Canadian aid cuts: Where will the ax fall?

An ax. The Canadian government plans to slash its annual aid budget of $5 billion Canadian dollars over the next three years. Photo by: Marcel Hol

Thirteen countries are rumored to lose Canadian aid funding following the Conservative government’s plan to slash its annual aid budget of $5 billion Canadian dollars ($5.02 billion) over the next three years.

A source within the Canadian International Development Agency Postmedia News that Benin, Niger, Cambodia, China, Nepal, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are “expected” to lose all Canadian aid. Reductions, meanwhile, are planned for Afghanistan, Bolivia, Mozambique, Pakistan and Tanzania. Canada is set to reduce its foreign aid spending by CA$377.6 million by 2015.

CIDA has yet to confirm cuts to these countries.

Some critics are likely to welcome the aid cut to China, especially since many have been questioning Canada’s continued assistance to the Asian nation it despite being the world’s second-largest economy. But Fraser Reilly-King, policy analyst for aid and international cooperation at the Canadian Council for International Cooperation in Ottawa, said these cuts could put Canada at risk of being regarded as “not much of a player” in international development.

The United Kingdom, South Korea and Australia have pledged to increase their aid budgets. The United Kingdom has committed to reach the 0.7 percent aid spending target by 2015. Australia, meanwhile, has affirmed to spend 0.5 percent of its gross national income on aid by 2015.

The bulk of Canada’s assistance will be channeled to Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Bangladesh, the Caribbean Regional Program, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ukraine, the Palestinian territories, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Sudan and South Sudan, IPS says.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.