HPIC Statement re: irresponsible reporting by TVA Nouvelles and Journal de Montréal

The staff and board members of Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) are appalled by the television report that aired on TVA Nouvelles Oct. 26, 2015 and the related story that was published in the Journal de Montréal Oct. 27, 2015.

This story is an absolute distortion of HPIC’s work, our organizational identity, our values and our ways of operating. Inspired by Christian values, HPIC has worked over the last 25 years with more than 1,000 different program partners to provide donated medical relief to the world’s most vulnerable people.

The story states that HPIC provided millions of dollars of funding to five organizations, which is absolutely and unequivocally false. No funds have ever been released to these groups or any other groups in Canada or abroad. Rather, HPIC provided medical relief shipments to vulnerable communities through these organizations in the past. The scope and context of our work is missing from this damaging, sensational “story.”

This story focused on a handful of partners from our past. HPIC severed ties with four of the five groups mentioned as soon as information surfaced (respectively in 2003, 2010, 2011 and 2013) that was counter to our humanitarian mission. Work with Human Concern International is currently suspended while we investigate; the last shipment of medical relief was over a year ago.

HPIC works according to best practices and in compliance with Canada Revenue Agency rules, WHO Guidelines for Medicine Donations, Imagine Canada’s Ethical Standards Program and Health Canada Establishment Licence regulations.

HPIC is a not-for-profit relief and development organization that delivers health and hope to the world’s most vulnerable people. We are dedicated to increasing access to medicine and improving health in the developing world through the provision of essential medicines & medical supplies, pharmaceutical management and logistics, and capacity-building projects.

In the rare instances that unethical, improper or illegal activities are reported or uncovered, HPIC investigates and suspends partnerships appropriately. Such suspensions have taken place over the years for various reasons including a partner losing Canada Revenue Agency status, another partner’s distribution centre being operated in a disorganized manner that made us lose confidence, and failure to provide reporting.

In the past year, HPIC added capacity to our programs team by hiring two additional staff people. Their primary function is monitoring, reporting and evaluation.

It is the position of HPIC that publishing and broadcasting the story was irresponsible and defamous.

The trust of our donors is paramount and we are committed to using the resources entrusted to us to provide the maximum benefit to the most vulnerable communities in the world.

Every year we provide about 1.5 million treatments to communities in need. Focusing on the needs of our beneficiaries, we will continue to advance our mission with a diversity of partners (physicians, health workers, humanitarian organizations, faith-based organizations (Christian, Muslim, etc), community groups) according to best practices.

Update: Québecor Média inc. deleted the report on all their web sites within 24 hours of its broadcast/publication.