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.
Send a message to Prime Minister Harper, asking him to increase the International Aid Budget 2013-2014 by at least $400 million, and to make sure that aid dollars are used exclusively for poverty reduction and the promotion of human rights, as stated in the ODA Accountability Act.
Past decades have seen meaningful improvements in the lives of people living in poverty around the world. Canada has been a key player on many fronts and we can be proud of our contributions to health and education programs, and to the promotion of women’s rights and good governance. Still, in 2013, inequality is on the rise and a large number of human beings cannot live in dignity and respond to their most basic needs.
Canada is a wealthy country and we have the capacity to make a difference in the world, with the support from our government and the engagement of Canadians.