In the last few months there has been much discussion about the Canadian government establishing a Development Finance Institution (DFI). DFIs definitely have some potential to work for development. But would it really fill an important gap in Canada's development toolkit? And is this the right time and the right government for this move? I am not yet convinced.
"We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it," said Ernesto Guevara. If indeed true, then Kayla Mueller would have spent her final hours in deep assurance and firmness of conviction.
As prosperous governments continue in their retreat from the kind of global commitment required to deal effectively with dire poverty, women's empowerment, health and educational infrastructure, they inevitably leave the world a more troubled place. That threat is compounded multiple times by the world's nations refusing to deal seriously with the challenge of climate change.
Canada is the only G7 country that doesn't have a publicly-owned, profit-driven development finance institution (DFI) that can help private business invest in jobs, growth and markets in low-income countries. We're not just missing an opportunity to raise people out of poverty: we're also missing a chance to build Canadian business while earning returns for Canada's stretched taxpayers.
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.
As much as 80 per cent of humanitarian aid can be stolen en route. Most often, rebel groups will set up road blocks and "tax" the aid agencies wishing to deliver the aid. In effect, the aid agencies directly support rebel groups by feeding them or providing them with goods that can be traded for arms or other services.
As Liberians and other West Africans bravely struggle to contain Ebola, Canada's foreign engagements are shifting away from they types of initiatives that could help prevent such an epidemic. Working with countries like Liberia to strengthen health systems does not seem to be in Canada's interests any longer.
The problem, according to Jablonski, is that donor countries often "lack information about who is most deserving of aid funds" and so delegate that responsibility to recipient governments, who then take advantage of the windfall by delivering those funds to voters most likely to keep them in office.
#BringBackOurGirls was a massively popular way of protesting in part because it was so simple. Most major celebrities, politicians and even conservative political pundits participated. It was all an impressive display that sadly overlooked the real solutions to dilemmas like the Nigerian kidnappings.
There was a time when Canada realized that while military security was an important investment, it was the long-term planning involved in relief and development that would ultimately bring greater measures of peace to our world. Somewhere along the way we lost that. We also lost a seat on the UN Security Council, the world's respect through our lack of action on climate change, and our altruism the moment we decided to invest development resources only in those nations that enhanced our own local economy and brought political benefit to the government.