START in Haiti

As the largest recipient of Canadian aid and support in the Americas, Haiti is a priority for Canada. Through the Global Peace and Security Program, START complements Canada’s engagement in Haiti by enhancing policing, improving conditions for prisoners, strengthening borders, increasing community security, and establishing front-line justice. START has supported these initiatives by building infrastructure, and deploying military, correctional and police officers to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

START also conducts programming through the Government of Haiti, MINUSTAH, civil society organizations, the private sector and bilateral and multilateral donors. Between 2006 and 2011, START has committed more than $80 million from the Global Peace and Security Fund for stabilization projects in Haiti.

United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)

Canada has a longstanding commitment to Haiti and MINUSTAH is a priority mission for Canada. We currently deploy up to 150 police, 25 corrections experts, and ten military officers to the mission. Since 2004 MINUSTAH has positively contributed to the security situation in Haiti. For instance, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, MINUSTAH helped support and coordinate international relief efforts and provided key support to the domestic political process. These efforts are essential to the success of longer-term reconstruction and development efforts.

MINUSTAH’s core mandate is to ensure a secure and stable environment. The mission performs a significant portion of the public security functions in Haiti. Other tasks that are performed by the mission include supporting Haiti’s political process, professionalizing the Haitian National Police, reforming Haiti’s national security institutions and protecting civilians.

Early Recovery Equipment Project

This project was approved shortly after the earthquake in order to provide the Haitian National Police with the equipment and vehicles needed to fulfill their mandate. Working with the Canadian Commercial Corporation, 100 trucks, spare parts and vehicle painting supplies were delivered to Haiti. The trucks allowed the Haitian National Police to increase the number of patrols during both rounds of the Haitian elections.

First Aid Instructor Training in Haiti (FAITH)

The First Aid Instructor Training in Haiti is implemented by the St. John Ambulance and established a Basic First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training program that will be made available to every member of the Haitian National Police . Additionally, senior and middle Haitian National Police  management will learn vital skills in Emergency Preparedness in order to respond to catastrophic events. As of 2011, 879 Haitian National Police  cadets have been trained for the basic first aid course. More than 235 Haitian National Police  members have also been trained throughout Haiti, of which 50 were females.

Refurbishment of Cap-Haitien Prison

The Pan American Development Foundation  renovated 15 cells and constructed 8 new cells, in this key northern prison. This project reduced the number of prisoners per cell, separated minors from adults and improved the overall security of the prison. These improved conditions in the prison increased respect for detainees’ rights, reduced the risk of conflict between inmates and the risk of escape, and enhanced security conditions for the country’s stabilization and socio-economic reconstruction.

Establishing Frontline and Transitional Justice in Haiti

This project was in response to the victims of the 2010 earthquake. The project’s goal is to establish a functional justice system that would provide the most vulnerable populations with access to justice and legal representation. Working with the Haitian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Haitian Bar Associations and the School of Magistrates, Avocats sans frontiers Canada  opened a justice center in Champs-de-Mars, near an important camp for internally displaced persons, established a mobile service of legal assistance and assisted the Port-au-Prince Bar Association in establishing its own legal aid service.