New Investments in Official Development Assistance a Good Start – but More Leadership Needed

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 in News

Today’s federal budget provides important new resources for official development assistance, with $2 billion allocated to foreign aid over the next 5 years.  However, this investment is not enough to ensure Canada’s contribution to ODA moves us closer to the international standard of 0.7 percent of gross national income.

New investments are a positive first step, but even with these commitments in budget 2018, Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget continues to hover at unacceptably low levels.  Despite a growing economy, our commitment to ODA hovers around 0.26 percent of GNI, that’s about 26 cents for every hundred dollars we earn.

We cannot address pressing global issues like climate change, the spread of pandemics and terrorism without recognizing that we are bigger than our borders. Canada’s ODA is a tiny fraction of our budget yet is tasked with ensuring that the world’s most vulnerable receive the support they need to thrive. Investments in ODA have a multiplier effect both in dollars put back into the economy but also in lives saved. 

Although this increase to our official development assistance is not what we hope, it is a step in the right direction.  That is thanks to Canadians across the country who called on this government to show stronger global leadership on international development. By meeting with their Members of Parliament, writing Op-Eds and letters to the editor, organizing petitions and harnessing the power of social media citizen advocates should be commended for their efforts to advocate with and on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable.

RESULTS will continue to work towards ensuring meaningful leadership by Canada on international development overall, in keeping with the opportunity, the need and the tremendous scope for impact. In the coming months and years, Canada has the opportunity to use its leadership at the G7 in June 2018 and Women Deliver in June 2019 and beyond. As advocates, we can and will build on this announcement to ensure Canada meets its full leadership potential.

Quick Facts

  • $2 billion in incremental and increasing allocations for International Development Assistance over the next 5 years
  • Despite increased resources, Canada’s commitment to ODA as a proportion of GNI remains stagnant at .26 percent, or 26 cents for every hundred dollars we earn – far below the international standard of 0.7
  • Reallocation of $1.5 billion from the existing international assistance envelope will be earmarked for innovation financing efforts through the International Assistance Innovation Program and the Sovereign Loans Program

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