Canadian Foreign Aid
The primary aim of Canadian foreign aid is to promote popular welfare and overall economic improvement of underdeveloped nations across the globe. The Canadian ODA is utilized for meeting diverse needs of the developing countries as well.
The key sectors the Canadian Foreign Aid program focuses are:
- Enable every child to attend elementary school
- Health issues such as HIV/AIDS
- Developing the private sector
- Environmental sustainability
- Help end extreme poverty and hunger
- Reduce child mortality rates
- Improve maternal health
- Create decent jobs
Brief history of the foreign aid activities of Canada:The foreign aid activities of Canada can be traced back to the 1960s. In 1969, Canada was known to have allocated 0.7% of its Gross National Income to the Official Development Assistance, in the form of international or foreign aid. In the year 1995, as an OECD nation, Canada held the 6th position in the world. This ranking of Canada was determined on the basis of the total percentage of GNI contributed in the form of overall development assistances. By the year 2002, the rank of Canada declined sharply to 18th in the world, among 22 different nations. The 2003 foreign aid budget of Canada was merely 0.26% of the GNI. This is because the country is not sufficiently motivated to employ appropriate methods to increase foreign funding to considerable extents. Very little encouragement comes from the Canadian government on this issue, as the government itself seems unenthusiastic about making concrete plans to initiate Canada's foreign aid activities.
Present status of Canadian foreign aid:Today, Canada holds the 13th position world-wide in terms of its foreign aid activities. Despite being an active member of international organizations such as Millennium Development Goal and signatory to the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations, Canada has yet to reach its basic goal of bringing down the total number of people living below the poverty line by the year 2015 unlike countries like Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Spain and Belgium. According to the present Canadian government, Canada's annual foreign aid is on track to increase to $5 billion by 2011 &.it has also doubled aid to Africa to more than $2 billion a year.
Canada can take action:
- Reach the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 by committing to a timetable to increase aid by 12% in each of the next 3 years and by 15% thereafter.
- Enact legislation to make "ending poverty" the exclusive goal of Canadian foreign aid in a way consistent with our human rights' obligations.