As a leading country in the developed world, Canada has made a commitment to help other, struggling nations. One of the ways Canada does this is by funding international programs, organized by Canadian charities or nonprofits. These organizations can apply to the Canadian International Development Agency, (CIDA) and if their mission is in line with the governments current objectives, they may be eligible for funding. As the needs around the world change, CIDA works with these partner agencies ensuring newly identified needs are met.
In 1969, Lester B. Pearson proposed all developed countries give 0.7% of their GDP to foreign aid. Canada had its highest contribution in 1986-87 at 0.5%, but has steadily declined its contribution. Currently, foreign aid stands around 0.3%; with about thirteen other countries contributing more (most are European nations). The March 2012 proposed budget plans to drop foreign aid to 0.24%.
There are countries all around the world that receive funding and support from Canada to improve medical and health care, promote gender equality, sports, children and community programs, poverty elimination, food, housing and educational needs and governance. Some of the best known organizations in this sector are Plan International, World Vision, Oxfam, UNICEF and Canadian Red Cross. Although we mostly hear from them during disasters, they provide many ongoing programs including working with governments to implement new initiatives and leadership, raising awareness and fund development to donor countries.
There are also many small organizations that provide support at a grassroots level to specific communities and groups of people. Services in Action works with many of these international partners, they are:
CEHO, building a school in the Mazabuka District of Zambia and are currently looking for help building professional development material for teachers,
Helping Hands Uganda, provide sponsorship for children to attend school for only $25 per month
Clemency Uganda, runs a community centre for OVCs in Jinja, Uganda
Children for a New Haiti, provide community support to the people of Belladère, Haiti currently looking to build five wells
Nukoko, works with local youth-run initiatives, providing access to education.