Letter to the Minister of International Cooperation.
December 8, 2009
The Hon. Bev Oda. M.P., P.C.
Minister of International Cooperation
Canadian International Development Agency
Dear Minister Oda,
On behalf of the board and staff of Project Ploughshares, I strongly urge you to reconsider the decision by the Canadian International Development Agency to terminate its partnership with KAIROS.
CIDA has had a long and distinguished history of supporting Canadian NGOs to do leadingedge, targeted international work that often is difficult to accomplish with government-to-government financial support. Its 35-year support of KAIROS and its predecessor coalitions is testament to the effectiveness of the long-standing relationship between CIDA and KAIROS that will come to an abrupt end if this decision is not reversed.
We are given to understand that the proposal by KAIROS for funding from 2009-2013 was approved at appropriate levels within CIDA after extensive consultations between the two organizations over many months. Despite these approvals, KAIROS was apparently informed on November 30, 2009 that its funding by CIDA was terminated immediately, as of that date.
We are startled by the abrupt implementation of this decision and alarmed by its devastating consequences – both to KAIROS and most especially to its partner organizations and recipients of services in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
CIDA has had a long relationship with KAIROS. Both KAIROS and Project Ploughshares are coalitions representing major Canadian churches, many of which have also forwarded letters to you in the past few days protesting this decision by CIDA to not renew KAIROS funding.
The manner in which the decision was made to terminate funding, and the rationale for this decision raise significant questions about fairness and due process. The decision also calls into question the nature of the partnership that CIDA has cultivated over the years with its partner organizations, many of which – like KAIROS – have substantial public support.
This support of international civil society partners who tackle human rights and environmental issues in low-income countries reflects long-standing, basic Canadian values. These have been reinforced by your Government as priorities for Canada’s foreign policy in countries such as Sudan, the Congo, and Indonesia. We specifically draw your attention to the goals stated in CIDA’s Performance Report for 2008/09, tabled in Parliament, “to reduce poverty, promote human rights and support sustainable development in a manner consistent with Canadian foreign policy.”
We therefore urge you to reconsider the decision to terminate funding for KAIROS and its important development, human rights and environmental work. We also encourage you to respond positively to KAIROS’ request to meet with you at the earliest opportunity. As members of CCIC, we also support its request to have a meeting with you on this matter.
Thank you for giving your attention to these matters and we look forward to your careful reconsideration of this decision.
Chair of the Board
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Margaret Biggs, CIDA President
The Hon. Gary Goodyear
Peter Braid, MP
Stephen Woodward, MP
Harold Albrecht, MP
Glen Pearson, MP
John Rafferty, MP
Caroline St-Hilaire, MP
Mary Corkery, KAIROS
Project Ploughshares sponsoring churches:
The Anglican Church of Canada
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
Canadian Unitarian Council
Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Christian Reformed Church in North America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Mennonite Central Committee Canada
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
The United Church of Canada