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.

Send a message now to the federal government to unfreeze the aid budget in its 2011 budget, which is expected in February.

The government’s deficit reduction plan announced in last year’s budget relies for 25% of its cost savings on freezing the aid budget. This puts an unfair burden on the world’s poorest people.

The new Conservative government in the UK faces an even bigger deficit. But rather than cutting their aid, they have re-committed to achieving the 0.7% aid target by 2013. Canadians like to think of themselves as a generous and internationally-minded people, but we only rank 14th out of 23 donor nations in the amount of aid we give as a percentage of our national income.

We can do a lot better. The billions of dollars the government is planning to spend on new fighter aircraft and building more prison cells, not to mention over a billion dollars in subsidies that it now gives oil companies, could be much better spent fighting global and domestic poverty and taking action on climate change.

It's more important now than ever before that Canada keeps its promise to give 0.7% to help fight poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Real progress that was being made towards achieving the UN goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015 has stalled because of the impacts of the global economic crisis, the food crisis and the impact of climate change on low income countries. We need a redoubling of efforts, not a slacking off.

Send a message to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and your local MP to get Canada back on track to achieving the 0.7% aid target.
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