Letter to the editor regarding extreme poverty

It's time Canada stood up in the world as a mature nation and assumed its responsibility towards the global poor.

In 2000, the world harnessed incredible energy to develop the Millennium Development Goals – time-limited targets for addressing extreme poverty, hunger, disease, lack of shelter, all while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. In 2015 these goals are due for renewal.

Over the past 15 years, huge gains have been made in reducing extreme poverty and improving health and education worldwide; the gulf between the developed and developing worlds has never been so small. And despite all the negative press about the global economy, aid continues to grow, reaching $135 billion in 2013, the highest level ever recorded.

But while the world musters the will to finally confront humanity’s oldest miseries, as in so many other areas, Canada fails to assume its global responsibility. While total world aid increased six per cent, Canada’s dropped 11 per cent, and is the lowest of all major donor nations despite an enviable economy. It is now barely half of what it was in 1987.

As the new development goals are crafted this year, we have a chance to change this shameful record and increased aid funding. It’s time Canada stood up in the world as a mature nation and assumed its responsibility towards the global poor.

Nathaniel Poole

Victoria, B.C.