PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Canada will spend $12 million to provide the Haitian government with a temporary base after last month's earthquake, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
Harper arrived in Port-au-Prince Monday for a two-day assessment of relief efforts following the magnitude 7 earthquake Jan. 12. He met with President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and announced the new pledge so key government workers wouldn't have to work out of a police station, the Canwest News Service reported.
The funds will come from the $555 million Harper's Conservative government pledged over five years to Haiti in 2006, the Globe and Mail reported.
Harper acknowledged his country is grappling with a post-recession forecast deficit of $56 billion this year, but said a commitment had been made.
"Even with the tighter fiscal situation we have in the years to come, we still have the ability to set priority, and Haiti will be a priority, and that priority will be supported by Canadians, I'm very confident," Harper said.
Some 2,000 Canadian troops are in Haiti working in field hospitals, and distributing water, food and shelter.
The earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, injured 300,000 others and left more than 1 million homeless, relief officials said.