Canada lags on UN poverty goals: aid groups
Canada is only meeting half of its United Nations commitments to help the world's poor, a coalition of aid groups says.
In a report to be released on Wednesday, Make Poverty History says that while Canada has made progress in tackling problems such as hunger and disease, it is falling behind when it comes to education and maternal health.
The benchmarks are part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals — to which Canada is a signatory.
The aid groups also warn that matters will only get worse now that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has frozen its spending for international development.
Make Poverty History says Canada ranks 14th among 23 developed countries when it comes to foreign aid as a percentage of national income. Canada is less than halfway to the UN agreed-upon level of 0.7 per cent of GDP, according to the groups.
Ahead of this month's G8 and G20 meetings in Ontario, the groups are urging Canada to take a leadership role on the international stage and encourage all developed countries to live up to the millennium goals.
The prime minister has said Canada, as the host of the G8 summit June 25-26, would champion maternal and child health in developing countries.