Odelyn Joseph Associated Press Haiti is going through its worst humanitarian crisis since the earthquake 2010. Around 45% of the Haitian population is affected by the food crisis.
At a time when Haiti is experiencing an unprecedented food crisis since the 2010 earthquake, Quebec is choosing to direct its intervention towards community aid and education.
The Legault government will devote 4.8 million dollars over three years for various initiatives in consultation with Quebec organizations, the Haitian diaspora and international organizations. The plan is structured around three axes, namely support for more vulnerable populations (women, young people), education and strengthening local governance.
The plan was unveiled at a time when the director of the World Food Program (WFP), Jean-Martin Bauer, is in Quebec to draw attention to the food crisis plaguing Haiti.
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The Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Martine Biron, believes that Quebec had to act on another front than food aid, a space occupied by the federal government. “Within our capabilities, it was decided that it was perhaps more important for us to intervene with people on the ground to help them get on with their lives,” she explained at the conference. press, Friday, at the Maison d'Haïti, in Montreal.
Since 2022, Ottawa has deployed $100 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti. Of this amount, a tranche of 13 million was deployed in 2023 for emergency aid, notably access to food and drinking water.
Even in the context of a food crisis, humanitarian aid must tackle other issues, adds the Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant. “When you talk about food aid, we are talking about projects to replace the function of the State on site,” explains the minister, who is also a member of the Haitian community. Here, we are talking about projects that will enable the development and self-realization of the Haitian people. So even if the amounts are smaller, I think that in the long term, the potential is really there. »
Ms. Biron recognizes that Quebec's aid is “a small step” compared to the scale of the needs in Haiti, but adds that “every gesture helps.”
“It’s sure that it’s difficult for everyone in Quebec, it’s particularly difficult in Haiti, but since Haiti is our friend, we want to be there. We scraped our drawers. Then we said to ourselves: “What can we do? How can we take action? How can we make a difference?” »
The Haitian community has 150,000 representatives in Quebec, making it the fifth largest.
A lack of interest in international aid?< /h2>
Quebec's announcement was well received by Mr. Bauer, who attended the press conference. “Any announcement of aid in Haiti at this time is good news. There are enormous needs in Haiti. If each partner does what Quebec announced today, we would be less worried about the response that is necessary. »
The director of the PAM toured the Montreal dailies this week to sound the alarm on the crisis in Haiti. The country is experiencing its worst humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. Around 45% of the Haitian population is affected by the food crisis.
Mr. Bauer acknowledges that it is more difficult to draw attention to international development issues right now. “It’s not just in Canada, but overall I see that public opinion in the West, maybe even elsewhere, is less sensitive to the suffering of people overseas. »
International aid programs are underfunded, he adds: “The UN humanitarian response for Haiti is only 30% funded. The World Food Program in Haiti is less than 20% funded. This means we have difficulty attracting attention. »