Canada to Contribute $6.6 Million to Haiti

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Above: Christian Paradis

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Canada will be making a $6.6 million contribution to Haiti to continue its support under the World Food Programme’s Support to Sustainable School Feeding programme in Haiti.

The project provides a daily meal to schoolchildren to reduce chronic hunger and malnutrition, an ongoing issue in Haiti, particularly among the country’s youth.

The funding represents a renewal of Canada’s funding for the initiative, which will cover the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

The contribution was announced by a visit to the country by Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Christian Paradis, last week.

Paradis was in the country to assess progress on the ground and “what development challenges must be tackled going forward,” according to a Canadian government release.

“Canadians are an immensely generous people and they remain deeply concerned with the challenges the Haitian people face every day,” Paradis said. “Canada has made significant investments to help the people of Haiti, especially in relocating people who have lived in camps since the earthquake. However, we must all be mindful of the challenges that remain. Among other things, we encourage the government of Haiti to continue to reform government and the public service, and to establish the rule of law.”

Paradis’ visit included stops at a Canada-funded emergency hospital and a warehouse operated by the WFP in Gonaives and a credit union in St Marc.

He also held talks with Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Finance Minister Wilson Laleau to discuss issues including sustainable development, economic growth, public finance reform and improving public administration, according to a statement from Lamothe’s office.

Lamothe’s office said the two sides agreed to “diversify the areas of cooperation between the two countries.”

“Canada shares the desire of the people of Haiti to obtain development assistance that will make a real difference in the lives of the most vulnerable, and we share the desire of the government of Haiti to see the emergence of a strong, independent economy, as well as public institutions that operate in a stable and sustainable manner,” Paradis said. “Canadians remain committed to helping the people of Haiti but we must ensure we set a course that holds justified hope for a better and sustainable future for all Haitians.”

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