Giving Credit to Canadians: Canada Increases Engagement with Haiti
Canada is a significant donor for international development programs both in Haiti and worldwide. The country has a large Haitian population and high ranking government officials who were originally born in Haiti. During a recent trip to Haiti, the Canadian Foreign Minister reaffirmed the government's long term committment to Haiti and new activities for partnership - activities which we believe could have a positive impact on Haiti's development.
The Toronto Star notes that during Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier's recent visit to Haiti, he pledges long term support and engagement. Part of this engagement will include $550 million in assistance through 2011, $75 million of which will be used to construct a proper road from Jeremie, one of the most isolated cities in Haiti, to the rest of the country.
This is one of Haiti's worst roads, and we are happy that it will be fixed, but we also worry about the deforestation the Grande Anse. The bad road is all that keeps the charcoal trucks away. We hope this will be taken into acccount.
Canada has also committed to rehabilitating the country’s National Police School. Minister Bernier has emphasized the importance of professionalizing the Haitian Police Force as well as border management. Canada has 100 police officers in Haiti right now training their Haitian law enforcement counterparts.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) plays a key role. The Haiti portion its website notes that Haiti is its largest recipient of aid in the Americas and its second in the world. CIDA priorities for Haiti are as follows:
In addition to the Jeremie thoroughfare construction, below are several other priority projects being financed through CIDA:
We have to give credit to Canada - they are an important stakeholder in Haiti's development, and it seems this will be even more the case in the future.
Hait Innovation appreciates their diplomatic engagement, financial support of development programs, and long term committment.