Canada Narrows Focus of Countries for CIDA Aid as part of Aid Effectiveness Agenda

February 24, 2009 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: Global Giving, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) formerly CIDA

Here is a press release from the Canadian government with respect to the 20 countries that will be the focus of Canadian bilateral (government to government) aid and they include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Caribbean, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, West Bank/Gaza.

Many people are a little confused by the CIDA announcement.  Specifically, there are countries of “focus” in this announcement.  However there is also “Countries of concentration” which is defined as “This program activity involves engaging in effective development assistance programming in countries of concentration to enhance their capacity to achieve development goals. Programming is developed through consultation and cooperation with partners internationally, in Canada, and in these countries. Initiatives include various country programs, projects, development activities, as well as policy dialogue.”  I am not sure if focus and concentration are the same or different? 

Also 80% of CIDA bilateral funding will be focused on 20 countries.  That presumably means that 20% will be focused on other countries? 

Here is a link to a CIDA page with hyperlinks to each of the countries of focus:

Here is a copy of the press release:

Canada Moves on Another Element of its Aid Effectiveness Agenda

February 23, 2009

Ottawa, Ontario - Delivering on its commitment to make its international assistance more focused, more effective and more accountable, the Government of Canada announced today that it was moving forward on another element of its Aid Effectiveness Agenda. It will be focusing its efforts in 20 countries by concentrating resources, focusing programming and improving coordination.

“Our government promised to make Canada’s international assistance more effective,” said the Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley Oda. “While continuing to provide assistance to the people in greatest need, focusing our bilateral assistance will make our aid dollars go further and make a greater difference for those we help.”

Canada’s bilateral assistance represents approximately 53 percent of Canada’s total aid budget. With 80 percent of Canada’s bilateral assistance being focused on 20 countries and improving how Canada works in other bilateral partner countries, Canadians will see better results and more resources getting to those in need.

CIDA’s multilateral programs will continue to support international efforts such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Canadian-led Initiatives to Save a Million Lives, the UN’s World Food Programme and others. Our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief will continue to respond to those who are impacted by natural disasters or humanitarian crisis. These programs will not be affected by the changes to bilateral aid.

A major step towards greater effectiveness had already been made last year when Minister Oda announced that Canada had fully untied its Food Aid and announced that CIDA’s development aid funding would be fully untied by 2012-13. Untying aid allows for faster response times during crises, reduces transportation costs and above all makes Canada’s aid dollars go further by purchasing goods where they are cheapest.

These measures come in addition to an increased CIDA staff presence in the field that will allow both for better planning and increased accountability to improve evaluation and reporting mechanisms. Canada will continue to work towards even greater focus and effectiveness to its aid agenda.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Caribbean, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, West Bank/Gaza.




Michelle Coates
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534

The press release is at:

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.
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