Horizons of Friendship Condemns Cuts to International Aid, Calls for More Funding
Media Contact: Daniel Quesada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-372-5483 ext. 20
COBOURG, ON, October 4th, 2019 – Horizons of Friendship (Horizons) calls on Canadian party leaders and federal election candidates to commit to upholding Canada’s legacy and leadership role in international assistance. Horizons strongly condemns any regression on international assistance, which may endanger progress towards sustainable development goals and lead to further fragility and insecurity around the world.
Founded in 1973, Horizons is a Canadian international development organization committed to eliminating poverty and injustice in Central America and Mexico. Currently, Horizons is in the final stages of completing a Government of Canada-funded project in Guatemala that is directly saving the lives of women and children in a region where women and infants often die during pregnancy and childbirth. Through trusted partnerships and projects such as these, Horizons and its local partners are able to achieve significant changes in marginalized communities on themes such as health, migration, climate action, and violence against women.
On October 1st, 2019, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer, announced a prospective cut to international aid of 25 per cent and a proposal to deny aid to middle and upper-middle developing countries around the globe. Horizons is concerned that this proposal will effectively cut all funding to countries where Horizons works and curtail the ability of other Canadian non-governmental organizations to support international development, particularly in Latin America.
“Cuts to international aid will undermine existing progress and work on climate action, gender equality, and the eradication of poverty,” says Patricia Rebolledo, Executive Director of Horizons. “We have made tremendous progress in advancing women’s and children’s health and rights, food security, and climate action across Central America and Mexico. This proposal threatens our ability to continue to work on these issues in the region with support from the Government of Canada.”
Horizons asks all prospective political parties and leaders to commit to upholding Canada’s legacy and leadership role in international assistance. Horizons looks forward to working with any government to reduce poverty and injustice in Central America and Mexico.
As of 2018, Canada only spent 0.28 per cent of its Gross National Income on international assistance, far short of the globally agreed target of 0.7 per cent. This funding represented just 28 cents for every $100 Canadians earned. Horizons hopes that the incoming government will focus on increasing international assistance for developing countries, instead of cutting international assistance.