Monday, August 14, 2006

Foreign Aid Or War Profiteering

Canada's reputation at home for being generous to the developing world is a myth. Under Chretien the Liberal Government adopted the motto of Body Shop Inc. ; "Trade Not Aid". And despite the high profile pronouncements of his successor; Paul Martin, we now have our aid directed towards helping the American Empire in the Middle East. The result is war profiteering not humanitarian aid.

Canada has a mediocre record on helping the world's poor, thanks in part to its weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and miserly foreign aid, says an exhaustive ranking released yesterday.This country stood 10th among the world's 21 richest nations, according to the assessment by the Centre for Global Development and Foreign Policy magazine.In 2004, the latest year for which figures were available, Canada donated $72 million to Iraq — its largest support for any country. But Iraq and the other top recipient, Afghanistan, aren't even on the list of 25 most-needy priority countries designated by Ottawa.Canada failing world's poor, report says

Despite the photo ops of Bono and Paul our investments in Africa as trade or aid have decreased. And Canadian foreign aid was not enhanced by either the Liberals or the Harpocrites, it was in the NDP pre-election Budget. Which the Harpocrites kept in their budget.

• Canada pledged to double development assistance to
Africa between 2003-4 and 2008-9. In 2003-4, Canadian
development assistance to Africa was $637m, which would
increase to $1.275b in 2008-9.
• Once multilateral payments are averaged over the two
years, between 2004 and 2005 Canadian development
assistance to Africa decreased by $10m, from $854m to
$844m.41 Canadian NGO’s are confident that data for
fiscal year 2005/06 will be stronger with aid to Africa
continuing on an upwards trend.
• In January 2006 Prime Minister Harper pledged to increase
development assistance overall to the OECD average GNI
percentage level which was 0.47% in 2005, but should be
significantly greater in 2010. Harper did not specify what
portion of that would go to Africa, but if he kept to the
approach adopted by the G8 since Kananaskis, which we
would encourage, then he would be making an increased
commitment to Africa over his predecessor Prime Minister
Martin. Harper also pledged support for the 0.7% goal
during 2005. We await timetabled plans to meet this goal
by 2015.
• Canada still ties 43% of its development assistance, which
severely reduces the efficiency of Canadian bilateral
development assistance flows.
• In order to stay on track with its commitment to double
development assistance to Africa, Canada must increase
ODA to Africa in 2006 by not less than $144m, to a total
of $988m.

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1 comment:

Christopher said...

Good intentions are not enough. At the end of the day, it's outcomes, and only that, that count. Canadia probably recognizes the dismal record of foreign aid to the developing world, esp. Africa:

"In the 50 years since the first African countries won independence, the world has spent $568 billion on Africa. Yet Africans are poorer now than a quarter century ago, and much of the money has ended up on the road to nowhere. This dismal record is sparking a vigorous debate on how best to help the world's poorest continent, and to what degree aid is the answer."

See: $568 billion in African aid and little to show for it

Also see: Is Aid to Africa Doing More Harm Than Good?

African's themselves may have the answer, and it leaves foreign aid far, far out of the picture:

"A growing chorus of Africans is saying what they really need is not to rely on handouts, but to rebuild on their own with investment. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister of Nigeria, says many African countries now realize that while they can invite partners to join them, it is up to them to succeed.

"Africans do not want to be viewed as a charity case," adds Okonjo-Iweala, a World Bank managing director. "Ninety-nine point nine percent of Africans are people who are getting on with their own lives. All they are asking for is ... a set of tools."

- Cheers,
The Charters Of Dreams