Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is seen as increasingly shifting Canada’s aid policy from providing direct assistance in the form of grants to offering loan guarantees that allow multilateral banks to expand their lending operations.
This shift in policy was evident in Harper’s announcement of Canada’s support for multilateral banks to provide assistance to North African countries undergoing political transitions, instead of committing money from the country itself, the Globe and Mail notes.
Harper’s pledge of 1.1 billion Canadian dollars ($1.12 billion) to help fight maternal and child health around the world may be his large major aid commitment, the newspaper says, noting that there is a four-year freeze on the country’s foreign aid budget.
The newspaper adds that backing multilateral banks appears fit for Harper, both financially and philosophically given the global financial crisis, the Globe and Mail adds.
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