(CNN) — The United States has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution to support the deployment of a rapid action force to Haiti, where there is a widespread crisis, a US official confirmed.
The decision appears to be a sea change for the Biden administration following statements this week by a US official that it was “premature to talk about a US security presence” inside Haiti. However, it is still unclear exactly what role the United States would play in this fast-acting force.
The resolution was first reported by the Miami Herald.
Meanwhile, the US Agency for International Development has sent a disaster response team to Haiti, following a brief visit to the capital, Port-au-Prince, earlier this week by a high-level delegation. sent by the White House.
Conditions in Haiti seem to be getting worse by the day, with simultaneous health and safety crises, including a cholera outbreak, food and fuel shortages, widespread protests and unchecked gang violence. The UN released a grim report on Friday accusing the country’s powerful gangs of using rape as a tool of intimidation and control.
On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for support from the Haitian National Police, after the country requested such external help.
Port-au-Prince was the scene of brutal gang battles this summer that burned down entire neighborhoods, displacing thousands of families and leaving others trapped in their homes, afraid to even go out in search of food and water.
Hundreds of people were killed, injured or missing. Criminals still control or influence parts of the country’s most populous city, and kidnappings for ransom threaten the daily movements of residents. In recent weeks, protesters in several cities have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in the face of high fuel prices, inflation, and rampant crime.
His anger grew even more last month when Henry announced he would cut fuel subsidies to finance the government, a move that would double prices at gas stations. For their part, Haiti’s powerful gangs have exacerbated the fuel crisis by blockading the country’s main port of Port-au-Prince.