By: Jay Coghlan
On Jan. 4 Montreal La Presse published an interview with the International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino in which he announced that Canada will stop funding new aid projects in Haiti. While this may sound like this will negatively affect Haiti’s efforts to rebuild, it will not. Fantino has said that his Canada will stand behind the projects already in place.
Fantino’s department’s decision to cut new funding to Haiti is not as terrible as some have made it sound.
Since the 2010 earthquake, the federal government alone has given Haiti $330.9 million. On top of that there have been the money and time donations from organizations like the Red Cross, Save the Children and schools like Algonquin, Haiti should be fine to continue with current projects.
In 2010, Algonquin itself did multiple fundraising and volunteer work to help how they could. Vikta-Paulo Bainomugisha, president of the Algonquin Afro-Caribbean Students Association raised money with Students For Students by selling blue and red ribbons-the Haitian national colors-with the proceeds going to UNICEF. The PR students raised $1,500 for Doctors Without Borders with a bake sale.
Four civil engineering students and their teacher as well as two students from the documentary production program, went to Haiti as part of a Save the Children brigade to help build temporary shelters and teach the Haitians how to build their own.
Fantino’s cut to new project funding may cause some problems but, if Algonquin and others continue to donate their time and money to non-profit organizations in support of Haiti, they will continue to receive funding.