In response to escalating tensions in Haiti, the United States has announced an increase in funding for the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission, prompting Kenya to reaffirm its readiness for potential deployment. This development follows Kenya’s recent announcement of a delay in sending approximately 1,000 police officers to Haiti, pending political developments in the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held discussions with Kenyan President William Ruto regarding the deployment, emphasizing the need for international cooperation to address the political crisis in Haiti. President Ruto, in a statement, expressed Kenya’s commitment to leading the UN Security Support Mission in Haiti once a new Presidential Council is established through a mutually agreed process.

The political turmoil in Haiti intensified with the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, under pressure from both the US and Caribbean leaders within the regional bloc, Caricom. Despite Henry’s resignation, a presidential council has yet to be established to assume interim leadership. In the interim, the country is being led by acting Prime Minister Michel Boisvert, the finance minister.

Concurrently, the US government announced an augmentation of its financial support for the MSS mission, allocating an additional $300 million to bolster the initiative. This funding increase includes an additional $100 million specifically designated to facilitate the deployment of the MSS. Notably, $200 million will be allocated from the Department of Defense, while the remaining $100 million will originate from the State Department.

A senior State Department official indicated that the funds allocated by the State Department could potentially cover deployment-related expenses, including salaries and operational costs. Discussions regarding the reimbursement of training expenses incurred by contributing nations, such as Kenya, are underway, with the US committed to addressing these financial aspects.

Furthermore, the MSS mission’s sustainability will rely on a broader pool of donations, primarily facilitated through a UN trust fund. The establishment of this fund aims to ensure adequate financial resources for the mission without drawing from the UN Department of Peace Operations budget. Canada has pledged $91 million towards its contribution to the mission, indicating international support for Haiti’s stabilization efforts.

In light of recent developments, the US has outlined criteria for the composition of the interim Presidential Council in Haiti. Individuals sanctioned for human rights violations or criminal activities, as well as gang leaders and presidential candidates, are excluded from participation. This directive aims to foster stability and prevent interference from parties opposed to the MSS mission.

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