Canada suspends Haiti aid: minister

Report
from Agence France-Presse
Published on 04 Jan 2013

01/04/2013 18:22 GMT

OTTAWA, Jan 4, 2013 (AFP) - Canada is holding back aid to Haiti over concerns about mismanagement of funds in the Caribbean nation, International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino said Friday to a Canadian paper.

Several million dollars in aid "has been frozen for the moment," Minister Julian Fantino told the daily French-language newspaper La Presse.

Some established aid programs are continuing, but no new monies would flow until there is better management of reconstruction efforts, he said, three years after a devastating earthquake killed more than 200,000 on the island.

Ottawa had committed Can$390 million ($395 million) to Haiti reconstruction, making Canada one of the top donor nations to Haiti.

Fantino visited Haiti in November to assess the situation, and said the country "is still in very bad shape." He lamented a lack of progress in the reconstruction, in his view, blaming poor management on the ground.

"Are we going to continue doing things the same way in Haiti? I don't think so. Because we're not seeing the kind of progress that Canadians should expect," Fantino told La Presse.

"Will we have to continue dealing with Haiti's problems forever? They too have to step up," he added.

The minister's office was not immediately available to confirm the news report, nor detail what specific aid was cut.

The Canadian International Development Agency said it will continue offering emergency help "should humanitarian crises arise."

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