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October 9th, 2020

Trudeau government fails to live up to international development promises

OTTAWA – Recent reports revealed that the Liberal government spent a tiny fraction of the funding they promised in 2018 for international development. The funding was supposed to help create new opportunities for development through innovative financing options and fulfill a portion of the Feminist International Assistance Policy commitments.

“When the Liberals announced the funding in 2018, Canadian international development organizations were optimistic,” said NDP Critic for International Development, Heather McPherson (Edmonton—Strathcona). “But that optimism has turned to dismay as we learn that the Liberals failed to deliver on their promise.”

This week, Global Affairs Canada revealed that only $120,000 of the $1.5 billion the Liberals promised for new financing programs for international development - the International Assistance Innovation Program (IAIP) and the Sovereign Loan Program (SLP) was spent. The Liberals’ failure to unlock the money they promised means that many feminist-based projects will not see the light of day. Today, in the House of Commons, McPherson called out the Liberal government for failing to invest the funding they promised.

“The Liberals made a showy announcement on the world stage, but that announcement came without the knowledge or support of Global Affairs Canada who then had to scramble to try to implement programs they simply didn’t have the capacity or support to implement,” said McPherson. “There was a real appetite for this program and many strong and experienced Canadian organizations dedicated resources to completing the exacting and burdensome application process only to be rejected when the government didn’t follow through.”

McPherson is calling for an immediate reconfiguration of the programs to allow experienced Canadian organizations access to funding.

“There is a real opportunity to leverage innovative financing to help Canada rebuild our reputation on the world stage by helping to solve global challenges around the world, but this government has, once again, failed to live up to its promises,” said McPherson.