In the 528-page Canadian federal budget released Tuesday, there was one notable absence: any figure for foreign aid.
Aid groups can only hope that the foreign aid budget will remain flat. “We’re assuming that it’s currently frozen,” said Fraser Reilly-King, a senior policy analyst at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. “It could be frozen, or it could continue to decline.”
Since 2011, Canada’s aid spending has dropped by $660 million — almost $200 million more than the 2012 budget projected, according to the CCIC.
The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calculates the foreign aid spending by 29 wealthy nations and reported earlier this year that Canada’s aid budget as a proportion of its Gross National Income has dropped to 0.24 per cent. Only three years ago, it was 0.34 per cent of GNI — a drop of almost a third.
The last time Canada’s aid spending was this low was back in 2003, just after the Millenium Development Goals were adopted.