Canada has sent one of its military planes to Haiti to help the country cope with escalating violence.
A joint statement Sunday from National Defence Minister Anita Anand and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada has deployed a CP-140 Aurora aircraft to help “disrupt the activities of gangs” in Haiti.
Gang violence has become a reality for those living in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince since last summer, with hundreds having reportedly been kidnapped and killed.
The UN has also said gangs are restricting access to necessities such as health care and water and are also allegedly sexually assaulting women and children.
Haiti’s political and humanitarian crisis has led to calls for Western countries to intervene, with the Canadian government saying the aircraft deployment comes in direct response to Haiti’s request for help.
The government said the patrol aircraft is currently in Haiti and will remain there “for a number of days” to help with surveillance and intelligence efforts.
The aircraft deployment is the latest step the government has taken to assist Haiti, and not indicative of a military intervention.
Other support measures to date include levying sanctions against individuals it views as responsible for the violence in Haiti.
“The deployment of a Canadian patrol aircraft will strengthen efforts to fight criminal acts of violence and to establish the conditions necessary for a peaceful and prosperous future,” Ms. Anand said in Sunday’s statement.