Haiti Minister of Economy says "Canada is very bad"
- Saturday, January 05, 2013 12:37 PM
Written by The Sentinel Staff |
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - On Friday, the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, minimized the impact of Canadian aid in Haiti, saying "I do not have one gourde from the Canadian government in my budget," but the minister did take care to say that "Canada is very bad" for taking the decision to freeze new aid to Haiti.
Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie said she does not have Canadian government money "either as budget support or as projects funded by donations. Indeed, CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) supports some technical assistance for Haiti. But these assistances are provided by Canadian firms, no Haitian firm has," the Minister of the Economy and Finance insisted.
The minister believes Julian Fantino, the Canadian Minister of International Cooperation should not question the management and efficacy of the Haitian state in regards to its aid to the country. She said, Canadian "funds are not included in the Treasury or in the private sector. So if they believe that CIDA funds are poorly managed, it has nothing to do with the Haitian State. They should initiate their own audit firms at home, for those working in Haiti", she said Friday morning on Radio Magik 9.
Regarding the travel warnings issued by the Canada, Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie said it was "very bad from a country, friend that says it wants to help. Efforts are being made, for example the opening of the Oasis Hotel, the Best Western in the near future and it is now that Canada advises its nationals not to visit Haiti. It's as if every time you leave the water, they sink our head, preventing us from breathing..."
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pierre Richard Casimir, also speaking on Friday morning said he was not aware of the decision of Canada. "We do not have this information yet, official or unofficially. Last night (Thursday night) I had conversations with the Ambassador of Canada on other subjects, he had not told me. Anyway, Haiti can not live indefinitely with the international community..." said Casimir.
"As soon as I receive this information, I will anaylize it. There must be an official document that I have not received yet. But I'll find out what the situation is and what are the reasons for this decision," the Minister of Foreign Affairs said on the radio. Casimir added that during Fantino's visit, he had expressed satisfaction with the trade in Haiti and "we agreed on the need to move forward on a number of things..."
Canada's recent and most notable contribution in Haiti has been in housing victims of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. When President Michel Martelly was inaugurated in May of 2011 more than 650,000 people were still living in tents throughout the capital. The former Minister of International Cooperation, Bev Oda, who was replaced by Julian Fantino, on January 12, 2012 initiated steps to remove almost half of these individuals into permanent and semi-permanent housing. Most were living on Champs des Mars and other parks in the capital.
Today there are 390,000 still living in tents.