09.03.2005 General News

Canada to give more foreign aid to fewer - Ghana Included

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OTTAWA, March 9 (UPI) -- The Canadian government will focus on providing more aid to some 30 countries instead of small amounts to 155 countries, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday.

"If we are to effectively reduce, and ultimately eliminate global poverty, we must better coordinate and focus our effort," International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll said in Ottawa.

The Canadian International Development Agency has the most dispersed aid program in the world. Aid totaled $2.6 billion in 2003-04, but nearly 90 countries get an annual amount of less than $5 million each.

CIDA hasn't narrowed down the core group of countries Canada will support, but the list includes Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania. It won't include Zimbabwe, an official speaking on condition of anonymity said.

Carroll said the overwhelming factor in selecting recipients would be "good governance."

That means recipients will have to display "strong civil service, good laws enforced by an independent judiciary, a respect for human rights and an aversion to corruption," Carroll said.

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