PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- (Marketwired) -- 08/28/13 -- 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 made, what results have been achieved, and what development challenges must be tackled going forward.
"Canadians are an immensely generous people and they remain deeply concerned with the challenges the Haitian people face every day," said Minister Paradis. "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."
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 in Haiti. 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 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," said Minister Paradis. "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."
Minister Paradis is 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 on the same wavelength about what must be done in Haiti, using target dates determined in advance.
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.
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