Voices

More Canada - the case for aid

#MoreCanada

The world needs "more Canada." So say celebs (Bono) and politicians (Obama). And so say Canadians! Watch a fun and revealing video as we took to the streets to get your thoughts on aid.

For more information on the ideas raised in the video, see our Q&A .

So what does “more Canada” look like in practice? In a world where almost six million children still die each year from mostly preventable causes, a good place to start is to increase aid in next year's budget.

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Government leaders need to hear from you. You can send a message to Finance Minister Morneau and continue the conversation over social media with the hashtag #MoreCanada.

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Today, we know how to save lives and help children and families improve their wellbeing. Since 1990, the global under-5 mortality rate has been cut in half, school enrolment rates reached 91 percent, and more than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty.

Aid is not the only reason for these breakthroughs, but it plays a critical role. And Canadians can be proud of the fact that Canadian aid is helping children around the world. For example:

  • 5.8 million children received lifesaving vaccinations
  • 11 million bed nets distributed to protect against malaria
  • 180 million children reached with vitamin A

It's clear, Canadian aid is working.

Our friends at Engineers Without Borders conducted a poll in 2015 to gather “Canadian Perspectives on International Development.” They found solid support for global poverty reduction:

  • 94 percent of Canadians said it is important to improve health, education and economic opportunity for the world's poorest.
  • 76 percent agreed we have a moral obligation to help expand health, education, and economic opportunity for the world's poorest people.
  • 62 percent agreed that Canada should be one of the leading countries in providing international development assistance.

Canadians see our country as playing a positive role on the world stage. And for good reason. We are a leader in maternal and child health, humanitarian assistance, and education. Canada's financial commitments are saving and improving millions of lives.

The current government recently hosted the successful Global Fund Replenishment Conference, where countries met the $13 billion funding goal to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. And we have enthusiastically endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals - an ambitious set of global goals to end poverty by 2030. There are all great initiatives.

Ambitious goals require ambitious financing and this is where there is a worrisome gap between our promises and our current levels of support.

Canadian aid now sits at just 0.28 percent of gross national income. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, this puts Canada below the average of 0.3 percent for donor countries. And is far below the levels Canada gave in the 80s and 90s.

Budgets capture the ideas of government and make the implementation of those ideas possible. We are asking this government use Budget 2017 to commit to annual increases that will double our aid program in 10 years' time. This will send a signal to other countries that Canada is indeed “back” as a leader on the world stage.

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Government is setting priorities for Budget 2017 now. Please send your letter to Canada's Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau today, asking him to increase Canadian aid in next year's budget.

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