Canada's Foreign Aid Policy Failing Haiti

A Quebec human rights group, Concertation pour Haiti (CPH), is advocating on behalf of the government of Haiti (GOH) about Canada and the international community's (IC) questionable ethics on helping Haiti rebuild its infrastructure after the 2010 earthquake. Specifically, CPH says the Canadian government won't reveal how $555 million in foreign aid is being spent on reconstruction efforts.


University of Montréal researcher, Paul Cliché, thinks Canada has spent far too much money on quick fixes for the housing problem in Haiti. Instead of constructing permanent housing, or rebuilding damaged residences, it is subsidizing ghetto-type temporary housing. This is to encourage Haitians still surviving in tent cities to move out of them. The problem, though, is the subsidies don't extend longer than a year, and with 60% of Haitians out of work, they could end up on the streets again.

Cliché's other criticism is IC's exploitation of Haiti's post-earthquake situation to IC's benefit. What it means is outsiders are the decision-makers about how contracts are awarded, leaving the GOH excluded, and nationals enduring intolerable living conditions, toiling for wages under five dollars a day.

In the area of public health Canada is also being stingy. They have failed to adequately fund cholera assistance programs. During October 2013, the GOH reported 686,687 believed cases of cholera and 8,398 deaths.

CPH is calling for a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird, and International Development Minister, Christian Paradis, to discuss the problem and urge the government to make reforms.

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Read more: canada, Quebec, University of Montréal, International

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