‘Canada can and must do more’
Ottawa – Oxfam Canada and Oxfam Quebec called Wednesday for “bold action” in the 2012 federal budget to help alleviate world hunger.
Oxfam’s pre-budget submission to Parliament outlines steps the government can take to reinforce its commitment to global food security: lift the freeze on foreign aid spending and help poor countries adapt to climate change.
“In recent years, the government has taken positive steps to respond to the global food crisis — untying food aid, reinvesting in smallholder agriculture, speaking out against food export restrictions, and contributing to humanitarian relief in the Horn of Africa, ” said Mark Fried, policy coordinator at Oxfam Canada. “ Today Oxfam believes that Canada can, and must, do more.”
“At a time when some other donor countries are cutting aid budgets, Canada must pick up the slack. We cannot solve our fiscal problems on the backs of the most vulnerable people in the world,” Fried added.
Oxfam suggests that to help pay for the increased expenditure, the government phase out subsidies for fossil fuel that encourage wasteful consumption, and subsidies for biofuel, which diverts food for fuel.
Oxfam also endorses a tax on financial transactions and on international shipping as methods of raising revenue to help poor countries. The taxes are on the table when Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets fellow G20 leaders in Cannes, France Nov. 3-4.
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