Latin America Current Affairs - 2020
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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) voted unanimously voted for the resolution to completely end its peacekeeping operations in Haiti on October 15.
The resolution also called for establishing a political mission to support government efforts to promote order and development in Haiti situated in Latin America.
UN Peace Keeping Mission in Haiti
U.N. Peace Keeping Mission in Haiti was known as MINUSTAH, a French acronym which stood for “The United Nations is not leaving.”
MINUSTAH began operations in Haiti in 2004, when a violent rebellion swept the country and forced then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of power and into exile. The goals of MINUSTAH included restoring security and rebuilding the shattered political institutions.
The mission with additional help from the U.S. and other nations is credited with stabilizing the country, particularly after the January 2010 earthquake, and building up the national police force.
But the Peace Keeping Mission was viewed as an affront to national sovereignty. The Mission was also blamed for sexual exploitation. a UN report has even documented the sexual exploitation of nine children on the island from 2004-2007 at the hands of at least 134 peacekeepers. The Mission was also seen as responsible for inadvertently introducing the deadly cholera bacteria to the country
UN military peacekeepers had already left Haiti on October 2017. But a stabilization group had stayed back to train national police, help the government strengthen judicial and legal institutions and monitor human rights.
The UNSC resolution gives a final six-month period for such operations and asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to plan a political mission.
Tags: cholera • Haiti • Latin America • MINUSTAH • peacekeeping operations
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) makes the following observations in the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises report:
- More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.
- Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine.
- African Nations were “disproportionally” affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
- The key factors which drove the hunger were Conflict and insecurity along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods.
- In countries on the verge of famine, up to 80 per cent of the populations were dependent on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture.
- The strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has been highlighted in the report.
- The overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger. This reduction in numbers was partially owed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
- The year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
- High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern.
The Global Food Crises Report is an annual study launched three years ago which takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties in tackling hunger.