Canada will provide $100 million in aid to the Haitian National Police to help the country restore law and order as gang violence continues to cause widespread human suffering across the country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Friday during U.S. President Joe Biden’s two-day visit to Ottawa.
The announcement says the $100 million will be used “to bolster Haitian-led solutions to the crisis and support peace and security.”
The funding announcement comes days after the UN issued a statement expressing grave concern for the country because “extreme violence continues to spiral out of control.”
According to the UN, 531 people have been killed, 300 have been injured and 277 have been kidnapped in gang-related incidents that took place mainly in the capital of Port-au-Prince between Jan. 1 and March 15 of this year.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Marta Hurtado said that in the first two weeks of March alone, clashes among gangs killed 208 and injured 164, while another 101 were kidnapped.
“Most of the victims were killed or injured by snipers who were reportedly randomly shooting at people in their homes or on the streets,” said a statement issued by Hurtado.
“Sexual violence is also used by gangs against women and girls to terrorize,
subjugate and punish the population. Gang members frequently use sexual violence against abducted girls to pressure families to pay a ransom.”
The violence has led to the displacement of at least 160,000 Haitians, while surging prices for food have left half of the country’s 11 million citizens without enough to eat.