Canadian International Development Agency Eliminated, Its Functions Merged With Foreign Affairs And Trade Department

“The Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA] will be eliminated and its functions merged with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, according to the 2013 budget, a surprise move that will more closely align development assistance with Canada’s trade and foreign policy objectives,” the Globe and Mail reports. “The international development portfolio will continue to have an independent minister … but the agency’s core functions will be absorbed by the newly titled Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development,” according to the newspaper. “‘The government will continue to provide essential aid to those most in need in developing countries,’ the budget document states, adding that CIDA’s maternal, newborn and child health initiative will continue along with efforts on public sector governance, agriculture and justice reform,” the Globe and Mail continues (Mackrael, 3/21).

“Reaction to the change has been mixed, although many have welcomed it, saying it is an opportunity for a new direction and new clarity at CIDA,” the Ottawa Citizen writes, adding, “Few details, though, are available about what exactly the change means to the federal government’s development policy and direction” (Payne, 3/23). “The United States made a similar move during the Bush administration when USAID, created as an independent development agency in the Kennedy administration, was pulled under the umbrella of the State Department,” Humanosphere notes (Murphy, 3/25).

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