Ottawa, 14 December 2022 (TDI): Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened the fourth Incident Response Group meeting to discuss Haiti’s evolving situation.

The meeting was attended by Ministers and senior officials from Canada and around the world. Among them were the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York, Bob Rae.

The Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America, Kirsten Hillman, and the Ambassador of Canada to Haiti, Sébastien Carrière, also participated.

Also read: WFP Representative updates on food security in Haiti

Meeting proceedings

During the meeting, Ambassador Rae provided an overview of his recent diplomatic mission to Haiti. The group was briefed on the fragile security and humanitarian situation in Haiti.

The group welcomed the news that political dialogue amongst key Haitian stakeholders continues, including a recent call for consensus by the private sector.

They discussed further steps to be taken by Canada and its partners to support the people of Haiti. Prime Minister Trudeau directed officials to continue exploring how Canada can respond and support the situation of the Haitian people.

He added, “As part of its efforts, Canada will embed a team within the Embassy of Canada in Haiti to better liaise and engage with Haitian security stakeholders.”

“This will help prioritize local voices and enable Canada to be more responsive to the needs of Haitians.” Trudeau continued.

Prime Minister warned that Canada would also continue to work to hold to account those who are responsible for the unrest. It can implement sanctions and other tools and will continue to encourage partners to do the same.

The meeting concluded with participants reiterating their commitment to further collaborate with regional and international partners to support Haiti’s security and to help facilitate a path toward free and fair elections.

Also read Haitian Independence Day.

Security crisis in Haiti

The trigger for the current crisis is the blockade of a fuel terminal by armed gangs that began in September. Since then, Haitians continue to face violence, including indiscriminate attacks, destruction of homes, and mass displacement.

The ongoing insecurity continues to exacerbate a humanitarian crisis by limiting the flow of food, water, and other essential goods.

It is pertinent to note that the Haitian government has requested international aid from the United Nations (UN). But many Haitians oppose foreign intervention, especially by the UN.