Funding from CIDA reduced: Development and Peace members mobilize in large numbers

March 29, 2012

Ever since they found out how much the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) agreed to contribute to Development and Peace over the next five years, the members of this international cooperation organization have mobilized to carry out a number of initiatives and activities to express their disappointment.

In July 2010, Development and Peace submitted a $49.2 million funding proposal to CIDA to finance development programs in twenty countries over a 5-year period. A major partner of CIDA for the past 45 years, the previous 5-year contribution agreement (2006-2011) between Development and Peace and the Canadian government was $44.6 million. For the next five-year period, the government agency has agreed to provide financial support of $14.5 million for projects in seven countries.

The news, which reached the organization and its members on the eve of its annual fundraising campaign, mobilized Development and Peace members, who began by encouraging existing donors to increase their annual contributions to the organization. Since then, the members have been sending letters to Minister for International Cooperation Bev Oda, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and to Members of Parliament from all parties.

Hundreds of members have already indicated that on Good Friday, April 6, they will fast, and donate to Development and Peace the money that they would otherwise have spent on food for the day.

Last year, Development and Peace supported 186 development projects in 33 countries.

Founded by the Catholic Bishops of Canada in 1967, Development and Peace has been receiving messages of support from bishops across Canada, who have publicly expressed their disappointment with this funding reduction.

"We were surprised by this news from our government. This reduction will have serious consequences for the poor and marginalized in many countries that we reach through our more than one hundred partners," said Michael Casey, Executive Director of Development and Peace.

"We feel that this decision—along with others of a similar nature in the recent past—demonstrates that the Canadian government is changing its orientations in the field of international cooperation. That concerns us. And it worries our 11,500 members, who fully intend to have their voices heard.”

Development and Peace is joining with other members of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) and the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI) to launch discussions and public debate with the Canadian government on these new orientations of Canada’s international assistance program.

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Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer
514 257-8710 ext. 365