Canada's leaders have a perfect track record on promises to help the world's poorest nations and people.
Our prime ministers, both Liberal and Conservative, have broken every promise they have made.
While Canada gets richer and richer every year, our commitment to help the poor is going in the other direction under Stephen Harper's leadership. He has even abandoned aid as a special agency, folding the Canadian International Development Agency into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. And diverting aid funds to partner with Canadian mining companies.
Last budget year, Harper's management left $400 million of CIDA's budget unspent. I'll bet his Prime Minister's Office budget was fully spent! Certainly the Senators seemed to have looked after themselves quite generously.
The Worldwatch Institute reports that the 26 nations who signed on to the Millenium Development Goals in 2000 reduced their contributions in 2011 and again in 2012. The goals, such as cutting poverty in half, improving literacy and health and reducing hunger, are not likely to be met by the deadline of 2015.
Preliminary data indicate that official development assistance (ODA) totaled $128.4 billion (in 2011 dollars) in 2012, four per cent less than $133.7 billion in 2011.
The peak was $136.7 billion in 2010, six per cent more than in 2012.
The United States provided the largest amount of ODA, with a total of $29.9 billion in 2012, which was 23.3 percent of the 26-nation total.
Next in line were the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan.
With leadership from the late Lester Pearson of Canada, the United Nations set a goal in 1970 of donating 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
Canada has never done better than half that, but Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway and Denmark have all exceeded that goal.
The U.S. has one of the worst track records at 0.19 percent.
There is substantial aid coming from more than the 26 countries who signed on to the Millenium Development Challenge.
They donated about $7.2 billion in 2010; Saudia Arabia accounted for half of that.
There is another $56.3 billion coming from non-government sources, such as churches.