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Civil society coalition urges prime minister to boost international aid

Canada must increase international aid Le Canada doit accroître son aide internationale

With consultations underway for the federal 2024 Budget, a group of over 100 Canadian civil society organizations, including Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada have written an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to articulate their concerns and priorities for “Canadian leadership in a deeply insecure world.”

Noting global challenges, including “climate-induced disasters, armed conflicts, the rise of authoritarianism and attacks against women’s and children’s rights,” and an “intensification of humanitarian emergencies,” the letter calls on the prime minister to “champion our nation’s values beyond our borders” by increasing budgetary allocations to international aid.

In 2022, Canada’s official development aid envelope of US$7.8 billion placed it sixth among donor countries. Proportionate to wealth, however, Canada’s contribution, which was 0.37 per cent of its gross national income, was only ranked 20th, which, the letter notes, “falls short of Canada’s ambitions.”

Therefore, while the signatory organizations celebrate “the economic development and empowerment that Canadian international assistance programming abroad brings to local communities,” they caution that Canada must not be “tempted to turn inwards and… focus solely on its domestic challenges.”

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