CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

September 20, 2007 20:12 ET

CIDA: The Honourable Beverley J. Oda will Visit Haiti and Jamaica

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2007) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, will Visit Haiti and Jamaica from September 20-24 2007

"During my first official trip abroad as Minister of International Cooperation, I am proud to be reaffirming our strong commitment to revive and expand Canada's political, economic, social and security engagement throughout the Americas, and to follow up on as Prime Minister Harper's important visits here earlier this summer," Minister Oda said.

Minister Oda will be in Haiti from September 20 -22 to review Canadian aid initiatives and to visit a number of projects managed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Port-au-Prince, Anse-a-Veau and Jacmel. She will meet with local officials and partners working with CIDA on Canada-funded initiatives in health, education and other social development issues.

She will also meet with President Rene Preval, Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis and other officials to discuss Canada's ongoing commitment to help meet the country's immediate and long-term development needs.

"Canada has made important investments to help with the reconstruction and development of Haiti over the next five years," said Minister Oda. "The projects we are supporting will reinforce the Haitian Government, improve security and access to basic services, as well as living conditions in the country."

Minister Oda will then travel to Jamaica where she will visit several CIDA-funded projects that provide skills training in poor neighborhoods. She will also visit a correctional centre and a relief project in Clarendon Parish, a region that was affected by Hurricane Dean. Minister Oda will also meet with Prime Minister Bruce Golding, several Ministers and government and civil society partners involved in coordinating disaster relief efforts.

For more information on Canadian aid initiatives in the Americas, visit
CIDA's website at: http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca


Backgrounder

Canada's development assistance to Haiti and Jamaica

Haiti

Haiti is Canada's most important long-term development assistance beneficiary in the Americas, and the second largest in the world after Afghanistan. In July 2006, Canada committed $520 million over five years for the reconstruction and development of Haiti. Other government departments involved in Haiti include the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, via the START program (Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force) for security and justice-related programming, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for deployment of police officers as part of MINUSTAH.

However, since the official commitment of 2006, additional funds have been allocated to Haiti related programs, bringing the total expected disbursement over the next five years to approximately $600 million.

In 2006, Canada contributed resources to ensure that the full cycle of presidential, parliamentary and local elections was completed for the first time since the 1987 constitution. CIDA also supported the building of 252 classrooms, supplying 500,000 school kits, and providing a hot meal to 290,000 school children every day.

Canada is the leading donor for vaccination, increasing coverage of children from 50% to 80% and the vaccination of 116,000 women of childbearing age was made possible. New Canadian initiatives created jobs for more than 300,000 person/day of which over half lived in Haiti's poorest neighbourhoods. The assistance of CIDA enabled the passage of a law making rape a crime and the updating of four bills supporting women's rights in Parliament.

Jamaica

Jamaica is a key partner for Canada in the Caribbean Community. CIDA's bilateral program is being merged with a new regional Caribbean Community development program. In July 2007, Canada committed $600 million over the next ten years to this new regional program. Jamaica is expected to be the centre of several new regional initiatives, as well as to benefit from the new regional program.

In partnership with UNICEF, Canada has improved access to early childhood development centres for 400,000 children and boosted immunization rates for common preventable childhood diseases. Canada has strengthened local skills in managing and preserving tropical forest cover, critical to maintaining the integrity of watersheds.

Canada provided 32 tons of emergency supplies to Jamaica in August 2007 to alleviate suffering after Hurricane Dean struck the island. CIDA also provided $2 million for relief and recovery efforts to the region, of which $700,000 is being disbursed in Jamaica through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Veronique Bruneau
    Press Secretary
    819-953-6238
    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534
    info@acdi-cida.gc.ca
    http://www.cida.gc.ca (electronic version of document)