May 2024 – Haiti Update: The Latest Developments

May 30, 2024

Dear Friend, a lot has happened since our last update on the situation in Haiti. Here’s what’s going on:

Political Progress

“I feel very honored that the Presidential Council has chosen me as the new Prime Minister of Haiti. I would like to thank all civil society organizations, political parties, and members of the diaspora who proposed my name among other candidates in the process. Together, we will work for a better tomorrow for all the children of our nation.”

Multinational Police Force

“We are looking at the horizon of between three weeks, and there about, for us to be ready to deploy, once everything on the ground is set.”
  • A Kenyan-led multinational police force of 2,500 is now set to be deployed into Haiti in the next three weeks, around mid-June. The largely Kenyan force will also include personnel from Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, and Chad.
  • President Ruto was in the US for an official state visit with President Biden on May 23rd, raising some questions from Americans and Haitians about how deeply involved the US is and will be in the management of the intervention.
  • The new US ambassador to Haiti, Dennis B. Hankins, was confirmed by the Senate on March 14th, almost a year after he was nominated by President Biden in May of 2023. He has been in the foreign service for forty years and has previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Guinea and Mali.

Gang Escalation

“We’ve seen Chérizier and the G-9 [gang] evolve in last couple of weeks into more political rhetoric. In addition to calling for rebellion and threatening civil war if their demands aren’t met, they are looking to propose solutions where they would maintain their power if, at the very least, they were absolved and given amnesty for all the crimes they have committed.”
  • The gangs, now uniformed in tactical gear and armed with automatic weapons, are acting more and more like militias, taunting the international police force via social media and vowing to fight the deployment.
  • The airport in Port-au-Prince resumed limited operations on May 20th, nearly three months after a gang attack forced it to close in early March. As of re-opening, only Sunrise Airways, a local airline, was operating through the airport, though other major airlines are beginning flights this week.
  • An American missionary couple and their Haitian colleague were shot and killed by gang members on May 23rd. The Americans’ bodies are being flown back to their families in Kansas City today, May 30th, on the first US commercial flight to Haiti in months. The secure return of their remains was arranged through negotiations between US officials, Haitian leadership, organizations, and the gangs.

Humanitarian Crisis

“A certain percentage of people in Haiti are not being reached the way they deserve to be. The scale of services and response is not what it needs to be.”
  • 350,000 people have fled their homes in the past year, and many are now living in improvised shelters.
  • Most are not getting the aid they need, with many organizations suspending operations and those remaining unable to get proper financing or reach a large portion of the displaced population.
  • The United Nations is working to raise $674 million from member countries to address Haiti’s basic needs, but has only raised 16% of its goal, over half of which is from the United States.

The problem is a fundamental one within the international aid system. For too long, humanitarian relief, long-term development, and peacebuilding efforts have been separate sectors, with different budgets, departments, teams, and organizations focusing on each. For too long, international actors have relied on foreign “field teams,” rather than investing in the capacity of those already working on the ground—communities themselves. In Haiti, we plainly see the consequences of these issues: an aid system unable to adapt to new circumstances or reach the people most in need.

Where other international aid groups are adding to the chaos and uncertainty in Haiti, Roots’ consistent support of our local partners means their work continues, operating at the intersection of humanitarian relief, development, and peacebuilding. Our partners are working to alleviate suffering and address immediate needs while still building toward a peaceful, prosperous future.

Please help us respond to the ongoing crisis and build a better aid system in Haiti and beyond.


Chad Bissonnette
President & Co-Founder

Help us fight for a development that is more

sustainable and respectful.

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