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Canada-Haiti relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Haiti officially established diplomatic relations in 1954 and have continued to maintain strong ties ever since. Over the years, their relationship has been strengthened by their geographical proximity, a common language (French), the growth of a substantial Haitian community in Canada (~165,000) and the ongoing presence of Canadian organizations in Haiti. In addition to its embassy in Ottawa, the Republic of Haiti also has a consulate general in Montréal, as well as an honorary consulate in Toronto. The current Haitian Ambassador to Canada, Wien Weibert Arthus, has held office in Canada since November 30, 2020.

Canada has been highly engaged with Haiti for decades to promote security, stability, democracy and sustainable development and has been working with the international community to advance these priorities through vehicles like the United Nations, the Organization of American States, La Francophonie, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Canada also chairs the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti. More information on further avenues of collaboration can be found at Partnerships and organizations.

This year, Canada has strived to promote a political dialogue in Haiti that would lead to an inclusive agreement between key Haitian stakeholders and pave the way for free and fair elections; some of these actions have taken place during the North American Leaders’ Summit and CARICOM’s annual summit. Strengthening the security sector and restoring the rule of law in Haiti is a key Canadian priority and in March 2023, Prime Minister Trudeau announced $100 million in new funding to support directly the Haitian National Police. Following this announcement, in June 2023, Minister Joly announced the establishment of an international security assistance coordination group to leverage and coordinate international efforts to address critical needs of the Haitian security sector and the Haitian National Police.

Canada has also imposed sanctions on individuals who are fueling instability and violence in Haiti under the Special Economic Measures Act and has implemented the UN Security Council sanctions regime on Haiti (UN resolution S/RES/2653 (2022)). These activities are coordinated with Canada’s allies to support Haitian authorities in restoring law and order.

Trade relations

The bilateral trade relationship between Canada and Haiti remains modest. In 2022, trade between Canada and Haiti was valued at $159 million CAD, an increase of 11% compared to 2021. Haitian exports are mainly found in the agri-food and textiles sectors ($15.4 and $43.3 million respectively) while Canadian exports can be found mainly in the agri-food and transportation sectors ($57.6 million and $6.8 million respectively). Bilateral trade in services is still modest (official statistics not available).

Commercial opportunities for businesses, including Canadian companies, are real and open. The country’s heavy dependence on imports (approximately USD $5.2 billion in 2021) offers outlets for Canadian products. The country’s shortfall in terms of access to electricity is significant and renewable energies are underused. Lack of expertise in many sectors is driving a high demand for services.

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Development and humanitarian assistance

Since the 2010 earthquake, the Government of Canada has provided over $1.87 billion worth of funding to Haiti. Canada is the second-largest bilateral donor to Haiti after the United States.

The Government of Canada’s priorities are consistent with the action areas in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and Haiti’s National Development Plan (Plan stratégique de développement d’Haïti [PDF in French only]). Since 2022, Canada has invested over $100 million in Haiti in international assistance in health, education, governance, security, and in the fight against corruption and impunity, food security, economic growth, and climate change. This includes $13 million in humanitarian assistance in 2023 to meet life-saving needs in Haiti, focusing on providing emergency food and nutrition assistance, logistical support, water, sanitation and hygiene, health, and protection, particularly in response to gender-based violence.

Canada is deeply concerned about the impact of expanding gang control on Haiti’s stability.

Canada has also facilitated the establishment and professionalization of the Haitian national border police, POLIFRONT, which is deployed along the land border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Global Affairs Canada also focuses on reducing community violence, strengthening the rule of law, and including women in policing and political life in Haiti.

To find out what Canada is doing to support development, stabilization, and humanitarian needs in Haiti, you can search in the Project Browser.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Haiti work closely in multilateral forums, such as:

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