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"Security" Budget Should Not Neglect Long-Term Aid

News Advisory
Press conference: Tuesday October 23
Time: 10:15 –10:45

Where: Charles Lynch Press Room

Concern that Canada’s international aid budget will be a casualty in the war against terrorism is prompting Canadians to call for a re-enforced commitment to international aid spending. In this post September 11 world, living up to our international commitments, including our commitments to the world’s poor, has become all the more urgent. Gerry Barr, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) along with Janice Stein from the Munk Centre for International Studies and Warren Allmand, President of Rights and Democracy, will be calling on the government to increase spending on foreign aid at a Press Conference Tuesday October 23 at 10:15 am in the Charles Lynch Press Room 130 S in the Centre Block on Parliament Hill.

According to the World Bank, the economic downturn that has ensued since Sept 11th will hit the world’s poor the hardest. Some 10 million more men, women and children are likely to see their incomes drop below $1 day, to say nothing of added insecurity, and feelings of powerlessness. "Arrested development and the vast economic disparities that separate us all on the planet do not cause events like September 11," says Gerry Barr, "but they set the stage for the more than 40 conflicts on the planet today. Global peace will remain out of reach for everyone unless we all have a share in the common future and something to protect."

CCIC is looking to the upcoming Federal Budget to signal Canada’s re-commitment to meeting its international responsibilities by rebuilding the aid budget (as a moral imperative and an investment in peace and justice). Canada’s foreign aid is currently at a 30 year low. We are far from reaching the United Nations target of contributing 0.7% of GNP to aid and internationally we are one of the least generous countries, ranking a dismal 17 out of 22 OECD donor countries.

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has said that foreign aid was to be one of his personal priorities for the fall agenda. Given the current context this personal priority should become a matter of national urgency with budget allocations reflecting the central role foreign aid can play.

For more information contact:

Katia Gianneschi
Canadian Council for International Co-operation
(613) 241-7007 ext. 311


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