On May 5, the governments of Canada and the United States announced separate initiatives to aid security sector reform and economic development in Haiti.
In Ottawa, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs committed an addition $10 million to support Haitian justice and security institutions. The new funding is earmarked for portable classrooms and new patrol vehicles for the Haitian National Police, as well as increased security and employment opportunities in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Bel Air. Meanwhile, in Washington, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that provides trade incentives to Haiti’s struggling textile industry. Socio-economic development is often cited as a requirement for security sector reform in the country.
The Canadian announcement comes as part of an overall aid increase committed to Haiti following the January 12 earthquake. An additional $400 million was allocated at a March 31 donors’ conference in New York, which will “strengthen state institutions, reduce instability and improve safety, access to basic services and living conditions,” according to a government press release.
The extra $10 million for security sector reform will come from the Global Peace and Security Fund, which is managed by the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START). Since 2006, START has spent $51 million on justice and security sector reform in Haiti. Ongoing projects include the equipping police stations along the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, police and corrections mentoring, and support for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).