Residents flee their homes as gang violence escalates in Port-au-Prince,
Residents flee their homes as gang violence escalates in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Clarens Siffroy/AFP

Food insecurity is deepening in Haiti, as the appointment of a new prime minister has not yet translated into the countering of the gangs currently controlling vast swaths of the country, including 80% of the capital, a new report by France24 showed.

According to the outlet, almost half of all Haitians are now suffering from acute food insecurity, and the trend is only worsening. The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) said it might not be able to continue delivering the already insufficient aid due to a massive deficit in funding.

International funding is also scarce for the international mission set to help local forces fight back against the criminal organizations. The Kenyan-led mission, already delayed for months, has no concrete date of deployment and has only received a small portion of the $600 million estimated to be needed.

Forces were supposed to start arriving on May 23 to coincide with a visit by Ruto to the White House. Prior to leaving the U.S., the head of state said the deployment would take place about three weeks from then. Three weeks on, there is no set date either.

Moreover, there is renewed confusion about whether the foreign cops will be tasked with fighting the gangs or if they will solely protect key government infrastructures like the airport, seaport and the presidential palace.

One key reason for this could be the escalating violence in the territory, especially since a late February surge. According to an analysis piece by InSight Crime, the protracted deployment is giving the criminal organizations more time to prepare for what is anticipated to be a fierce response.

Experts interviewed by InSight Crime remain skeptical about the effectiveness of the Kenyan-led mission. They argue that previous efforts to train the Haitian police by Western countries have yielded limited success. The Haitian National Police, which the mission aims to support, has severely deteriorated, with over 2,000 officers deserting in 2023 alone. According to the United Nations, Haiti needs approximately 38,000 officers to achieve median levels of policing, yet the current force is estimated to consist of only around 3,000 active officers.

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