International Development

What We Need to Attain the Sustainable Development Goals

Development Unplugged | Posted 10.01.2015 | Canada Impact
Development Unplugged

The SDGs represent an opportunity for Canada to examine how it can engage globally and how it can exercise leadership, both at home and abroad, to address sustainable development challenges. However, unless -- and until -- the financial aspects of the SDGs are properly addressed, the post-2015 agenda will remain a set of elusive goals.

I Am Quitting the Conservatives Because of Stephen Harper's Politics

Samuel Getachew | Posted 09.29.2015 | Canada Politics
Samuel Getachew

By the time you read this column, my membership in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario will likely be revoked (if not, I will resign). I will no longer be the director of a riding association in the Toronto Centre Conservative Association. This is not because I am no longer useful to the once-proud party of Bill Davis, John Robarts and, yes, Christine Elliott, but because I am coming out against comrade Stephen Harper -- our party's federal counterpart. The Stephen Harper era has made us too partisan, extremely fearful of our neighbours, cheerleaders in world affairs, less tolerant to new immigrants and refugees and mere observers in the affairs of our country -- instead of active actors.

Let's Leave No One Behind With the New Sustainable Development Goals

Plan International Canada | Posted 09.23.2015 | Canada Impact
Plan International Canada

Pregnancy is still one of the leading causes of death of girls in developing countries between 15 and 18. Worldwide, 16,000 children under five die every day. Girls and boys are left behind because of who they are or where they live. Women and girls from ethnic minorities have fared worst, and discriminated against because of their sex and race. Girls living in towns or cities are much more likely to have access to a skilled birth attendant than young women living in remote parts.

How Parties Engage on Foreign Policy Can Tell Voters a Lot

Development Unplugged | Posted 09.11.2015 | Canada Politics
Development Unplugged

On Sept. 28, 2015, The Munk Centre will host Canada's first-ever federal election debate. We can expect to see any number of key issues on the table -- Canada's track record on trade and investment, engagement in Syria, our approach to Palestine and Israel, refugee policy -- There is a lot of ground to cover. For international development, there is really one key question: Will parties commit to increasing Canada's foreign aid budget?

Yes, Women's Equality Is Still a Political Issue

Oxfam Canada | Posted 08.27.2015 | Canada Politics
Oxfam Canada

When we ask our political leaders to talk about issues affecting women what we're asking for is a conversation about the unseen and largely unacknowledged inequalities that affect girls and women throughout their lives. I have a daughter. Like every Canadian woman, she's growing up in a country where to be female is to be overrepresented in poorly paid part-time work; under-represented at every level of authority and power; and so devalued as a worker that virtually any sector that attracts a female workforce pays less than sectors dominated by males.

Are We on Track for Our Global Education Goals?

Mona Elisabeth Brother | Posted 08.27.2015 | Canada Impact
Mona Elisabeth Brother

The fast approaching deadline for the Millennium Development Goals is a reminder of vital commitments by all the global society on priorities vital for development. On July 6-7 2015, Norway hosted a global summit on education for development and attempted to do precisely this.

Dare to Dream in Technicolour for a Better World

Rosemary McCarney | Posted 08.05.2015 | Canada Impact
Rosemary McCarney

In September, I take up my new responsibilities in Geneva, Switzerland as Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament. The UN reflects the dreams and aspirations of not just Canadians but of the world. My new role will allow me to address global challenges from a different perspective than I've had at Plan Canada, but as I prepare to leave I reflect on a few proud accomplishments that bolster my confidence and hope for the future.

We Need to Focus on Sexual Violence During Humanitarian Crises

Plan International Canada | Posted 06.20.2015 | Canada Impact
Plan International Canada

Girls raped at the tender age of seven, some made pregnant at nine. Young women sold as property. A 20-year-old burned alive because she refused to comply with sexual demands and three girls attempting suicide by eating rat poison instead of submitting to their captors.

Will Canada Remain Committed to Helping Children in Emergency Situations?

Kirsty Duncan | Posted 06.11.2015 | Canada Politics
Kirsty Duncan

his year has already become the worst year since 1945 for children who have been displaced and forced to flee as refugees, and for children who had their schools attacked and destroyed. Canadians should know about these crises, their impacts on children, and how youth can be better protected and educated in emergency situations.

Momentum Is Building in the Global Fight Against Malnutrition

Joel C. Spicer | Posted 05.28.2015 | Canada Impact
Joel C. Spicer

In the coming months, a unique alignment of global events has the potential to fuse together leadership, partnership, commitment, and action for nutrition that could change the lives of millions. The opportunity is right in front of us if we are courageous enough to seize it.

Canada Must Meet Our Obligations to Support Developing Countries

Hélène Laverdière | Posted 05.26.2015 | Canada Politics
Hélène Laverdière

Despite repeated requests from the NDP and Canadian civil society, the Conservatives refused to increase the Official Development Assistance budget. Canada now ranks among the worst OECD countries for ODA spending. Not only does this directly limit our ability to fulfill our mandate of poverty eradication, it hurts our credibility as a reliable partner for international development.

After Nepal's Earthquake, Emotional Care Should Be a Priority

Plan International Canada | Posted 05.20.2015 | Canada Impact
Plan International Canada

Events unfolding following the fresh earthquake in Nepal on May 12th remind us that big earthquakes and aftershocks take a heavy toll on minds of the survivors, especially small children. Impacts on the mind are often invisible. Relief efforts should prioritize such emotional needs.

Aid and Development Can Create Self-Sustaining Communities

Plan International Canada | Posted 05.10.2015 | Canada Impact
Plan International Canada

A recent trip to Ghana's Volta region affirmed for me that there is so much more to aid and development than one prosperous nation giving to another in need. I was still taken aback by what I saw upon arrival. In short, people in Volta are not living with a lot. But they are far from powerless.

Flowers Wilt But Empowering Women Lasts Forever

Development Unplugged | Posted 05.08.2015 | Canada Impact
Development Unplugged

Recognition of mothers shouldn't end with fancy speeches or photo ops in front of tulip-decorated monuments. It needs to be expressed with lasting and meaningful actions -- like putting women's rights at the heart of national and international policy-making, like making sure women's voices are heard in public discourse and by advancing gender justice and women's empowerment with our aid dollars.

Agricultural Development Plants the Seeds for Long-Term Poverty Solutions

Hélène Laverdière | Posted 06.30.2015 | Canada Politics
Hélène Laverdière

While the right to food is a basic human right, food insecurity is a serious problem around the world. The global evidence is clear. Countries that make investments in agricultural development are better equipped to eliminate hunger, reduce rates of undernourishment and accelerate their economies. What's more, increased farm incomes stimulate employment both on farms and in the broader community. Further, the World Bank found that GDP growth originating from agricultural development is twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth stemming from alternative industries.

Malaria Makes No Laughing Matter of Mosquitoes

Rosemary McCarney | Posted 06.24.2015 | Canada Impact
Rosemary McCarney

Mosquitoes are re-emerging as a serious North American health threat as carriers of the West Nile Virus. In the developing world, mosquitoes pose an even more menacing danger. There, they transmit malaria, the deadliest disease borne by any insect or animal anywhere. This year, malaria deaths are expected to spike upwards, after more than a decade of steady decline. The reason: Ebola. The fragile health systems in West Africa have been stretched to the limit in the Ebola fight, and routine measures to combat malaria have gone by the wayside.

Federal Budget Finally Turns Development Talk Into Action

Brett House | Posted 06.23.2015 | Canada Business
Brett House

In the 2015 federal budget, the Canadian government announced its intention to create a $300-million initiative to encourage private investment, job creation and growth that will fight extreme poverty in developing countries. Canada is the last G7 country to create a public arm to support private investment in development. Some of our counterparts have been in this business for over 50 years, doing good and making money at the same time.This initiative looks even tardier when one considers that successive Canadian governments since the early Trudeau era have bandied about the idea of creating a public entity to catalyze more private capital for development.

Canada Should Partner with Canadian NGOs to Help Rebuild Gaza

Hélène Laverdière | Posted 05.24.2015 | Canada Politics
Hélène Laverdière

Now is the time for Canada to focus on long-term recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Gaza. Housing, health, water and sewage facilities, provision of social services, education, and psycho-social support are all areas where we can help. Canada must commit to long-term development programming in Gaza -- and a quick survey of some of Canada's NGOs suggests there are many positive and effective options for partnership.

Canada Must Talk Ebola at the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting

Kirsty Duncan | Posted 05.17.2015 | Canada Politics
Kirsty Duncan

Ebola has infected nearly 24,000 people and killed almost 10,000, mainly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. However, the impacts of Ebola extend far beyond the borders of the worst-affected countries. G7 Foreign Ministers should champion a rigorous approach to go beyond reducing transmission, to stopping the disease completely, to enabling societies to manage the consequences of the outbreak, and to preventing future outbreaks.

The Syrian Crisis' Catastrophic Impact on Children

Kirsty Duncan | Posted 05.13.2015 | Canada Politics
Kirsty Duncan

The Syrian conflict is entering its fifth horrific year of escalating violence, with little sign of ending. More than 200,000 people have been killed, 10,000 of them children. Today over 12.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5.6 million children. Almost 11 million Syrians have been displaced within and outside Syria, including 3.3 million refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. More than half of the refugee population are children, and 114,000 children have been born as refugees.

Sponsoring a Child Overseas Can be Sunshine in the Darkness

Debbie Wolfe | Posted 05.11.2015 | Canada Impact
Debbie Wolfe

I've been lucky to have a fulfilling marriage, a job that I love and a life filled with meaning. But like anyone, I'm familiar with the stretches of hopelessness that can come when life gets to be too much -- or not nearly enough. I began sponsoring Alejandro in Bolivia when he was just five, sure that I'd be improving his life. What took me completely off-guard was the way that he's lifted mine.

Will the Minister Personally Attend the Syrian Donor Conference and Pledge?

Kirsty Duncan | Posted 04.27.2015 | Canada Politics
Kirsty Duncan

When I asked in question period on February 20th whether the Minister of International Development would personally attend the donor conference, pledge, and champion 5.6 million Syrian children, Canada's Parliamentary Secretary replied that: "We are still in consideration of whether or not the minister is going to attend that."

Vitamin A Helps Reduce Death From Measles

Marion Roche | Posted 04.26.2015 | Canada Impact
Marion Roche

WHO recommends vitamin A supplements to improve child survival. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50 per cent, in populations with vitamin A deficiency. For children who are vitamin A deficient or undernourished, it would seem a simple solution -- immunization against measles and better nutrition -- to save lives.

Conservatives Must Be Accountable for International Development Budgets

Kirsty Duncan | Posted 04.09.2015 | Canada Politics
Kirsty Duncan

We should all be asking how the government plans to engage Canadians regarding the sustainable development goals, which will focus the global development agenda for the next 15 years, and what Canada's position is on these goals.

Terror and Turmoil -- We Have Been Here Before

Rosemary McCarney | Posted 04.08.2015 | Canada Impact
Rosemary McCarney

In today's wars -- no less destructive than others in history because they are undeclared -- how do we bring the fighting parties to the table? None of the usual diplomatic and military carrots and sticks are working. So what to do?