January 8, 2013
Our government has been absolutely clear; we are deeply concerned with the plight of the Haitian people. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided over $1-billion in assistance in Haiti. After the devastating earthquake of January 2010 that killed hundreds of thousands, including 2 RCMP officers, and displaced many more; our government moved quickly to provide immediate disaster relief in Haiti and long-term rebuilding efforts. More recently, our government responded quickly and decisively with humanitarian assistance when Hurricane Sandy struck Haiti. But we should not take gratification in the simple transaction of international aid.
Due to the generosity of Canadian taxpayers, more than 1.9 million children and youth received vaccinations against polio, measles and rubella. In addition, more than three million Haitian women, newborns and children have access to free health services in 63 health institutions nationwide through Canada's assistance. These are only two examples of the tangible results that Canadians can take pride in.
While the results of specific projects have largely met expectations, progress towards a self-sustaining Haitian society has been limited. Our government has a responsibility to maximize the value of Canadian taxpayer dollars. That is why Canada is reviewing its long-term engagement strategy with Haiti, like we do with all of our programs. We continue to make progress on areas of long-term development that we have previously committed to, and we stand ready to offer our support for the people of Haiti should future humanitarian crises arise.
However, we remain concerned with the slow progress of development in Haiti, in large part due to weaknesses in their governing institutions. We want to improve the results achieved and better address the needs and priorities of the Haitian people. Doing so requires greater leadership, accountability and transparency from the Government of Haiti so that they can take a greater role in the development of their country.
Our government's international development goal is to help countries, their governments, and their people help themselves. Canada's assistance will not be a blank cheque. We expect accountability, we expect transparency, and we expect tangible results for those most in need.
Minister of International Cooperation
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For more information, media should contact:
Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation