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Haiti: UN Asks For Public Support In Crime Fight

Haiti: UN mission asks for public support in fight against rising crime

24 March 2008 - The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti is calling on locals to cooperate with its troops and with members of the national police at roadblocks and other checkpoints being set up to try to combat widespread crime and insecurity.

The mission, known as MINUSTAH, has increased its logistical and material support to the national police (HNP) in the wake of a recent surge in crime, particularly kidnappings. It has also asked for the population's support so that its blue helmets can help ensure public safety and security.

In a statement issued late last week in the capital, Port-au-Prince, MINUSTAH said the roadblocks and patrols were being established across the country, which is the most impoverished in the Western Hemisphere.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters today in New York that the total number of motorized patrols had been boosted to 2,740 this month alone and the number of foot patrols to 2,152.

Meanwhile, the mission is financing a series of projects in Cité Soleil and Martissant, two of the most notorious neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince, which aim to create jobs, boost the local economy, reduce violence and improve the environment.

The projects, which cost just over $500,000 in total, include the cleaning of local canals, the rehabilitation of public spaces and street paving in the troubled districts.

ENDS

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