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The Cold War and decolonization in Asia framed Canadas decision in 1950 to offer capital and technical assistance through the Colombo Plan for Co-operative Economic Development in South and Southeast Asia Since then Canada has disbursed over 40 billion in official development assistance ODA to countries in Africa Asia the Caribbean and Latin America A reserved player in Western aid efforts in the 1950s the Canadian government became more enthusiastic in the 1960s a time of optimism idealism and prosperity when support for international development captured the imagination of growing numbers of Canadians During the late 1980s Canada slashed its ODA from 05 percent to a mere 026 percent of the gross domestic product GDP Clearly Canadas commitment to helping other nations has come into serious debate Canada had a good beginning to its international development program but has let it degrade over time Canada must return foreign aid and development programs back to their original standards of funding The creation of the Canadian International Development Agency CIDA in 1968 symbolised a commitment that led to expansion of the aid program to most parts of the developing world making Canada one of the more generous donors among industrialised countries As a percentage of GNP ODA allocations reached a crest in 1975 and then fell Again they rose in the 1980s amid changing ideas about development and periodic bouts of aid fatigue There has been a pronounced declining in Canadian aid since 1989 driven by immediate pressure to reduce the federal deficit but also by dramatic changes in a world order transformed by the fall of communism the rise of global markets and the predominance of ethnic conflict Also the ascendancy of neo-liberal ideology has played a part in the eventual ebb of support on ODA By allowing Canada to fall behind in foreign aid it is making it that much harder to return to the previous level of support given to programs
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