Liberal Party of Canada statement on International Development Week

February 2, 2015

“This week, we recognize the extraordinary efforts of development workers at home and abroad who work tirelessly to end poverty and alleviate the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable. Together, we can and must work to end extreme poverty.

“Unfortunately, at a time when the need for overseas development assistance is significant — with ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria, the Central Africa Republic and Iraq, to name but a few — Canada is instead stepping back and deliberately underspending in this vital area. In 2014 alone, $125 million in aid earmarked for the world’s most vulnerable countries was returned to the Finance Department, unspent. Furthermore, last month, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that Canada’s overall foreign aid as a percentage of GDP has dropped since the government announced its Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative in 2010.

“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, I call on the government to end the practice of lapsed spending, and engage with broader civil society so that Canada can once again assume its role as a constructive and engaged player on the world stage.”