Canada to offer more support for Haitian security, development

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OTTAWA, Dec 15, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Canada will provide more support to Haiti in its efforts to strengthen security and development, government officials said on Tuesday after meeting visiting Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.

Canada will fund four projects to increase the capacity of the Haitian National Police, strengthen security along the country's border with the Dominican Republic and improve conditions in Haitian prisons, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a press release.

Canadian officials also confirmed Ottawa's support of Haiti's poverty reduction strategy with effective, results-driven initiatives, the release said.

Canada's commitment to Haiti is a key element of its foreign policy and engagement in the Americas. Canada has committed 555 million Canadian dollars (527 million U.S. dollars) from 2006-2011 to bring stability, sustainable development and prosperity to Haiti, according to the release.

Canada and Haiti started annual consultations in 2006 to discuss strengthening bilateral relations, in particular Ottawa's support to the poor Carribean country.

This is Bellerive's first visit to Canada since he took office in November.