August 28, 2013
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — In his first international trip since being appointed Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, the Honourable Christian Paradis visited Haiti to see first-hand what progress has been madeand what development challenges remain.
"Canadians are a generous people and they remain deeply concerned by the challenges the Haitian people face," said Minister Paradis. "Canada has made significant investments to help the people of Haiti. I have seen the progress made by the Government of Haiti, especially in relocating people who have lived in camps since the earthquake. However, challenges remain, and we encourage the Government of Haiti to continue to reform government and the public service, and to reinforce the rule of law."
Canada is strongly calling on Haitian political authorities to make sure they manage ongoing political and institutional issues in a way that does not impede development efforts.
While in Haiti, Minister Paradis announced a contribution of $6.6 million to continue the support Canada has been providing since 2006 to the World Food Programme's Support to Sustainable School Feeding program. This project provides a daily meal to schoolchildren to reduce chronic hunger and malnutrition, improve learning, and increase school attendance.
Canada continues to play a leading international role in support of Haiti and its people. Canada is currently reviewing its long-term engagement strategy with Haiti, in order to ensure concrete and sustainable results for the Haitian people and accountability for Canadian taxpayers.
"Canada supports the desire of the people of Haiti for development assistance that will make a real difference in the lives of the most vulnerable, and the desire of the Government of Haiti to see the emergence of a strong, independent economy, and public institutions that operate in a stable and sustainable manner," added Minister Paradis. "We must ensure we set a course that holds justified hope for a better and sustainable future for all Haitians."
Minister Paradis was also encouraged by the Government of Haiti's commitment to define a pact of mutual responsibility between development partners and Haitian authorities. The Government believes that this pact should be defined as soon as possible and include specific commitments, tangible and measurable results, and a monitoring mechanism. A pact of mutual responsibility, established under the Government's leadership, would enable all stakeholders to be aligned in terms of agreed-upon objectives, achieved by target dates determined in advance.
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For more information, media should contact:
Margaux Stastny, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development
This visit to Haiti was an opportunity for Minister Paradis to assess the current development situation in the country, and to discuss needs and priorities with key stakeholders.
Minister Paradis met with representatives of the Haitian government, including Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and with representatives of Canadian and international development organizations working in Haiti, as well as other stakeholders from civil society organizations and private sector firms.
The Minister also visited:
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is renewing its funding for an initiative in Haiti:
Canada has long been a strong supporter of the World Food Programme's school feeding programs in Haiti. In 2012, the World Food Programme fed more than 1.1 million school-aged children, with close to 238,000 in 750 schools reached as a result of Canada's contribution.
In 2011-2012, Canada:
As of March 2012, Canada had fulfilled its $400-million commitment to reconstruction and recovery, and continues to help Haiti in its long-term development efforts.