Minister Cannon Announces Increased Support for Haitian Justice and Security

(No. 152 - May 5, 2010 - 4:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will increase its support for Haitian justice and security institutions by $10 million over last year’s contribution, to a total of $25 million.

“Canada’s increased funding will help the Government of Haiti respond to its citizens’ pressing justice and security needs,” said Minister Cannon. “These funds will support projects addressing Haiti’s post-earthquake needs and priorities in the areas of policing, prisons, border control and access to justice.”

In the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake, Canadians stepped up in support of Haiti, making Canada the largest per-capita donor in the world.

As one of the leading donors to justice and security system reform in Haiti, Canada provides targeted support to develop the capacity of Haitian institutions. New and ongoing projects include the provision of vehicles and classrooms for police, the rehabilitation of police stations along Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic and the deployment of up to 150 Canadian police officers to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti to train and mentor their Haitian counterparts.

“Our common vision for Haiti is a country built squarely on the foundations of security, sovereignty, the rule of law, economic prosperity and equality of opportunity,” said Minister Cannon. “This is not an impossible goal. It can be achieved under the leadership of Haiti’s government and with long-term commitment and collaboration among donors.”

The projects announced today will be funded by the Global Peace and Security Fund, which is managed by the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START). Before the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, START had spent a total of $51 million since 2006 to support justice and security system reform in Haiti.

At the March 31 international donors’ conference in New York, Canada pledged $400 million to help Haiti recover from the devastating January 12 earthquake. Those funds are in addition to Canada’s existing five-year, 2006-2011, $555-million commitment to Haiti. Canada is implementing a coordinated set of programs to meet the needs of Haiti’s people, strengthen state institutions, reduce instability and improve safety, access to basic services and living conditions.

For more information on Canada’s engagement in Haiti, please visit Haiti Task Force.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Ève Cardinal
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Backgrounder – The Global Peace and Security Fund and Justice and Security System Reform Projects in Haiti

Canada’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START), which manages the Global Peace and Security Fund, was established to enhance the Government of Canada’s capacity to respond to countries in crisis, or at risk of crisis, with a coordinated, whole-of-government approach. START’s programs and activities deliver coherent and effective initiatives aimed at preventing conflict, responding to crises, protecting civilians, and building peace and stability.

New Haitian projects announced today

Expansion of training facilities for Haitian National Police

Canada will donate portable classrooms to help increase the capacity of the Haitian National Police to train both new and existing officers, including those in corrections. ($1.7 million; implementing agency: Canadian Commercial Corporation)

Haitian National Police Early Recovery Equipment Project

Canada will donate police vehicles to the Haitian National Police to improve capacity to conduct patrols, protect citizens and respond to emergencies. ($5 million; implementing agency: Canadian Commercial Corporation)

Strengthening community security in Bel Air

This project will strengthen community security and improve living conditions in Bel Air and other selected communities by involving members of the community in the delivery of security services. It will also strengthen collaboration between communities, the Haitian National Police and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti in the area, and offer employment opportunities to citizens willing to participate in the community’s reconstruction and stabilization efforts. ($1 million, implementing agency: Viva Rio, a Brazilian NGO)

Ongoing initiatives

Rehabilitation of border police stations

This project involves renovating and equipping 18 police stations along the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The refurbished stations will allow an increased Haitian National Police presence on the border and will help address human trafficking, drug smuggling and other cross-border crimes. ($4.2 million, implementing agency: International Organization for Migration)