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On March 21, 2013, the Canadian government announced, as part of 2013 federal budget, that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) are to be amalgamated. This ends 45 years of CIDA as a stand-alone agency.

PWS&D and Canadian Foodgrains Bank support the plan to legislate the roles and responsibilities of the Minister for development and humanitarian assistance, and the commitment to place Canada’s aid program on the same footing as trade and diplomacy.

We also acknowledge there will be times when these interests are not directly in support of each other, or are even in conflict. It is important in these contexts that the Minister defends the poverty reduction objective of the aid program, and ensures that it is not treated as secondary to Canada’s trade and security goals.

How You Can Help

It is expected that the new legislation related to the Minister’s roles and responsibilities and purpose of the aid program will be drafted very soon–in the next few weeks.

We ask that you send a personal letter – or email – to the Prime Minister telling him why a continued focus on poverty reduction is essential to Canada’s aid program and outline why the Minister responsible for development and humanitarian assistance needs a clear mandate, enshrined in law, to pursue this objective.

Click here for more information on writing a letter.

Read PWS&D’s earlier statement on the proposed changes to CIDA.