Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 64

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Foreign Affairs

Closure of Diplomatic Offices—Aid to Africa

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. The leader said much of the maternal health aid that the Prime Minister specified at the G8 could go to Africa. What percentage of that aid will go to Africa and to what countries?


Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, regarding the G8 initiative to make a difference in the lives of women and children — the Muskoka Initiative, as we call it — our contribution is $1.1 billion over five years. About 80 per cent of the new Canadian contribution will flow to sub-Saharan Africa. As I have said many times, we are focusing our efforts on areas where we believe we can have the most impact to save the lives of the most mothers and children possible. For example, our additional support for the Micronutrient Initiative is a vital component. On this front, Canada is a world leader.

Senator Jaffer: May I please ask the leader if she can find out to which sub-Saharan countries this aid will be provided?

The one thing I am confused about is this: if we are removing our presence in the countries, how do we know our aid is being applied in these countries the way we want it to be applied?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, I did not say that we were removing our representation in the country. I said that no decisions have been made on what new missions will be opened and what missions will be closed.

With regard to 80 per cent of the Canadian monies going to sub-Saharan Africa, obviously, honourable senators, that information would be available because we could not make a statement that 80 per cent of our money goes to sub-Saharan Africa and then not know where it is going. I just do not have that information at my fingertips. However, I will be happy to provide it to honourable senators.