Recent Actions

Fairer, More Sustainable, Safer world

For the first time in recent history, the Canadian government held a review of its international assistance policy. Hundreds of organizations and individuals have expressed their views on the role that they see for Canada in the world.

#ImAFeminist, are you?

Celebrate International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, a time when we lead the conversation around women's rights and how overcoming inequality contributes to alleviating global poverty.

If you believe in social, political and economic equality of the sexes, demonstrate a deep value of equality in your day-to-day life, and want to contribute to making the world a better, more just place for all - then YOU ARE A FEMINIST.

New year of advocacy

With the New Year comes new beginnings, new goals and new hope. This January resolve to raise your voice for 30 days of advocacy

By signing-up to the pledge you will receive weekly emails for one month that will give you the tools you need to advocate for increased development assistance funds. You will help influence Canada to commit 0.7% of national income to Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2020. 

1.3 million children need our help

While politicians have pledged to end poverty in Canada three times—in 1989, 2009 and 2015—there has never been an action plan. Today, poverty deprives over 1.3 million children in Canada of their one and only childhood. 

But we have a once in a generation opportunity to end child and family poverty. Our new government plans to take a leadership role in creating a national poverty reduction strategy.  

Let's shift the election conversation

On October 17th, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, join a chorus of voices telling candidates that #WeNeedAPlan to end poverty in Canada

Poverty is an election issue – let’s get the candidates talking! 

Tell Canada's leaders that we need a national poverty plan.

We have 8 days to gather 250 people who are willing to join our THUNDERCLAP. If we reach our goal, then simultaneously, on October 17th at 11:30 am EST, this message will go out across all the social media networks of the people who signed up:

This Election Tell Your Candidates To Put Politics Aside

We need your voice during this federal election to help end global poverty.
62% of Canadians agree that Canada should be one of the leading countries in providing internati

Make Global Poverty Matter this Election

The 2015 Canadian election campaign is in full swing, but so far the fight to end global poverty has received little attention. Now is the time to make our voices heard—to tell politicians to firmly commit to ending poverty once and for all.

On October 19th, vote to Make Poverty History.

Canada Can Do Better for Global Poverty

In September 2015, world leaders will gather at the United Nations (UN) in New York to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This new development framework will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire this year.

From July 13-16, world leaders meet in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development to discuss how to mobilize the money needed to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Child Labour is Hidden… Check the Supply Chain!

Millions of children—some as young as six-years old—are working as slaves in sweatshops, on plantations, in dangerous mines, and in the sex trade. Boys and girls are trafficked or pushed in to work that harms their bodies, minds, and spirits, threatening their lives and futures.

Join us in asking the Canadian Government to prevent child labour in our supply chains.

Many of the goods Canadians purchase and use on a daily basis—cocoa, coffee, tea, sugar, t-shirts and jewelry—are at risk of containing child labour. 

Where do the Liberals and Conservatives Stand on Women’s Issues?

Imagine if, before choosing our next federal government this year, we could make sure that every party leader spoke about issues affecting women and girls. The NDP and the Green Party have signed on to participate in a federal debate on women’s issues, but we have yet to hear from the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, or the Bloc Quebecois!

In honour of International Women’s Day, call on Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, and Mario Beaulieu to take women’s issues seriously.

I want a world free of poverty

I want to live in a world where women and girls have equal rights to men. I want to live in a country where no child is forced to go hungry. I want all children around the world to have access to an education. I want to see Canada investing in cost-effective solutions to poverty.

Over 1.3 Million Children in Canada Still Live in Poverty!

25 years ago, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously passed an all-party resolution to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Since then, an entire generation of children have grown up impoverished, experiencing hunger, unstable housing and suffering from the impacts low wages, unemployment, discrimination, stress, and inequality have had on their families.

Are our political leaders Up for Debate?

We are proud to share with you that yesterday, alongside over 100 women’s organizations and their allies, we launched Up for Debate—a campaign calling on all federal political parties to make meaningful commitments to change women’s lives for the better, at home and around the world.

Women in Canada have questions. Up for Debate challenges our leaders to answer them.

Help build a Canada that works for women!

Join Us in Calling for a Federal Anti-Poverty Plan

THIS FRIDAY, Canadians across the country are sounding the trumpet and calling for a Federal Anti-Poverty Plan. Join them in asking the federal government for systemic change to eradicate poverty and hunger.

Canada has a hunger problem:

57 million children worldwide are being left behind

Right now, 57 million primary school-aged children around the world are not in school. Join Malala in calling on the Canadian Government to make a commitment to ensure every child has the right to attend school.

“Education is the best weapon we have to fight poverty, ignorance and terrorism.”
Malala Yousafzai

Join tens of thousands of Canadians at the People’s Social Forum in Ottawa

From 21-24 August, the largest Canadian grassroots anti-poverty movement will come together for the People’s Social Forum in Ottawa. Each day is packed with exciting events such as workshops, exhibitions and musical performances, all starting with the opening march from Victoria Island to Parliament Hill on Aug 21st.

How can I get involved in Ottawa?

Get them to take a stand on vaccines

1 in 5 children still do not have access to the vaccines they need. We can change this.

From 28-30 May, world leaders will be meeting at the Saving Every Women Every Child Summit in Toronto to discuss international commitments to women and children in the developing world. Let’s get them to take a stand on vaccines.

Where’s our federal poverty eradication plan?

On November 24th 1989, Canada's House of Commons passed a unanimous all-party resolution to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. Twenty years later, the House passed another unanimous motion to "develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all".

Canada, where’s our pledge to the Global Fund?

This December, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is asking donor countries for a replenishment of $15 billion so that it can scale up life-saving programs around the world. Since 2002, the Global Fund has provided 4.2 million people with AIDS treatments, 9.7 million people with anti-tuberculosis treatments and distributed 310 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria.

We are at a tipping point in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria with the US, UK, and Australia, among others, all announcing increased funding to the Global Fund in advance of the pledging conference. But where is Canada’s pledge?

PM Harper sign the Arms Trade Treaty now!

One person is killed every minute by armed violence. Until now the poorly regulated arms trade has fueled widespread human rights abuses, considerable loss of life, political instability, preventable conflicts and corruption. Conventional arms are used daily to commit serious acts of violence against women and girls, including rape and other forms of sexual violence.

What happened to the $400 million dedicated to the world’s poor?

It was startling to read a few weeks ago that the former Canadian International Development Agency, now part of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, had underspent more than $400 million of its 2012-2013 budget.

There is still a lot to do in the fight against global poverty and there are many well-known Canadian organizations who are equipped and experienced to do it; letting $400 million go unspent, in addition to cuts already announced in the aid budget, shows a lack of accountability with respect to Canada’s commitment to those living in extreme poverty around the world.

The Global Fund needs your help

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an innovative financing institution that provides funding to countries to support programs that prevent, treat and care for people with HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

Whether it’s distributing mosquito nets to protect families from malaria in Honduras, training peer counsellors who work with teenagers diagnosed with HIV in South Africa, or providing equipment for the diagnosis of TB to clinics in Kazakhstan, partners in each country fighting the pandemics find support from the Global Fund.

Influence what CIDA will look like post merger

Before Parliament adopts the bill merging CIDA with DFAIT in June, we urgently need you to reach out to Prime Minister Harper. Join us in calling for a sound development policy framework that puts ending poverty and promoting human rights at the heart of our global efforts.
CIDA has been Canada's International Development Agency for 45 years. It has provided support to and worked in close collaboration with hundreds of Canadian organizations, who in turn have given a face to Canada's engagement in developing countries and made a tremendous contribution to poverty reduction and advancement of human rights, through a variety of programs and projects.

Fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

March 24th marks World Tuberculosis Day. In 2011 there were still nearly 9 million new cases and nearly 1.4 million died; despite the fact that drugs can cost as little as $20 per person in the developing world where the highest numbers of new TB infections are. TB is also the leading killer of people living with HIV and accounts for ¼ of all deaths in HIV positive people.

Take action for a national housing strategy

This week we have an opportunity to make an impact on poverty in Canada. A bill currently before Parliament, the Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act, calls on our federal government to develop a national housing strategy.

Bill C-400 would oblige the federal government to bring provincial and municipal governments to the table with Aboriginal communities, civil society, non-profits and the private sector to create a plan that ensures everyone in Canada lives in decent and affordable housing.

MPs will be voting on the bill on February 27, so please act now.

Parliament considering affordable medicines law

A bill now before Parliament would reform Canada’s flawed Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) so that Canada can export affordable generic medicines to poor countries. By approving this important piece of humanitarian legislation Parliament can save lives and end needless suffering across the developing world. 

No one should do without medical treatment because she or he cannot afford the medicine. But that is precisely what is happening. The high cost of patented drugs breaks the budget of individuals and government health departments. Bill C-398 can end this horrible injustice. Learn more about it at

Speak up to end AIDS in Canada and around the world

On July 22nd, approximately 20,000 people from 200 countries will converge on Washington D.C. for the XIX International AIDS Conference. This is the premier event to take stock of the fight against the epidemic and to renew our commitment to a bold global response.

Despite progress in recent years, over 33 million people are living with HIV, the vast majority of them in poverty. Less than half the people who are eligible to receive life-saving anti-retroviral medications currently get them. Stigma and discrimination continue to plague the most vulnerable groups.

We have the knowledge and tools to end the AIDS epidemic. But we lack the political commitment to deliver proven strategies at a scale that will turn the tide.

Help make Canada a champion of an Arms Trade Treaty worthy of the name

Today, over 2,000 people will die from armed violence, be killed by drug traffickers, terrorists and sometimes by their own governments. Most of them will be poor people living in developing countries.

Such violence is a major obstacle to making poverty history. 

The causes of armed violence are many and varied, but there is one we can do something about: criminals’ easy access to guns.

Canada has a Role in Ending the Cycle of Hunger and Poverty

Those living in poverty are hit hardest by spikes in food prices. Hunger and malnutrition make it difficult for families to work their way out of poverty. This is a devastating cycle that affects millions of people globally. 

Canada increased its efforts to overcome hunger in 2009, as part of the G8’s L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (2009).   But L’Aquila is over and Canada’s investment in food security is falling, despite the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in the world without enough to eat.

Canada has an opportunity to act now:  Food security is on the agenda for both the G8 and G20 meetings in 2012.

Help ensure all children have access to basic education

In 2010, World Bank President Robert Zoellick pledged to increase financing for basic education by $750 million. He rightly said the additional money was needed to assist countries most off-track, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa, to achieving MDG2. MDG2 aims to ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling by 2015.

Sadly, the World Bank has not yet delivered that $750 million. In addition, the World Bank has recently changed the formula it uses to track its funding, which means that they actually announced a decrease in funding to 2010.

Let's create an Ontario that doesn’t put people into poverty

The Ontario government plans severe cuts in the coming budget which will disproportionately hurt those on modest- and low-incomes.

The Drummond Commission recently made 362 recommendations on how the Ontario government should cut spending and reorganize programs to balance the budget by 2017-2018. These recommendations include a real decrease in public spending on social services, child care, health care, and other programs - cutbacks which will disproportionately hurt those living in poverty.

Let’s not solve the fiscal crisis by enlarging the gap between the rich and the rest. Join us in urging our government to retain and improve much-needed programs and services for the 1.7 million Ontarians living in poverty.

Now's the time to protect aid spending and reduce poverty in Canada

Crucial decisions on the 2012 federal budget will happen over the coming days in Ottawa.  A modest increase in spending on aid and on fighting poverty here at home could transform the lives of thousands of people living in poverty.

Now is not the time to cut programs to help people work their way out of poverty. Yes, our government has a deficit, but we must not solve it on the backs of vulnerable people in Canada or in other countries.  They need Canada’s support now more than ever.  

Support the Poverty Elimination Act

November 24th is a special day in the fight against poverty.

On November 24th 1989, Canada's House of Commons passed a unanimous all-party resolution to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.

On November 24th 2009, the House passed another unanimous motion to "develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all".

And last November the House's Human Resources Committee called for a federal poverty reduction plan with measurable targets and timelines.

The sad part is that nothing's been implemented to date.

Twenty-two years, two unanimous House resolutions, and several reports calling for action, yet nearly 3,200,000 Canadians continue to live in poverty.

Take Action to Eliminate Poverty in Canada

More than three million people in Canada live in poverty, including more than 630,000 children – one in every ten. And that does not include the shameful situation in First Nations communities where one in four children lives in poverty. This has significant impact on the health of First Nations children and future generations.

In 2009, MPs unanimously voted to “develop an immediate plan to end poverty in Canada for all”. Now there is a new bill to make that happen.

Send a message to Ontario party leaders: make Ontario poverty free

Your action in support of Make Poverty History during the last Ontario election put poverty on the provincial government agenda. In 2009 all parties voted unanimously for the Poverty Reduction Act.

This election, you can help make sure that poverty remains a key issue. Send a message to the leaders of the Ontario political parties urging them to commit to take action on eliminating poverty.

Action for a Robin Hood Tax

Right now, we have an amazing opportunity to put in place a way of raising the money needed to end global poverty and help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change. This is because the French government has proposed adopting a global Financial Transaction Tax, also known as the Robin Hood Tax, at the G20 Summit they will be hosting in November 2011. 

Help unfreeze the aid budget

Last year the federal government announced their plan to freeze the aid budget for 2011 at 2010 levels. But after 8 years of 8% annual increases, our aid spending amounts to only 0.3% of our national income – less than half of the 0.7% that Canada has promised to give. If we freeze aid at 2010 levels, we will start moving backwards – away from the 0.7% aid target. We can't let this happen.

It's Time To Take Action On Poverty And Climate Change

Click to enlarge

A billion dollar Canadian bill? Take a closer look and you will notice that although it bears a slight resemblance to our $5 bill, this $1 Billion Climate Cash bill illustrates what could happen to our iconic Canadian winter scenes if we don’t take action on climate change. It also draws attention to the $1 Billion that is now being wasted on subsidies to the fossil fuel industry as well as the $1 Billion that is needed to help poor countries cope with climate change.

Support the Report - Help make a break-through on poverty in Canada

An all party committee of parliament has put forward a report that could change the face of poverty in Canada.

The report calls for the federal government to immediately commit to a federal action plan to reduce poverty in Canada. Make Poverty History has contributed and pushed for this report, now we must make its recommendations a reality.

Canada needs secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing, write your MP to pass Bill C-304

In every major city in Canada it is hard to avoid the shocking reality of homelessness even though we live in one of the richest countries in the world. Homeless people on the streets are only the tip of the housing crisis iceberg. Many more poor people are forced to couch surf or live in inadequate housing.

You can help to do something about Canada’s affordable housing crisis by sending a message now to your Member of Parliament asking him/her to vote yes on Bill C-304, the National Housing Strategy Act.

Bill C-304, an Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing, is a private member’s bill introduced by Libby Davies, NDP MP for the riding of Vancouver East.

Tell Harper to honour Canada's promise on poverty.

A very important meeting of world leaders will take place next week at the UN in New York to review progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to reduce extreme poverty by half by the year 2015.

Action update: Because of your support in recent actions, PM Stephen Harper is now going to attend the summit. This is our chance to urge him to fulfill Canada's commitments to end poverty.

Canada needs to keep its global commitments: let's send Harper to the MDG Summit.

Prime Minister Harper responded positively to calls from Make Poverty History supporters for a maternal and child health initiative at the recently concluded G8 Summit. The Canadian government pledged $1.1 Billion over 5 years that together with funds pledged by other countries will help to save over million women and children’s lives. That is a big achievement and it helps to build momentum for renewed efforts to achieve all the 8 Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015.

We need Canada to get to the point - 0.7 percent of national income in foreign aid.

Canadians like to think we are a generous and compassionate people. But we rank only 16th of 22 aid donor countries. We are giving only 0.32% of our national income in development aid. That's less than half of the point seven per cent (0.7%) we keep promising to give and then failing to deliver. Donor nations and the UN all agree that 0.7% is the amount necessary to make serious progress towards alleviating extreme poverty in the world.