Canada welcomes the inauguration of the departmental hospital in Gonaïves

Ambassador Caldwell St-Onge participated in the inauguration of a hospital that will improve access to specialized health services for children, women and men in the Artibonite Department.


The Ambassador of Mexico, Ambassador of Canada, the Minister of Public Health and the First Lady of the Republic at the ceremony in Gonaïves.

November 4, 2014 – Gonaïves, Haiti - Today, Ms. Paula Caldwell St-Onge, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Haiti, attended the inauguration of the La Providence Hospital in Gonaïves, in the Artibonite Department of Haiti.

Haiti's First Lady, Mrs. Sophia Martelly, and Dr. Florence Duperval Guillaume, Haitian Minister of Public Health and Population, also participated in the event.

“The successful completion of the new La Providence Departmental Hospital in Gonaïves is a great example of the close cooperation in health between Canada and Haiti,” said Ambassador Caldwell St-Onge. “Saving the lives of women, newborn and children is one of the clearest expression of the values Canadians share. This project demonstrates Canada`s commitment to improving access to quality maternal, neonatal and child health care.”

La Providence Hospital in Gonaïves will provide maternal, newborn and child healthcare to families in the Artibonite Department. It will also improve access to quality, specialized health services such as maternal, neonatal, pediatric, internal medicine, surgical, emergency, medical imaging and laboratory services.

“Canada’s contribution to build, equip and implement this hospital represents one of the most important Canadian investments in Haiti during the last decade,” said Ambassador Caldwell St-Onge. “Canada recognizes our Mexican and French partners as well as UNICEF for their contribution to the project.  Donor coordination has been an important factor for the success of this priority investment for the Government of Haiti.”

The project was implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in cooperation with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population.

This investment is part of Canada’s commitments under the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Under the Muskoka Initiative, Canada has worked to increase access to local health services. Canada has focused its efforts on 10 countries, including Haiti.

Quick Facts

  • Canada is currently reviewing its long-term engagement strategy in Haiti. In 2014 Canada confirmed Haiti as a country of focus for Canada’s international development efforts.
  • Canada is one of the largest donors in Haiti and has provided over $1.4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance since 2006.
  • Haiti was the first country Minister Paradis visited as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.
  • Canada’s aid to Haiti aligns with the thematic priorities of the International Assistance Envelope, particularly sustainable economic growth and children and youth.

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Backgrounder

Canada welcomes the inauguration of the La Providence Departmental Hospital in Gonaïves

Since the destruction of the original Artibonite departmental hospital during hurricanes Hanna and Ivan of 2008, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population had been providing hospital services with limited equipment and infrastructure from a makeshift warehouse in the town of Gonaives. As a result, access to health services was reduced for the population of the Artibonite Department, the most populous in Haïti.

In 2010, Canada announced its support for the reconstruction of the Gonaives provincial hospital. A portion of this contribution was made as part of Canada’s G8 Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Canada’s $30 million dollar investment has allowed for the design, construction and equipping of the new hospital, which includes  a 30-bed maternity ward (including neonatology and obstetric/gynaecologic services), a 35-bed paediatric ward, and a waiting home for pregnant women close to delivery. These essential services will help reduce child and maternal mortality, as well as improve the access to and quality of specialised health services for children, women and men in Artibonite Department.  The project also includes initial institutional support until July 2015 to help train staff in hospital management, hospital equipment usage, and maintenance.

The hospital is now newly located in a protected zone, less vulnerable to natural disasters.  

Canada selected the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to implement this construction project, in cooperation with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population. The design and construction of the hospital has full local ownership of the Government of Haiti. Other partners have contributed to this effort, including the Governments of Mexico (solar panels and landscaping) and France (water) as well as UNICEF (equipment). 

The hospital will contribute to improving the health system in Haiti by not only expanding access to services but also providing a model that can be replicated in other Departments by the Ministry of Health.

Canada’s work in Haiti

Canada is currently reviewing its long-term engagement strategy in Haiti. In 2014, Haiti was confirmed as a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts worldwide. 

Canada currently supports operational initiatives that focus on:

  • helping the Government of Haiti improve access to quality basic education and health care;
  • supporting the efforts of Haitians to improve their lives and incomes by providing microcredit and financial services through savings and credit cooperatives;
  • supporting job creation; and,
  • helping to improve governance by making public institutions more effective, responsible and transparent.