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UN calls for responsible action ahead of Haiti’s political crisis

United Nations, Mar 12 (Prensa Latina) UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres on Tuesday called for responsible action to restore democratic institutions in Haiti, amid the chaos unleashed by violence.

Guterres made note of an agreed-upon deal on Monday by stakeholders for transitional governance in Haiti, which included to establish a Presidential Council and appointing a new interim Prime Minister.

In a statement, Guterres thanked the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the rest of facilitators of talks for a solution to the Haitian political crisis.

He also called on parties to take stepped-up efforts to implement this agreement in order to restore democratic institutions through peaceful, credible, participatory and inclusive elections.

Guterres reiterated his unwavering solidarity with Haitian people who need security, shelter, food and medical care, as well as to live their lives in dignity.

His statement came after an alarming escalated insecurity resulting from the political crisis and actions orchestrated by armed gangs.

Violence in recent weeks, which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, keeps civilians trapped in a state of emergency and constant attacks by gang members.

On Tuesday, the World Food Program (WFP) warned of a “very high” level of hunger, while violence jeopardizes humanitarian work on the ground.

The escalation caused nearly 15,000 new displacements during the first weekend of March, bringing the total number of displaced people in Haiti to over 360,000.

WFP Director in Haiti Jean-Martin Bauer confirmed that the main roads to Port-au-Prince are controlled by armed groups, while port is not operational after it was taken over by gangs.

“That means that food cannot reach Port-au-Prince by road or by sea,” he told journalists gathered at UN headquarters during a virtual press conference.

At the same time, flights to the capital were also disrupted because of the gang threat.

Haiti depends on food imports for 50% of its food supply, so current circumstances lead to an increased cost of commodity bundle.