The Canadian Government’s Economic Action Plan 2013, announced Mar. 21 by Jim Flaherty, signalled the amalgamation of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
According to a statement by the Honorable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, “the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and humanitarian support.”
He also said that the “decision will have no impact on Canada’s international assistance budget.”
In addition to the amalgamation, the budget announcement signaled that for the first time the minister and the priority of international development and humanitarian assistance will be enshrined into law.
For Canadian Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius, the impact of the changes will not be clear until more details are revealed.
“We have been assured that the objective of poverty alleviation and reduction will remain central to Canada’s aid program, and that there continues to be a commitment from the Canadian government to meet the needs of the world’s poor,” he says.
“We hope that as the transition plans and corresponding legislation are developed, the government will consult with Canadian NGOs to help ensure the transition process does not unduly disrupt the delivery of the aid program, and that the legislation adequately protects the integrity of Canada’s development and humanitarian assistance.”
CIDA has supported the Foodgrains Bank since its inception in 1983. Today, Canadian Foodgrains Bank is one of two primary channels for the Government of Canada’s funding for food assistance. In 2011, Canadian Foodgrains Bank and CIDA entered into a five-year funding agreement worth $125 million.
The Foodgrains Bank does not expect this change to affect the current funding agreement or any CIDA-funded programs currently underway.
—Canadian Foodgrains Bank release