Above: Canadian Ambassador to Haiti Henri-Paul Normandin and Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe had what he described as a “fruitful” talk with Canadian Ambassador Henri-Paul Normandin over the country’s decision to freeze aid to Haiti, according to the Prime Minister’s office.
Normandin reportedly said the freeze applies only to projects announced for the next programming cycle of Canada’s aid to the Caribbean country.
Ongoing projects that receive Canadian funds, particularly through Canadian NGOs, will not be affected.
The revelation that Canada would be halting aid to the country, first made by International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino during an interview with a Montreal newspaper, caused an uproar and led to a clarification by Canada’s International Development Agency.
CIDA said in a statement this weekend that Canada was “reviewing its long-term engagement strategy with Haiti to maximize Canadian taxpayer dollars to improve the results achieved and better address the needs and priorities of the Haitian people.”
Lamothe said he was convinced that Canada remained a partner in Haiti, stressing what he said was the importance of analyzing “mutual respect for new possible solutions” aimed at boosting Haitian-Canadian relations and overcoming “bottlenecks.”
At the end of what Lamothe’s office said was a “working session,” the two sides pledged to strengthen their partnership and dialogue through the “Framework for Coordination of External Aid Development” recently introduced by Haiti’s government.