UN chief deeply concerned about unrest in Haiti

United Nations, Sep 17 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is deeply concerned about the civil unrest in Haiti that has brought the country to a standstill, his spokesman said. "The Secretary-General is particularly preoccupied with the safety of all Haitians, including the most vulnerable, and calls for calm and maximum restraint," said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement on Friday. "He urges all relevant stakeholders to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation, avoid violence, and allow the Haitian National Police to fulfill its role to protect the population." Guterres reiterated his strong call for all stakeholders to rise above their differences and to engage, without further delay, in a peaceful and inclusive dialogue on a constructive way forward. He warned that if the current circumstances continue, the already dire humanitarian situation faced by Haiti's most vulnerable people will deteriorate even further, the spokesman added. During a regular briefing earlier, Dujarric said UN humanitarians also are concerned about the recent escalation of violence in Haiti, Xinhua news agency reported. "The violent civil unrest and countrywide road closures make it very challenging for humanitarian partners to provide assistance at this stage," he added. The UN and partners remain on the ground and are ready to assist people in need across the country. However, a shortfall in funding and pre-positioned supplies is hindering the delivery of aid in the coming days, he said. On top of all of that, Tropical Storm Fiona has formed in the Caribbean and may impact Haiti on Monday, Dujarric added. The 2022 humanitarian response plan for Haiti, which calls for $373 million, is only 21 per cent funded, said the spokesman. /IANS


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