Media enquiries can be directed to Elizabeth Dove, Public Engagement Director, RESULTS Canada: (416) 693-3999 email@example.com.
New campaign launched to Reverse the Cuts to international development
OTTAWA, October 17, 2012 — To mark the International Day for Poverty Eradication today, civil society organizations are launching a campaign to reverse the cuts to Canada’s budget for international development. The last federal budget cut $319 million from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Parliament’s Finance Committee began consultation hearings on Budget 2013 Monday.
Addressing global poverty and helping those in need is in line with Canadian values: a recent poll conducted by Vision Critical for the Inter-Council Network shows the majority of Canadians believe we have a human rights obligation to reduce global poverty and more than half of Canadians (52%) feel responsibility for addressing global poverty lies primarily with the federal government.
“Maintaining our engagement and support to developing countries is a moral obligation,” said Jean-François Tardif, Executive Director of RESULTS Canada. “Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We can afford this”, he added. “It is a question of priorities.”
The $319 million cut is equivalent to the cost of one of the sixty-five F-35 fighter jets the Government wants to buy – or about $3 per Canadian per year.
CIDA is the federal Agency that channels most of Canada’s international assistance. Historically, the Agency has collaborated with Canadian charitable organizations to fund hundreds of development projects in dozens of countries – many among the poorest of the world – to improve health and education, among other development priorities. Canada’s reduced budget for international development risks turning back the clock and will hurt poor families in developing countries.
Canadians are invited to participate in the Reverse the Cuts campaign by signing a petition asking the federal government to reverse the cuts, among other actions. More information is available at www.ReverseTheCuts.ca.
Organizers are hoping that thousands of Canadians and organizations will join the campaign and that Canada will become a leader once again in the area of international development.
In contrast to the cuts in Canada, the United Kingdom has chosen to maintain and even increase its budget for international development, despite having adopted the most severe austerity measures since World War II.