By Caribbean News Global
OTTAWA, Canada – Mélanie Joly, minister of foreign affairs, joined by Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of international development and minister responsible for the pacific economic development agency of Canada, hosted a virtual foreign ministers meeting, where the international community reaffirmed its solidarity with Haiti and highlighted the importance of promoting solutions developed by and for Haitians, said Global Affairs Canada, in a press release Friday.
Minister Joly and minister Sajjan announced a financial contribution of $50.4 million for 9 initiatives that will support health services for Haitians, strengthen Haiti’s security capacity and infrastructure, support sexual and reproductive health and rights and help address food insecurity and other humanitarian challenges.
Minister Joly expressed solidarity with the people of Haiti, and reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to work toward the development of a more stable, democratic and prosperous future for Haiti.
“Haiti is facing critical, multi-faceted challenges, but Haitians are not facing them alone. Canada and the international community will work together to support Haiti in their work to find and implement sustainable solutions. I thank prime minister Henry, foreign minister Généus and the international community for participating in today’s discussions,” said minister Joly.
Projects supported through this investment include, but are not limited to the following:
- $12.35 million to increase the capacity of the Haitian National Police through essential training and increased efficiency, while increasing the meaningful participation of women in policing.
- $3 million to increase the number of female police officers in the Haiti National Police, contributing to improved security and peace in the country.
- $17.48 million across three projects to improve the sexual and reproductive health rights of the most vulnerable women and adolescents
- $12 million across two projects to address food insecurity and support humanitarian services through the World Food Programme.
At the meeting, prime minister Justin Trudeau highlighted the long history of collaboration between our two countries, and outlined Canada’s work to support the Haitian people alongside our international partners.
Canada and Haiti have long been united by a deep friendship, which is reinforced by a common language, the close ties between our peoples and a long history of cooperation, noted Global Affairs Canada, press release, and as a long-standing partner of Haiti, Canada remains committed to supporting Haitians’ aspirations to a more democratic, secure and inclusive future.
Haiti’s prime minister Ariel Henry and Jean-Victor Généus, minister of foreign affairs and religious communities, along with foreign ministers of like-minded democracies and high-level officials from multilateral organizations, discussed ways that the international community can support Haitians in implementing sustainable solutions to tackle growing insecurity, strengthen political dialogue and improve aid coordination, Global Affairs Canada, said a press release.
“Although Haiti faces many challenges, it continues to demonstrate resilience year after year. By working together, we can help improve security, support sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls, and address critical food security issues. Working with Haiti and our partners, we can help Haitians build a more resilient country,” said minister Sajjan.
- Canada and Haiti officially established diplomatic relations in 1954 and have continued to maintain strong diplomatic ties ever since.
- Canada’s aid includes funding to fight food insecurity, which affects over 40 percent of the Haitian population to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support earthquake victims and to protect the most vulnerable Haitians, particularly women and girls.
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada provided $500,000 in funding to the Pan American Health Organization and re-allocated $12.6 million to address the ensuing health crisis. Through the World Food Programme, Canada has also provided additional funding of $10 million aimed at strengthening the food resilience of populations that have been made more vulnerable due to the impact of COVID-19.
- For nearly 30 years, Canada has contributed to every UN peace mission to Haiti to support stabilization and reconstruction efforts. These contributions have included financial assistance and the deployment of members of the Canadian Armed Forces and of the RCMP, as well as correctional officers.
- Since Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, the Government of Canada has provided $1.8 billion in funding to Haiti. Canada is the second-largest bilateral donor to Haiti, after the United States. Canada’s current annual budget for Haitian development assistance, approximately $89 million, makes Haiti the largest recipient of Canada’s aid in the Americas.
- Over the years, relations between the two countries have been strengthened by their geographical proximity, their common French language, the growth of a substantial Haitian community in Canada (now numbering more than 165,000 people) and the ongoing presence of Canadian development organizations in Haiti.
- Canada and Haiti work together in international organizations, including the UN, the OAS, CARICOM and La Francophonie.