|06-12-2004, 12:42 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ON Canada
Local Time: 07:17 AM
Point Seven Pledge
This year, 3.1 million people around the world will succumb to AIDS. Today, 1.2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water. In next five minutes, 100 children will die of preventable diseases. But amidst the statistics, there is hope. Aid works. And Canada can help Bono, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Canadian Nobel Peace Prize Winner Lester B. Pearson have all urged Canadians to take the lead in reducing world poverty.
When targeted correctly, quality foreign aid works.
Quality aid dollars when combined with clearly defined goals can have an unquestionably positive impact. Still some goals have failed almost entirely. Failures should serve as reminders of past neglect to follow through on solemn global pledges:
Increasing official development assistance to 0.7% of rich countries' GNP starting in 1970 - assistance has actually fallen as a share of GNP, and only four countries achieved the 0.7% target (Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden).
Allocating 0.15% of GNP for official development assistance to the least developed countries in the 1980s and 1990s - 8 of 16 members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee achieved the 0.15% target in the 1980s, but only 5 of 20 did so in the 1990s. Halving adult illiteracy by 2000 - illiteracy fell from 25% in 1990 to just 21% in 2000. Eradicating malaria - although there was success in Asia and Latin America, the "global" antimalaria programme of the 1960s largely bypassed Africa.
In 1970 Canada and many other Western nations, following the recommendation of the Pearson commission, agreed that the growing world poverty was unacceptable and that ignoring it would lead to future problems on a larger scale.They agreed that foreign aid was an important tool to help the third world as they work their way out of poverty.We committed, and reaffirmed, a target of 0.7% of GDP as foreign aid.Canada has never reached that goal, no G8 country has
We are asking the government to increase foreign aid - over a reasonable period of time - from 0.29% to 0.7%.
Our Aid budget translates to 28 cents per Canadian per day. We are asking that this increase to 60 cents a day.Our Aid budget is less than 2% of government spending. We are asking that it increase to roughly 4%.
Our Aid budget is three billion dollars - which translates to about an extra one-third of one cent every day, for the three billion people who live on less than two dollars a day.
Yes there will be costs. But this is an investment in Canada's role in the world, and an investment in our reputation. And we feel the benefits outweigh the costs.
We are asking that it increase gradually to 0.7% of GDP - a substantial increase of almost four and half billion dollars. But spread over a number of years, this is an affordable increase in years where the annual budget surplus is between 5 and 10 billion.To learn how Canada can achieve 0.7% of GDP towards foreign aid by 2015, take a look at the comprehensive policy report titled Achieving the Millenium Development Goals . It is both feasible, and easy to see how Canada can actually reach 0.7% by 2015 while balancing against other important Canadian concerns.
This election, let's send a message to our leaders that the
"Point Seven Pledge"
It's an issue to care about.
A commitment that matters.
Something we can be proud of
And it's time that Canada took the lead.
Make your voice heard today!visit the point seven pledge website , sign the pledge and send a clear message
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