Statement from the Minister of International Development on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 17, 2013

For generations, Canadians have worked around the world to achieve the global objective of alleviating poverty. This continues to be one of our Government’s international development priorities. Without food, shelter, a good education, decent employment and good health, many people in the world, particularly in developing countries, are struggling to simply survive.

That is why Canada is so committed to fulfilling the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the first of which is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. We are working to reach our goals  by focusing on five key measures: increasing food security, securing a future for children and youth,  stimulating sustainable economic growth, ensuring security and stability, and advancing democracy.

Our efforts are translating directly into concrete results that are making a difference for the people who need it. In Ethiopia, it means more than 144,000 hectares of rehabilitated land and more than  35,600 kilometres of new rural roads to allow farmers to grow more crops and reach more markets. In Senegal, it means 47,000 more educators, an increase in the overall school enrolment rate to 94 percent and a 70 percent national completion rate for students in primary school. In Pakistan, it means financial literacy training for over 23,000 women, which resulted in higher saving rates among participants.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada's Muskoka Initiative is saving the lives of millions of mothers and newborn children and making a real difference in global poverty alleviation. Canada continues to work with our partners to help countries move from poverty to prosperity, to build sustainable economic opportunities, and to break the cycle of poverty and dependence. Securing a better future begins with a healthy start in life, quality education, jobs and improved economic opportunities.

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Canadians should take immense pride in the results that Canada’s international development contributions are generating.

The Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie