Canada has decided to pay off $33 million of the $825 million that Haiti owes to international institutions. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to announce that Canada has paid off its share of Haiti’s debt to the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development.
Haitian President René Préval met with Harper on Friday afternoon as part of a G8 outreach to Latin American countries. Canada led a G20 consensus to forgive Haiti’s debt to various institutions following the January 12, 2010, 7.0-magnitude earthquake in which about 230,000 people were killed and 1.3 million were displaced.
In his statement, Harper said, “With today’s announcement, Canada has fully honored its international pledge to the people of Haiti, and we urge others to follow this example at the G-20 Leaders’ Summit this weekend.” Harper’s press secretary Andy MacDougall explained that “Haiti is a special focus for our government. We have a relatively large Haitian diaspora, mostly in the city of Montreal.”
For full articles, see http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=b3772260&utm_source=markets&utm_medium=rss and http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/06/25/canada.haiti.debt/?fbid=bcwrB-wQAkN
Photo of R. Préval and S. Harper from http://www.prevalhaiti.com/f33/rene-preval-stephen-harper-canada-prime.html