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Mr./Ms. Chairman, Canada has been a longstanding friend and supporter of Haiti.
Our government was one of the first to respond to the January 12th
earthquake, with $5 million for immediate humanitarian needs, to which we added $80 million in response to appeals by the United Nations, the Red Cross movement and NGOs.These funds helped provide urgently needed medical services and relief supplies, food, water and sanitation and shelter.
However, we all acknowledge that the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti will take years, and Canada is committed to standing behind Haiti and the Haitian people.Today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I am proud to pledge an additional $400 million over two years.
This new pledge will help support the Haiti Action Plan and provide funding towards the priorities of the Haitian Government.
It will include a significant contribution to the multi-donor trust fund.
Canada's pledge will also include support for the work of Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations, as well as the private sector, in their efforts in the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti.
In each of our partnerships, we will ensure effectiveness, transparency, accountability and timely implementation in response to Haiti's needs.
Canada has been the second largest bilateral donor in Haiti and today's pledge will more than double our historical annual support.
Mr. Chair, I am very proud to say that this support from the Government of Canada is in addition to the generosity of individual Canadians, who overwhelmingly demonstrated their compassion for the Haitian people.
Over the period of one month, individual Canadians donated more than $220 million to eligible Canadian charitable organizations, an amount that our government will be matching dollar for dollar.
This is but one example of the global outpouring of generosity that has shown Haitians that they will not be forgotten.
Mr. / Ms. Chairman, we agree that our joint efforts in support of Haiti must be based on aid effectiveness principles as articulated in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Principles for Engagement in Fragile States.
We must demonstrate accountability, transparency and results - not only to our own taxpayers, but especially to the people of Haiti.
There will be many challenges ahead, but we must do our utmost to contribute to the Haitian Government's desire to set the foundation of a ''New Haiti.''
This is our opportunity, not only to redress the devastation of the earthquake, but also to set into motion a vision of hope and future prosperity.
We must seize the moment.
The Honourable Beverley J. Oda
Minister of International Cooperation