Canada’s foreign aid, poverty spending shrinking: PBO

Improved economy, challenged environmental projects across the nation, cut international aid, limited immigrant worker support. Our government is bracing itself for a spending frenzy. What big ticket item before elections can it be?

Global News

OTTAWA – The parliamentary budget officer says Canadian foreign aid spending is set to plunge to record lows in the coming years, prompting pleas to the Harper government to halt the slide.

The PBO report, issued earlier this month, offers a contrast to the high-profile big-ticket aid projects touted by the Harper government, including its multibillion-dollar commitment to the health of children and mothers in poor countries.

READ MORE: Foreign Affairs lets $125M in aid to poor countries lapse

The report says that in the first six months of the last fiscal year, spending on poverty reduction shrank 23 per cent.

It also says Canada’s overall foreign aid as a percentage of GDP has dropped off since Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative (MNCH) in 2010.

In 2010-11, foreign aid stood at 0.34 per cent of GDP, declining to 0.27 per cent in 2013-14.

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