Recent changes to US and Canadian aid delivery will have important potentially beneficial effects.
The Obama Administration’s fiscal budget for 2014 suggests a US aid budget of $52 Bn (down $2 Bn from 2012). However delivery of food and emergency aid is to be streamlined via USAID, a move welcomed by Oxfam and others. Increases are proposed in health and climate sectors while economic assistance will decrease. The big question of course is whether the House of Representatives where Republicans have the majority, will pass the budget.
In Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency CIDA is to be incorporated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Aid delivery through fewer agencies is a trend evident in recent years. In Denmark, aid has channelled through Foreign Affairs since the late 1990’s and aid as a share of Gross National Income has increased from 0/7% to 0.87%. In Germany, the number of aid agencies was reduced from 7 to 3. US aid is delivered via 15 agencies.