Did the Canadian Government Ignore Advice on Aid Group's Funding?

A Haitian family receives aid sent by Canada. Photo by: Benoit Aquin / ACDI-CIDA

The Canadian government reportedly ignored advice from the own staff when it decided to stop funding a church-based aid organization in 2009, the Chronicle Herald reports.

In November 2009, Canada did not renew its support for Kairos, which represents 11 churches and religious organizations. The government reasoned that the group did not match the Canadian International Development Agency’s priorities. CIDA had been funding the church group’s overseas projects for 35 years.

“But a memo prepared two months earlier by CIDA for International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda shows public servants recommended giving the group more than [7 million Canadian dollars] over four years,” the Chronicle Herald says.

The amount represented a 4 percent increase in the group’s funding compared to 2008 “to recognize Kairos’ strategic alignment with CIDA’s objectives,” the document said according to the newspaper.

The document was obtained through Canada’s Access to Information Act. It includes recommendations from 20 CIDA officials and Canadian overseas officials.

Kairos Executive Director Mary Corkery said no clear explanation was given on why their initial proposal was rejected in November.

The group submitted another scaled-back proposal to CIDA in March this year but has yet to receive a decision, according to the Chronicle Herald.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.