The Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) says now that it has seen the details, it is supporting a merger of the Canadian International Development Agency with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
“We are pleased that reducing poverty in developing countries is clearly specified as a responsibility of the minister for international development, and that the legislation puts the minister on equal footing with the minister for international trade,” said CFGB executive director Jim Cornelius.
“We are also pleased that the department’s vital responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance during crises is specified.”
The legislation specifies that Canada’s contribution to international development and humanitarian assistance should be in line with Canadian values, he said.
“It is vital that Canada’s aid program makes the needs of the poor and suffering central to its mandate and activities,” he said.
When the move to create the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development was announced in this spring’s budget, it was feared the foreign aid budget would be used to promote Canada’s economic interests.
Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies that has provided more than one million tonnes of food assistance since 1983, has been receiving matching support from the Canadian International Development Agency.