Backgrounder: EWB’s policy ask on increasing Canada’s international assistance envelope

In 2015, the Government of Canada committed to restoring and renewing international assistance to refocus on the poorest and most vulnerable people, and our current government has taken initial steps on a long journey in actively re-engaging on the world stage.

In September 2016, the Prime Minister successfully hosted the Fifth Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, where as part of a collected effort, donor countries raised $13 billion and Canada committed $804 million in combatting these diseases that predominantly affect developing countries. Canada also announced $2.6 billion for the green climate fund; welcomed 31,000 Syrian refugees; and has recently announced a commitment to fund international women’s reproductive health programs.

While these announcements are welcome, Canada’s levels of development assistance are the lowest of any modern Canadian Prime Minister, and lagging in comparison to our G7 counterparts.

Making a strong Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment beginning in Budget 2017 will serve as a global statement of progressive Canadian values, and will align with the government’s ministerial mandate of implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Moreover, it will achieve key results for women and girls, continue to reduce early child deaths, and increase equality and economic opportunity for all.

Canada must increase the level of International Assistance Envelope (IAE) and deliver an evidence-based long-term development strategy in a predictable manner. Predictable increases to the IAE should match our G7 partners’ contributions to ODA in order to fill the global gap in sustainable development funding. This funding needs to prioritize long-term development programs to the poorest and most vulnerable peoples, particularly those living in fragile and conflict areas.

We recommend for Canada to increase the IAE by 10% annually to 2019-2020 and commit to a publicly available timetable to double the IAE by 2023 with the intention of reaching the UN target of 0.7% of gross national income before 2030.

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