More than 40 organizations joined AQOCI, Cooperation Canada and Concertation pour Haïti in calling on Canada to respond to the multidimensional crisis in Haiti.

Our recommendations stem from a consultation meeting with several representatives from the Haitian civil society, and aim to make a resolute, constructive and lasting contribution to resolving the crisis in Haiti. 

We have sent the following letter to Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development of Canada. 


Subject: Canadian response to the multidimensional crisis in Haiti

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau ,
Minister Joly, 
Minister Hussen, 

Following a special meeting organized on April 15, 2024, by the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI), the Concertation pour Haïti (CPH) and Cooperation Canada, to consult with representatives of the Haitian civil society, our three networks wish to relay to the Canadian government the major issues heard and present recommendations for a resolute, constructive and lasting contribution to resolving the crisis in Haiti. 

More than 70 participants in this virtual meeting, including some twenty speakers representing several sectors (women’s rights, human rights, health, education, environment, agriculture) directly from Haiti and a few members of the Haitian diaspora in Canada, expressed their dismay at this ongoing crisis, whose escalation since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 has led the country into chaos, with  80% of Port-au-Prince under the control of armed gangs today, according to the United Nations. The political crisis has given rise to a culture of violence, sexual aggression, food insecurity and socio-economic stagnation. 

Faced with this untenable situation for millions of Haitians held hostage, we call on Canada to intervene on three fronts, notably by supporting the political transition process, taking a stand against arms trafficking into Haiti, and deploying appropriate humanitarian aid. 

1. Support the political transition process

Canada should recognize and support the recently sworn-in Transitional Presidential Council so that it can implement the “Political Accord for a Peaceful and Orderly Transition” as quickly as possible. This agreement, despite its imperfections, offers the opportunity to restore constitutional normalcy, the proper functioning of institutions and legal order for Haitians. 

Canada should insist on the broad and effective representation of all segments of society, particularly women, youth and the diaspora, within the transitional bodies provided for in the Political Accord. The participants deplored the fact that only one of the nine appointed members of the Presidential Council was a woman (without a deliberative voice). Furthermore, to enable Haitians to take their destiny back into their own hands, Canada should help recall the place and role of the diplomatic corps in Haiti, whose sometimes excessive interference in national affairs offends national dignity. 

Canada should take note of past mistakes and exercise increased vigilance to restore integrity and honesty in governance while preventing the violation of human rights in Haiti. 

2. Take a stand against arms trafficking to Haiti

Canada should engage in courageous and uncompromising advocacy with the United States to stop arms trafficking to Haiti, based on the recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 

Canada must encourage international responses guided by the will of the Transitional Presidential Council and the institutions of the Political Agreement for a Peaceful and Orderly Transition to restore security, promote law enforcement and support Haiti’s coastal defense. This requires providing the security forces (police and army) with logistical and financial support, without which the situation will remain precarious, hampering any progress towards democracy. For its part, Canada must be transparent and consider legal proceedings or the imposition of sanctions (seizure of funds or travel ban) against those involved in the transport. 

3. Deploy appropriate humanitarian aid

Any sustainable solution for the well-being of Haitians requires a paradigm shift. Canada must reconsider the current project-based approach to humanitarian aid, which too often fails to reach the most vulnerable people and the most affected territories. Together with civil society organizations, Canada should initiate a new way of coordinating humanitarian and development actions to support local economies, promote local expertise and respect the dignity of populations. To this end, Canada should implement the triple nexus approach, combining interventions structured in the humanitarian, development and peace (including social cohesion) fields. 

Faced with a multifaceted crisis and immense humanitarian needs, Canada should also increase and diversify its funding to reach more of the sectors affected (agriculture, health, protection of civilians, hygiene and sanitation, shelter, education, economic support, etc.), while considering the question of access to the services offered. At a time when the population has witnessed the airlift of diplomats being evacuated and given that almost 50% of the population is at risk of acute food insecurity by June 2024 (IPC, 2024), it is essential to ensure that access to aid is facilitated throughout the country. 

Being Haiti’s 2nd biggest donor is not enough. The above recommendations are part of an overall call for greater coherence in Canada’s foreign policy towards Haiti. Canada can once again demonstrate its values and feminist approach to promoting peace and security in the world by becoming a champion of Haiti’s cause in the international community. 

We remain at your disposal to further discuss the points raised and to possibly organize a meeting with Canadian and Haitian civil society. Yours sincerely, 

Michèle Asselin
Directrice générale
Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)

Marc-Édouard Joubert
Comité de coordination
Concertation pour Haïti (CPH)

Kate Higgins
Directrice générale
Coopération Canada

Canadian signatory organizations:

  • Acted Canada
  • Action-Haïti
  • Amitié Gatineau-Monde
  • Architecture sans frontières Québec
  • Bureau international des droits des enfants (IBCR)
  • Carrefour de solidarité internationale
  • Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale (CECI)
  • Centre interdisciplinaire de développement internationale en santé – CIDIS de l’Université de Sherbrooke
  • Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO)
  • Collaboration santé internationale
  • Comité de solidarité/Trois-Rivières (CSTR)
  • Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
  • Conseil régional FTQ Montréal métropolitain
  • Développement et paix – Caritas Canada
  • Développement international Desjardins
  • Développement, expertise et solidarité internationale (DESI)
  • Église unie
  • Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ)
  • Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie (FPGL)
  • Fonds Solidarité Sud
  • Humanité & inclusion Canada
  • Ingénieurs sans frontières Québec
  • Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
  • Santé monde
  • Société pour le reboisement d’Haïti (SRH)
  • Solidarité-Haïti en Estrie
  • SUCO – Solidarité, Union, Coopération
  • Terre sans frontières
  • UPA Développement international

Signatory organizations in Haiti:

  • Centre d’animation paysagère et d’action communautaire (CAPAC)
  • Centre de formation pour l’entraide et le développement communautaire (CFEDEC)
  • Commission épiscopale nationale Justice et paix
  • Fanm Deside
  • Institut culturel Karl Lévêque (ICKL)
  • Kri Fanm Ayiti (KRIFA)
  • Union pour le développement et le respect des femmes haïtiennes (UDREFH-Centre)
  • Université épiscopale d’Haïti
  • Kay Fanm