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Prime Minister strengthens ties with the Caribbean, announces new support for the Haitian people

Taslima Jamal

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today concluded his visit to Nassau, The Bahamas, where he worked with leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to continue advancing support for the Haitian people amidst the crisis in their country, while also strengthening ties with the region, driving economic growth, creating good jobs, and fighting climate change.

While in Nassau, the Prime Minister worked closely with leaders to help address the political, security, and humanitarian crisis in Haiti. He announced $10 million in new funding to protect Haitian women and children along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border.

Canada has also committed $12.3 million to address the food and nutrition needs of vulnerable populations, help meet the safety and emergency sexual and reproductive health needs of vulnerable women and girls, prevent and respond to gender-based violence, and provide water, sanitation and hygiene to address and prevent cholera.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced that Canada has imposed additional sanctions against two Haitian elites who provide financial or operational support to gangs and are inflicting violence on the Haitian people. Canada will continue to provide support to bolster the capacity of the Haitian National Police to respond to the crisis, including by delivering three additional Haitian-purchased Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Today, Canada announced that we will deploy two Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-Class ships to Haiti in the coming weeks in response to Haiti’s request for assistance as violence continues to escalate in the country. As a steadfast partner of Haiti, Canada will continue to support an inclusive political dialogue in Haiti, lay the foundation for free and fair elections, and help Haitians restore peace and security in their country. During his bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Haiti, Prime Minister Trudeau urged Prime Minister Henry to bolster political consensus around the High Transitional Council.

In Nassau, Prime Minister Trudeau also announced $44.8 million in new initiatives to help support CARICOM in addressing the climate crisis by protecting more biodiversity, and improving climate resilience and disaster preparedness. Canada will continue to advocate for small island and low-lying states in the Caribbean, who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change like rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

The Prime Minister also announced $1.8 million in new initiatives to help tackle escalating regional security challenges, including by targeting illicit drugs, the opioid crisis, irregular migration, and strengthening border and maritime security.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced $11.48 million in new initiatives, including $2.5 million in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services for Indigenous people and other communities residing in the remote hinterland lacking access to quality health care and $8.98 million to the Empowering the Next Generation: Agency and Gender Equality for Youth (ENGAGE) project to support the foundation of a more empowered and equal generation of young people in Guyana.

While at the 44th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which he attended as special guest, Prime Minister Trudeau signaled Canada’s commitment to keep working with the region. He announced that Canada will be taking on the role of Chair of Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Board of Governors in June 2023 and will host the Board’s Annual Meeting in Canada in 2024.

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