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By Liam Swiss In January 2017, a High Level Panel report on the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) recommended three key reforms for the DAC. One of these was that the DAC should evolve to:...
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Here in Canada, most of us don't really think about water. Easy access to clean drinking water is part of our daily expectations. But in many parts of Kenya, where I recently visited to see some of Plan International Canada's programs, it's impossible not to think about water -- or rather, the severe lack of it.
That this presidency could have serious impacts on reproductive rights in the U.S. is clear. But another serious concern is the global impact the election will have; the U.S. is the biggest donor for reproductive health in developing countries. This could mean the closure of organizations and clinics that provide life-saving services.
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We're the nation that opened our doors to Syrian refugees, aren't we? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared in his speeches that "we're Canadian and we're here to help." Generosity and giving are fundamental Canadian values -- and the world knows it.
It may be that Mohammad El Halabi has committed misdeeds -- time will tell -- but why should that derail all of World Vision's operations in Gaza? Before the end of August, World Vision had been forced to lay off all 120 staff in Gaza after the organization's bank accounts in Jerusalem had been frozen by Israel. The organization was simply no longer able to transfer money to Gaza.
Children are the most vulnerable in every situation. When a country is torn apart by civil war, shattered by economic collapse or rocked by a major earthquake, children always hurt the most. They also have the most to lose, with their educations incomplete or barely even begun.
What is a remittance? Simply put, the process of sending money internationally from Canada to a friend or family member in a foreign country. Globally, the flows of remittances have grown substantially in recent years. Even with a projected slowdown in 2015, the World Bank recently predicted total remittances to 'developing countries' would exceed $435 Billion USD. To put it in context, official development assistance/foreign aid in 2014 was estimated at just over $135 Billion USD globally.
The place I'm standing looks like a typical highway service centre anywhere in Canada. There's a gas bar, a small store and large paved parking lot for trucks and trailers -- the kind where you might pull over with your family for lunch at a fast-food restaurant. That's where the similarities end.
World Vision has been on the frontlines near the Serbian border since early in the summer, distributing baby kits, hygiene supplies, raincoats, blankets, food and water, and conducting child protection activities. Thus far, we've reached more than 70,000 refugees.
South Sudan is a tough place to live. The world's newest nation is less than five years old and it's been ranked as the most fragile country on earth for the past two years. Yet the proud people who live there hold great potential and targeted, effective aid is building more faces of resilience.
Canada has made international private finance, specifically blended finance, one of its key priorities going into the Financing for Development conference. Blended finance is the use of public funds to either leverage or encourage private sector investment. What does this mean for the future of development in Canada?
The minute an earthquake (or any emergency) hits, women's organizations are responding. Before the humanitarian machine kicks in, before food aid drops, before reconstruction efforts get started, women's organizations are creating makeshift shelters, finding and preparing food, protecting girls and caring for the sick. They are an essential part of recovery and a huge asset in relief and reconstruction efforts.
When the first earthquake rocked Nepal, millions of Canadians were heartbroken by what they witnessed on their screens. It seemed nearly impossible to believe that such a poor, tiny, gentle country could sustain such cruel loss of life and livelihood.
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Life in Nepal is nowhere near returning to normal, and will not be for many years to come. If your house and place of business had crumbled to the ground, and you were sleeping under a tent in the local park, croissants and gasoline wouldn't mean much -- especially if your children were coping with emotional distress like the children in Nepal.
The unique nature of children's needs is just one thing to consider during a huge emergency response like this one whether you're on the ground in the rubble, or at home in Canada, considering ways to help. Here are five other things to remember when you respond to overseas tragedies.
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Without proper nutrition, many children don't make their 5th birthday. When Canada formed the Micronutrient Initiative more than 20 years ago, it highlighted the silent crisis of "hidden hunger" -- when people don't get the vitamins and minerals in their diets they need to stay alive and healthy.
Canada can lead other UNGA members to contribute robustly to the new blueprint for child health past 2015. Since 2010, our country has been a consistent and inspirational champion for child and maternal health, helping to drive down global child mortality rates. Simple, high-impact solutions include vitamins, immunizations, iron supplements, and clean water.
Miguelina Martizez was so afraid of her husband that she'd gone to the country's courts 18 times to ask for a restraining order. In desperation, she even made a video and posted it on YouTube. But the justice system in the DR is slow to protect women, often tragically so. It failed the 31-year-old mother and her four young children, and her husband stabbed her more than two dozen times.
When I first heard about the dismantling of the Canadian International Development Agency in the government's recent budget, I was rather dismayed. Nonetheless, upon delving into the issue further, it became clear that my initial reaction was quite misguided. International aid from Canada is not coming to an end; the budget has merely initiated the merging of CIDA with the Department of Foreign Affairs. The aim is not to slash aid, but rather to have a more synergized approach to its deliverance in developing countries. The merger of CIDA with DFAIT ensures the money our government spends internationally will be more focused, effective and better reflect and preserve the national interests of Canada.
While Don Cherry's comments about the amount of money spent on international aid to Haiti provoked much gnashing of teeth in the international development community, he does raise a pretty pertinent question: What is the value of Canada's contribution to international aid and development?
A real commitment to aid effectiveness would mean empowering CIDA staff to do the jobs they have been hired to do: provide unbiased information from which development programs and policies can be crafted. In the spirit of public service, proper decisions need to be constructed through discussion.
For well over a decade CIDA has been pushed from pillar to post, reeling from the constant shifting of priorities and reductions in funding. Quietly, and with sadness, the agency has watched many of its key personnel leave in favour of more imaginative posts in the United Nations or the NGO field.
A few months after the earthquake, physiotherapist Mike Landry returned to Haiti to check back in on his patients and help them return home. To this day, rubble still covers the streets of Haiti and it is shocking to see. For someone with mobility issues, it is very difficult to get around.
Those in the Horn of Africa who are in the midst of a famine are facing hunger and malnutrition on a scale few of us can comprehend. Even so, I've been dismayed by web-chatter to the effect of, "How long can we be expected to keep feeding these Africans who don't seem to be able to fend for themselves?"