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Canada’s Foreign Aid

The dashboard below provides data and analysis on Canada’s foreign aid flows.

Canada’s Foreign Aid Spending

Canada’s foreign aid spending totaled CAD$4.9 billion in 2014, down sharply from CAD$ 5.4 billion in 2013, and CAD$ 5.7 billion in 2011.

Aid spending equates to about C$139 per Canadian, down from C$ 154 per Canadian in 2013. Aid spending was 1.75% of total 2014 budget expenditure, down from 1.9% of total 2013 budget expenditure. Spending fell to 0.24% of Gross National Income from 0.27% in the previous year.

The largest aid recipient was Ethiopia at $186mn, up slightly from $181mn in the previous year, followed Tanzania at $180mn, down from $189mn in the previous year, and Afghanistan at $137mn.

Aid to Haiti and Afghanistan has fallen sharply, from a high of $354mn in the case of Haiti in 2011 to $104mn in 2014, and a high of $345mn in the case of Afghanistan in 2008 to $137mn in 2014.

The data also show that Canada’s aid has become a lot more reactive or emergency focused. Bucking the trend in aid declines with 6 to 10 fold increases over the last two or three years include: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Philippines.

34% of aid went to Least Developed (or poorest) Countries, another 2.6% went to other Low Income Countries, and 21% went to Lower Middle Income countries (34% is not coded by income group). Africa received the highest share at 41%, followed by Asia (30%), and the Americas (11%). Emergencies account for the increase in the share of aid going to Asia, while the share of Africa declined (for the first time since 2008), and the share of the Americas continued its decline from 2012.

About 68% of Canada’s foreign aid was channeled through (former) CIDA (up from 63% in the previous year), while the rest is channeled through other departments and agencies, primarily Finance, (former) DFAIT, and IDRC.

Hover over country circles on the map to see how much went to which countries. Circles are sized to reflect the amount of Canadian aid the country receives. Clicking on a country will reveal more details below. Use drop-downs to limit the map by either “region”, “income level” or change “year”. Clicking on the regional (trend graph) or income (bubble graph) will highlight countries that belong to the selected groups. Multiple countries can be selected at one time for comparison (no more than two at a time are recommended). Click again to deselect. Refresh browser or click “Reset” at the bottom of the dashboard to reset the view. At any point, to go back, click “Undo”.

Methodology & data

Data is sourced from CIDA Statistical Report on International Assistance. OECD-DAC country, regional and income classification coding is applied. MS Excel version of the data can be downloaded below. Data is reported on “gross” basis (i.e. Export Development Canada and loan repayments are excluded). In order to simplify interpretation calender years are used, but the data is on a fiscal year basis (i.e. 2001 is 2000-01 and so on).

There may be slight differences between this data and data from the OECD-DAC. This is for two reasons: fiscal year (as opposed to calendar year) is used here, and Canadian dollar (as opposed to US dollar) is the currency unit.

Note: this data was last updated in May 2015. an updated version of the spreadsheet comprising 2014 data will be posted shortly. In the meantime data can be freely extracted from the above dashboard using the “download” options.

Aid data (uploaded version 2000-2014) (MS Excel)

Related resources


This data is part of ongoing research at the Canadian International Development Platform. Comment here, or using the contact form.

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