EWB Welcomes Announcement of Canada’s New $300 Million Development Finance Initiative
A development finance initiative has the potential to be an important tool to amplify Canada’s impact in the movement towards the end of global poverty.
Toronto, Ontario. Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) welcomes today’s announcement that the Government of Canada will establish a Development Finance Initiative.
Until today, Canada was the only G7 country without a government mechanism able to provide commercial financing to companies working to build markets, create jobs and drive growth in developing countries.
“By establishing a development finance initiative, Canada is committing to help increase responsible private sector investment in developing countries: the key driver of economic growth. EWB welcomes this decision, and the continued leadership of Minister Paradis on development finance,” said Boris Martin, CEO of EWB, “A Canadian development finance initiative has the potential to be an important tool to amplify Canada’s impact in the movement towards the end of global poverty, when it works in tandem with official development assistance. This is why we also urge the government to allocate additional funding to invest in this new endeavour, and not to finance it using funds from the aid budget.”
Yesterday, as part of the 2015 #PoliticsAside campaign, EWB released Canadian Perspectives on International Development, a report of results from a January 2015 poll that showed 94% of Canadians say it is important to improve health, education and economic opportunity for the world’s poorest. Establishing a development finance initiative is a demonstration of Canadian leadership toward that goal by helping to create a mechanism for sustainable economic growth in developing countries.
In addition to ensuring the initiative is financed by new funds, supplementary to Canada’s official development assistance budget, EWB encourages the government to confirm that the new Canadian development finance initiative fulfills its potential by ensuring the primary goal of the mechanism is to explicitly improve development outcomes, lead with the highest standards of transparency and accountability, and aligns its focus with partner country priorities.