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Summary of discussions following Haiti Briefing with the Canadian Government

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Dear all,

You will find below a short summary of the discussions that followed the Haiti Briefing the Canadian Government had with Canadian NGOs yesterday.

First of all and not surprisingly very few was said at the briefing yesterday. The Canadian government (Department of Foreign affairs (DFAIT) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)) went over the relief efforts actions they had taken since the earthquake and the way the money committed by the government was spent up to now. When highlighting the importance to respect Haiti’s sovereignty the government also raise concern about the political culture in Haiti and said they had an interest in reinforcing state’s capacity.
Having said that, we were told that before the Canadian government position itself in terms of priorities for Haiti, he will have to wait for the presentation of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) that will be presented at the Donors’ Conference on March 31st. As a reminder, the PDNA process is informing and feeding into a national strategic plan which will become the overarching framework guiding the actions of all actors involved in building a new Haiti. There are thematic groupings within the PDNA which are the following: governance, productive sectors, social sectors, infrastructure sectors, territorial development, environment and disaster risk reduction, economic analysis and crosscutting. When speaking about the inclusion of women and their leadership in all stages of National relief and Refoundation of their country, we were told that women’s groups would be or were consulted for the PDNA (under the governance theme).

The consultation process is ongoing in various locations targeting different audiences of the civil society in Haiti. On March 9th, the Ministry of Women, the Office of the Special Envoy, and the NGO coordination office supported by ICVA/Interaction organized a consultation with 50 women’s organizations in Port au Prince. On the 23rd of March a consultation will take place with European based NGOs and Haitian NGOs who are part of the European-Haitian group in Bruxelles and on the 24th March Interaction will organize a similar exercise in Washington with Interaction members. On the 25th of March the Office of the Special Envoy (Bill Clinton), the EC and Interaction will held consultations with representatives from the meetings in Port au Prince, Brussels and Washington DC as well as other NGO representatives who are working in Haiti.

Having said that, I was just informed by Maria Suarez Toro from FIRE and the Feminist Solidarity Initiative (also known as the international feminist solidarity camp) that Sergia Galvan (Executive Director of the Women and Health Collective/ Colectiva Mujer y Salud (CMS)) is taking part in the bi-national team working on these consultations.

As far as the March 25th NGO preparatory meeting goes, it will set the NGO priorities.

Prior to our Haiti Briefing, NGOs from Canada were asked to compile their priority (I have attached the list of priorities that we agreed upon). This list will be sent to Interaction. As you will note, the priority list has been influenced by the Statement produced by a coalition of organisations in CSW which was written through the Huairou Commission.

If we want our actions to continue to have leeway and influence, do we want the a wide coalition of women’s organisation (in partnership with Haitian women’s organisation and Haitian women from the Diaspora) to produce a document highlighting once again its priorities with regards to the aforementioned and especially be present (if possible) at that meeting on March 25th?

Best,
Sophie

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Dear Sophie and All,

Fantastic report, and thanks so much for sharing it! We had wondered in our call this week if we have someone in DC, or who could get to DC, as some important activities are taking place there.

We are hoping to have a solid presence in NYC on the 31st...not sure if someone already in NYC could get to Washington for the meeting, but we should talk abt it. Is the meeting open and public, or does one need a clearance or vetting of some kind?

Hope we can talk about this on Wed, and if it seems like we should discuss a position paper or further elaborate on our mission statement, goals, et al before we talk, then please let us know that, Sophie, and let's have a discussion this weekend.

On the PDNA, thanks for this too! I found some info on this that I will post as well, as we discussed wanting to know abt its contents--and esp approach to women's issues and needed--during our call.

With all best wishes and appreciation, Janet

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