Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Human rights group finds Canada’s approach to aid in Haiti is flawed on several fronts

MONTREAL — An alliance of Quebec human rights groups raised an alarm Thursday as it released a study that questions the efficacy and ethics of Canada’s efforts to help Haiti rebuild four years after that country’s devastating earthquake.

The study, commissioned by Concertation pour Haiti, an alliance of Quebec groups that works to promote human rights in Haiti, suggests the Canadian government is refusing to give a detailed account of almost $555 million in aid to Haiti, an amount that represents more than two-thirds of Canada’s reported spending on Haiti’s reconstruction.

In addition to this lack of transparency, Paul Cliche, an anthropologist and researcher on development issues with the Université de Montréal, concludes in his study that Canada’s approach to humanitarian aid in Haiti is flawed on several fronts:

Too much Canadian aid money has been spent on Band-Aid-type fixes, like offering rental subsidies to persuade Haitians to move from emergency camps to substandard temporary housing, rather than building permanent homes or repairing damaged homes.

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