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UN Chief To Council: Send More Peacekeeping Troops To Haiti

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks with displaced Haitians in front of the Haitian National Palace in Port-au-Prince on January 17.
UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has requested that the Security Council add 2,000 troops and 1,500 police officers to Haiti's peacekeeping force, which currently stands at some 9,000. Ban made a six-hour visit to Haiti on January 17.

Also today, the European Union pledged more than 400 million euros ($575 million) in emergency and reconstruction aid for earthquake-devastated Haiti.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton told reporters in Brussels today that the EU was also considering sending police support to Haiti:

"What we've been asked to look at is specifically police who have the expertise in terms of supporting the population in these difficult times and dealing with the issues of security that arise from that," Ashton said. "So that's a very particular request which we are looking into."

The International Committee of the Red Cross meanwhile said in a statement today that violence and looting are on the rise in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, and that "desperation grows" in the country.

Officials fear the death toll from last week's earthquake may reach 200,000.