Thursday, March 12, 2009

United Nations Evaluating Haiti Peacekeeping Force

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
23:30 Mecca time, 20:30 GMT

UN evaluating Haiti peacekeepers

Ban Ki-moon said Haiti needs international assistance to 'rise into light'

A delegation from the United Nations security council is due to arrived in Haiti to evaluate the UN's peacekeeping mission there.

The three-day trip, which begins on Wednesday, also aims to help mobilise international support for the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Haiti, reported to be the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, is still reeling from a wave of hurricanes that ravaged the country last year.

The country also experienced an outburst of riots, sparked by soaring food prices, that led to the ousting of the government last year.

Hit hard by the turmoil, international leaders have expressed increasing concern that the country's economy could crumble even further.

The security council delegation's trip follows a 24-hour visit by Ban Ki-moon, the UN's secretary-general, and Bill Clinton, the former US president, to focus attention on Haiti's economic troubles.

Ban told reporters that investments and aid for Haiti could dry up because of donor fatigue and the global economic crisis. He warned that the country could "slide backward into darkness if we do not properly help".

"With our help, with the help of the international community it can rise into light," he said.

A donors' conference for Haiti is scheduled to be held in Washington in mid-April.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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