Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced a further initiative to alleviate child hunger in Haiti following the devastating earthquake earlier this year. The Prime Minister made the announcement in Montreux, Switzerland, where he is participating in the 13thSummit of La Francophonie.
"Canada continues to show international leadership in meeting Haiti’s development needs," said Prime Minister Harper. This new initiative will provide Haitian school children with the food they need to learn and grow. However, much more remains to be done to rebuild Haiti, and it is important that members of La Francophonie participate fully in ongoing international relief efforts."
Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Government is providing $20 million in support for the World Food Programme’s school feeding initiative (cantines scolaires). The initiative will provide daily meals to some 400,000 school children in need. This program is aligned with the Government of Haiti’s Action Plan and has been endorsed by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. It is closely coordinated with Haiti’s own national school feeding program. Further, it will support the local economy and farming families by purchasing up to 25 per cent of food such as rice from local producers.
This new Canadian initiative, which is already underway, is part of Canada’s $400-million two-year commitment for Haiti’s post-earthquake relief, recovery and reconstruction announced at the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti held in New York on March 31,2010. The new measures are in keeping with the Government of Haiti’s Action Plan for Reconstruction and Development.
In addition to Canada’s $400-million post-earthquake commitment, Canada is continuing its ongoing $555-million long-term development program in Haiti (2006-2011). Haiti has been identified as a priority country for Canada in the provision of development assistance.