Canada - Haiti relations

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Canada and Haiti officially established diplomatic relations in 1954, when Edward Ritchie Bellemare was appointed chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Canada in Haiti. Over the years, their relations have been strengthened by the growth of a substantial Haitian community in Canada (165,000) and the ongoing presence of Canadian development organizations in Haiti.

As members of the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) and the Lima Group, Canada and Haiti continue to strengthen their relations. Canada chairs the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group (ECOSOC-AHAG) on Haiti and is an influential member of the Core Group in Port-au-Prince, which has a mandate to serve as the voice of the international community to the State of Haiti.

Haiti is the largest recipient of development assistance from Canada in the Americas. Canada is the second largest bilateral donor to Haiti after the United States, and Canada is currently funding more than 50 projects in Haiti. Since the 2010 earthquake, the Government of Canada has provided $1.5 billion to Haiti, including $345 million in humanitarian assistance and $1.15 billion in development assistance. For fiscal year 2018 to 2019, the Government of Canada’s total international assistance to Haiti amounted to $96.4 million.

Consistent with the action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Government of Canada’s bilateral development priorities in Haiti are strengthening governance and the rule of law; improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable, particularly women and girls; and fostering growth that works for everyone and is resilient to climate change and natural disasters.

Although the health impacts of COVID‑19 in Haiti have been less severe than anticipated, the pandemic has worsened the country’s already precarious socio-economic and humanitarian conditions. Through its programs, the Government of Canada has provided $11.5 million in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic in Haiti. This assistance includes: (1) $3.15 million to the updated UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan that takes into account the impacts of COVID‑19; (2) $7.2 million to projects within Government of Canada programs that support the monitoring of diseases, provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene kits, promote public awareness and provide training to health and social workers; and (3) $1.15 million to fund new health and food assistance initiatives.

To learn more about Canada’s development assistance in Haiti, please visit Canada’s international assistance in Haiti.