Canada Continues to Make a Difference in Haiti

January 11, 2011

Today, in Montreal, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, reinforced Canada's commitment to Haiti and announced support for eight new initiatives in Haiti. These initiatives will improve Haiti's health services and increase access to life-saving healthcare for mothers and children. They will also place more Haitian children in schools, improve Haiti's farming sector with new financing tools, and increase Haiti's food production.

"Canada is fulfilling its promise to Haiti by making a difference where it matters most to the Haitian people in the health, education, and agriculture sectors in Haiti," said Minister Oda. "By helping Haitians re-establish and improve their access to essential basic services, these initiatives will re-ignite the courageous determination and hope for a better future that Haitians have demonstrated in the wake of the challenges of the last year."

With the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), these new initiatives will improve the following sectors:

Health

The four initiatives include:

  • an innovative Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) project that will provide free, basic health services to 3 million people including women, newborns and children under five.
  • the reconstruction of Haiti's National School of Midwifery and 10 new maternity clinics, with a consortium led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The clinics will offer a full range of maternal and neonatal services including basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care, family planning, the prevention and testing of HIV/AIDS, and services for the victims of sexual violence.
  • an increased commitment—and the addition of a 30-bed maternity ward, a 35-bed paediatric ward, and a waiting home for pregnant women—to the original plans to build a new Gonaives provincial Tier II hospital.
  • improving maternal, newborn and child health services in Upper Artibonite province through the work of the Centre de coopération internationale en santé et développement (CCISD). CCISD will rehabilitate infrastructure, and equip and provide staff training at nine maternity clinics and seven community health centres.

The Government of Canada has committed $50 million for these four projects—$40 million of this will be funded from Canada's $400 million commitment for the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti.

Education

An initiative led by the Inter-American Development Bank will help build 35 semi-permanent schools. By providing a tuition waiver for the most impoverished families, this back-to-school project will also enable 35,000 children to receive free primary education and another 35,000 to receive much-needed school supplies. The Government of Canada has committed $20 million over two years to this project.

Agriculture

The three initiatives include:

  • providing financial credit for viable agricultural enterprises and encouraging commercial and cooperative banks to lend funds to help farmers manage risk. This project will help build the legislative and regulatory framework needed for Haiti's Agriculture Credit Bureau to manage a system of credit, insurance and financial services. Implemented by a consortium led by Développement International Desjardins, it will ensure that the Government of Haiti, Haitian financial institutions, and small and medium agricultural producers can participate in an effective credit and financial services system, which will grow Haiti's economy and agricultural capacity. The Government of Canada has committed $19.5 million over seven years for this project. Funding for the first two years is part of Canada's $400 million commitment for the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti.
  • a project led by Development and Peace to re-inforce food security for up to 20,000 rural families, 4,000 of whom are earthquake refugees. This includes watershed management, improving land use, reforestation, increasing agricultural production and job creation. It will also result in improved access to clean water, storage centres and grain silos.
  • due to the earthquake, extending a project to increase employment and incomes for Haitian farmers. Undertaken by the Union des producteurs agricoles-développement international (UPA-DI), this project benefits 400 farm families, in four rural communities in Labrousse. Half of the families are headed by women. It provides training to improve agricultural production, soil erosion prevention, seed distribution and tree seedling planting, as well as a new cassava mill and a farm school.

Today's announcement totals $93.1 million. This means that $202.5 million of Canada's $400 million commitment to Haiti has been announced. Also, a total of 88 percent of the Government's matching fund has been allocated. The initiatives announced today are aligned with the objectives of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and fall under Haiti's Action Plan for National Recovery and Development. 

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Information:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
E-mail: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder


The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will strengthen the health, education and agricultural sectors in Haiti with eight new initiatives to improve the livelihoods of the Haitian population. This announcement is part of Canada's $400 million commitment to Haiti, and a direct response to the priorities outlined by the Government of Haiti and the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC).

Health sector

Canada is a key donor in the health sector in Haiti. Basic health care services remain unaffordable and inaccessible for many women, children and other vulnerable populations in Haiti. Only 25 percent of births in Haiti occur under the supervision of trained health professionals and the country has the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the hemisphere. The earthquake has damaged healthcare infrastructure and accelerated the attrition of health care professionals, such as midwives, with only one midwife per 50,000 Haitians providing birthing support in remote rural areas. Canadian efforts will focus on improving access and the quality of primary health care, particularly on low cost high-impact programs targeting maternal and child health.

  • Free Access to Health Services
    Canada will contribute to an innovative Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) national project, which will offer free basic health services to 3 million people, including women, newborns and children under five, and the displaced living in camps, through a network of 90 participating hospitals and 200 medical clinics. They will have access to medical examination and consultation, hospital fees, medical tests and medical prescriptions. The Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population and participating hospitals will be reimbursed for the health services they deliver and these services will be standardized nationally. ($20 million over 18 months)
  • Integrated Health Services for Haitian Girls and Women
    The reconstruction of Haiti's National School of Midwifery and the construction of 10 maternity clinics to serve a population base of 60,000 with an estimated 50 child births per month will be undertaken by a consortium led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project will include the training of professional midwives and Haitian health and management personnel. Each new maternity clinic will have 2 certified midwives and offer services that include basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care, family planning, prevention and testing of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, and services for victims of sexual violence. Within the parameters of the UNFPA initiative, it is estimated that approximately 230,000 women and girls, including 25,000 pregnant women, affected by the earthquake, will have increased access to qualified preventative and basic emergency obstetric and neonatal services. In addition, up to 500 female victims of gender-based violence in camps will receive needed medical and psychological care and 160,000 females living in camps will benefit from culturally sensitive family planning services. ($5 million over two years)
  • New Gonaives Provincial Hospital to Include Maternity and Paediatric facilities
    In April 2010, Minister Oda announced that Canada would build a new Tier II provincial 200-bed hospital in Gonaives to replace the smaller one that was destroyed by flooding during the hurricane of 2008. It will serve as a model for other provincial hospitals in Haiti. Currently, hospital services are being provided from a makeshift warehouse facility in Gonaives with limited equipment and infrastructure. A 30-bed maternity ward with neonatology and obstetric/gynaecologic services, a 35-bed paediatric ward, and a waiting home for pregnant women will be added to the original hospital plans to increase access, and the quality of specialized health services, for women and children in Artibonite province. ($10 million over two years, in addition to the originally planned $20 million hospital construction)
  • Improved Maternal and Child Health Services in Upper Artibonite
    Canada's Centre de coopération internationale en santé et développement (CCISD) will manage a project that will improve maternal, newborn and child health services for up to 260,000 women and 140,500 children in Artibonite province. The project will rehabilitate infrastructure, install equipment, and provide staff training for 9 maternity clinics and 7 community health centres. Five of the maternity clinics will offer basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care, and four will offer a higher level of care, including caesarean sections and blood transfusions. The community clinics will offer basic services for children under five years of age including routine vaccinations, vitamin A distribution, growth monitoring, oral rehydration therapy and deworming in remote rural areas. The project will include 40 water and sanitation initiatives that will prevent the spread of diseases, such as cholera, and improve the coordination and referrals between community and provincial-level health services providers. ($15-million over 5 years, $5 million of this amount is part of Canada's $400-million commitment for the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti)

Education Sector

Haiti has the lowest education and literacy rates in the Western Hemisphere, with more than three million Haitians being illiterate. Approximately one-third of primary school-aged children do not attend school due to the high cost of tuition fees, uniforms and schools supplies. Access to basic education has worsened since the 2010 earthquake, with the destruction of school infrastructure, the ongoing inability of the population to afford school fees, and the severe shortage of qualified teachers. In 2008, more than 964 schools were damaged or destroyed by the hurricane. The 2010 earthquake damaged a further 4,500 or 80 percent of the schools in Haiti.

  • More education for Haitian Children
    CIDA will support an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) two-year initiative that will provide tuition waivers for 35,000 school children from the poorest families and provide school kits, including backpacks, uniforms, books and pencils to 35,000 additional children. It will also include building 35 semi-permanent school structures and clearing sites of debris in three provinces most affected by the earthquake. The schools will each have 11 classrooms, furniture, equipment, a sanitary block, an administrative module, and water and electricity installations. They will have an acceptable student-teacher ratio, and will be built to meet rigorous construction codes to withstand future hurricanes and earthquakes. ($20 million over two years)

Agriculture sector

The Government of Haiti and the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission have identified the agricultural sector as one of the six priority sectors for Haiti's reconstruction efforts. Agriculture is highlighted in Haiti's Action Plan for National Reconstruction and Development as one of the primary forces for Haiti's future food security and economic growth revival.

  • Extending the Financing and Insurance System for Haitian Farmers
    CIDA will support an agricultural credit financing and insurance system that will encourage commercial and co-operative banks to lend to viable agricultural enterprises and help farmers manage risk and uncertainty. It will also help the Government of Haiti and Haitian financial institutions build the legislative and regulatory framework needed for Haiti's Agriculture Credit Bureau to manage a system of credit and financial services for small and medium agricultural producers. This innovative initiative will be implemented by a consortium led by Développement international Desjardins, and include the Financière agricole du Québec (Développement international) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. ($19.5 million over seven years, the first two years is part of Canada's $400 million commitment for the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti)
  • Reinforcing Food Security in Haiti
    The Canadian Catholic organization, Development and Peace, working with a local partner, Mouvement Paysan Papaye, will implement this project to benefit up to 20,000 rural families, 4,000 of whom are earthquake refugees, living in the mountainous department du Centre, along the Dominican Republic border. The project will include watershed management, improving land use, reforestation, increasing agricultural production and job creation. It will provide farm families with quality seeds, particularly peas, maize, beans and peanuts, as well as technical knowledge related to animal husbandry, soil revitalization and conservation techniques, such as the importance of tree cover. The estimated expected outcomes of this project include increased production of fresh fruits and vegetables by 30 percent, of bananas by 20 percent, of potatoes and manioc by 10 percent, as well as of meat and eggs by 5 percent. In addition, it includes efforts to improve access to safe drinking water by constructing 20 water wells or boreholes, 20 water points and 200 cisterns, and building 6 storage centres and grain silos to reduce spoilage by at least 30 percent. This will involve training for 5,200 families, planting 3,000 gardens, planting more than 400,000 trees and repairing or developing 12 nurseries. ($2.1 million over two years,)
  • Increasing Employment and Incomes for Haitian Farmers
    This needed extension of a project due to the earthquake is being implemented by the Union des producteurs agricoles-développement international (UPA-DI) in four rural communities in Labrousse. It benefits 400 farm families — half of whom are headed by women. The project provides management and technical training to improve the production and processing of agricultural products, control erosion, restore damaged nurseries, distribute 20 tonnes of bean seeds and 20,000 tree seedlings. It includes a new cassava mill to be managed by 20 women and a new school farm. Some 500 displaced and unemployed people will be hired to build terraces and erosion control structures in four micro-watersheds, covering a total of 160 hectares. ($1.5 million over 6 months)


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