Budget 2018: EWB welcomes increases in innovative financing & ODA!

The 2018 federal budget is out, and EWB is pleased to see $2 billion in new Official Development Assistance (ODA) over the next 5 years, as well as increased transparency and predictability!

Our community has advocated for more and better ODA for more than a decade, most recently sending over 500 Valentine’s Day cards to the Prime Minister and sharing social media posts and videos asking him to #BringCanadaBack in Budget 2018.

“These result of these efforts will save and improve millions of lives,” says Boris Martin, CEO of EWB. “Women and girls around the world who live in poverty will gain access to education, to basic services, and have their rights protected, and thousands of small businesses will be supported to succeed. I feel proud of the work we’ve done.”

Until now, Canada’s ODA was $3.9 billion per year or 0.26% of our Gross National Income (GNI), far below the global average of 0.32% and our historical average of 0.46%. With this ODA increase, Canada will move the needle up slightly to 0.27% of GNI, so we still have a long way to go to meet the global target of 0.70%, but the government has reversed a discouraging downward trend and has taken a step in the right direction.

EWB is also thrilled to see a $1.5 billion allocation to new programs on innovative development financing. Our community has played a key role in promoting and shaping Canada’s innovative financing for development, and contributed to the creation of our country’s new development finance institute, FinDev Canada.

That’s why we’re celebrating the government’s commitment to development and global leadership evident in this year’s budget!

Why the federal budget matters

The federal budget signals the government’s priorities and lays out a plan for government spending on programs, initiatives and services for the fiscal year. It also lays out expected revenue from various sources, including Personal Income Tax – so in many ways the federal budget is the government’s plan for how it will spend our tax dollars.

To learn more about how budget planning works, read our budget primer and see this infographic on the federal financial cycle.

To learn more about this year’s federal budget, watch the budget speech or go through the full budget plan.

Making a difference through ODA and development finance

“When there are so many competing budget priorities, it important to focus spending where it makes the most difference – and improving the lives of the world’s most marginalized is a good place to start,” says Prateek Awasthi, EWB’s Policy and Advocacy Director.

ODA provides crucial support to low-income countries for social welfare and economic development. Together with innovative financing for development and complementary investments made FinDev Canada, ODA helps to create the conditions for global economic growth, stability and prosperity.

“Increasing ODA and investing in innovative financing for development is a smart idea,” says Awasthi. “The price tag for the Sustainable Development Goals is estimated at 3.5 to 5 trillion dollars per year, and countries will need to mobilize public, private, and blended finance to achieve them.”

Canada’s development assistance was nearing an all-time low, so while we still have a long way to go to meet our global responsibilities, the government has taken a step in the right direction before hosting this year’s G7 Summit in Quebec. The government has also demonstrated leadership by matching words with dollars and committing new resources to support its Feminist International Assistance Policy.

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