by Aniket Bhushan
Published in: Open Canada, April 13, 2015
Data released this past week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) shows that Canada’s rank among global aid donors continues to fall. In 2014, Canada’s aid totalled about $4.2 billion (in USD). This represents a decline of 11 percent compared to the previous year (2013), which was already down about 11 percent from the year before (2012) when Canadian stood at $5.6 billion.
In terms of size, Canada now ranks 10th among the 28 major global donors that make up the majority of global aid, down from 6th in 2012. In terms of generosity measured by the aid to gross national income (GNI) ratio Canada now ranks 16th, in the bottom half of the OECD-DAC club. Less than one quarter of one percent of Canada’s GNI was spent on aid in 2014. This comes at a time when global humanitarian assistance networks are stretched to a breaking point with needs consistently outpacing capacity to respond whether to conflict in Syria or Ebola in West Africa.
These trends are out of step with what Canadians care about. The majority of Canadians agree that Canada should be one of the leading global donors. But before we get caught up in the unsophisticated “the more aid the better” refrain that is sure to come from the usual cast of civil society organizations, academics and politicians, here are a few things to consider.