RESULTS Canada is deeply disappointed by the federal government’s decision to not increase Official Development Assistance in the 2017 budget. This budget does not put Canada back on the world stage. Instead, it misses an opportunity to foster greater global stability and prosperity.
The 2017 budget marks Canada’s continually low commitment to international assistance. At 0.26 per cent of gross national income, Canada’s Official Development Assistance for 2017 falls short of the international benchmark of 0.7 per cent, placing Canada well behind its OECD peers.
Official Development Assistance saves lives. Even small increases to our investments could help ensure that the world’s most vulnerable receive the support they need to thrive. In fact for every additional cent committed for each $100 of national income it is estimated that an additional 25, 000 lives are saved. The reverse is also true in that low investments of ODA mean lifesaving interventions such as immunizations are not reaching those who need it most.
This decision negatively impacts Canadians as well. Official Development Assistance furthers Canada’s global strategic and economic objectives, by improving global health and productivity. For example, nutrition-specific interventions offer a benefit-to-cost ratio of 16 to 1 in reduced health care costs and increased participation in the labour force. In today’s global society, thriving countries represent important economic partners for Canada. By refusing to invest in Official Development Assistance, the federal government is selling Canada short.
This budget fails to reflect the values of everyday Canadians. RESULTS Canada has heard from Canadians from coast to coast who have repeatedly called on their government to show stronger leadership on the world stage. With this budget, the government has failed them, too.
RESULTS Canada is disappointed that its recommendations were not reflected in the budget. Increasing Official Development Assistance in a sustained and predictable way is essential for Canada to play its part in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges. If the federal government truly wants to put Canada back on the world stage, it must put its words into action and commit the necessary funds to do so.
In the year ahead, RESULTS Canada will continue to work towards ensuring that Canadian Official Development Assistance is effective, innovative and transparent. At a time of growing global uncertainty and instability, Canadian leadership is needed today more than ever before.
For more information, please contact:
Erika Richter, Community Engagement Manager
613-562-9240 ext. 107