical assistance to Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) through CEPPS/IFES to build the capacity of electoral authorities to conduct free and fair elections. This includes technical assistance for strategic planning, information technology, and training for CEP staff, Communal Electoral Office and Departmental Electoral Office staff.