When a lack of long-term strategy threatens aid effectiveness

Flavie Halaisflaviehalais, 09 February 2015
A Canada-supported rubble-removal project as part of reconstruction efforts in Haiti. The Caribbean country is Canada’s second-largest recipient of aid funding. Photo by: Jean-Francois Leblanc / ACDI-CIDA / DFATD / CC BY-NC-ND
When a massive earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Canada was at the front line of the humanitarian response. The government committed close to 200 million Canadian dollars ($160 million) to the relief effort, and humanitarian organizations launched an unprecedented joint effort, supported by an outpouring of donations from the public.
Haiti has been Canada’s second-largest recipient of aid funding after Afghanistan, with CA$92.12 million disbursed in long-term assistance and humanitarian aid in 2013. With a large Haitian diaspora living in Canada, a common official language and close geographic proximity, both countries have enjoyed a privileged development partnership over the years. Yet five years after the earthquake, there appears to be no clear strategic vision for Canada’s assistance to Haiti.