Blue Helmets Bring Peace to Haiti
U.N. peacekeepers will leave in 2016
Haiti’s poorly-funded, poorly-equipped police force collapsed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. In response, the United Nations deployed thousands of peacekeepers to bolster security on the streets.
Those peacekeepers will go home by the end of 2016 — with the job left to the bolstered Haitian National Police. In a world where peacekeepers often struggle with their missions, Haiti is a success. The country’s homicide rate, for one, is lower than some Caribbean countries.
“We’ve only been there as backup and reinforcement in case something happened,” Serge Therriault, police commissioner for the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti told War Is Boring. “The HNP is doing it all on their own.”
But according to Therriault, Haiti is still short on cops — the country needs 10,000 more — to adequately police the country. Private security firms often fill the gap.
And there’s a Catch-22. Economic growth would trickle to the HNP, which could spend extra resources to replace worn-out equipment or bolster much-needed anti-gang units. But without enough security, it’s hard to keep businesses open or convince foreign companies to invest.