This Palestinian boy playing in the back alleys of Bethlehem may be able to dream of a better future, in part because of over $2 million Development and Peace spent in 2015-2016 to support community development, health and education programs in the Palestinian Territories. Photo by Michael Swan

Middle East tops list for D&P aid spending

  • July 12, 2017

For the first time, Development and Peace spent more than half its international budget for humanitarian aid in the Middle East, according to its annual report.

In total, Development and Peace spent more than $34 million around the world in 2016 helping refugees and some of the poorest people on Earth recover from war and natural disasters, adapt to climate change, learn new skills and build better communities.

Four out of every five dollars Canada’s Catholic development agency spends goes to international programs, said the report.

In the Middle East, Syria’s civil war has created 13.5 million civilians in need of humanitarian aid, including five million refugees and 6.3 million displaced people inside Syria.

Another 10 million Iraqis need help, including 3.1 million internally displaced.

Working with local Caritas agencies in Syria and Iraq, Development and Peace has provided prenatal and maternal care, helped set up small businesses, built and repaired homes inside Syria, Iraq and surrounding countries.

Regionally, Asia accounted for 20.3 per cent of Development and Peace spending, Africa 19.2 per cent and Latin America 1.7 per cent.

The top individual countries for Development and Peace spending were mostly in the Middle East, including $4.2 million for Syria, $3.8 million for Iraq and $2.5 million in Lebanon.

Revenues for the year came to $43.3 million, including $8.8 million raised during the annual Share Lent campaign. The figure also includes $3.3 million from year-round fundraising — contributions from more than 5,600 who participate in a monthly automatic giving program, plus over $100,000 raised by members of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada which encourages its members to donate one per cent of the total cost of their annual purchases to support women in poor countries.

In total, revenues increased 7.9 per cent compared to 2014-2015.

Development and Peace’s expertise around the world has been rewarded with $10.9 million in government funding for emergency humanitarian aid, $13.6 million in government funding for longer-term bilateral program funding and $4.8 million in base government funding.

Spending in Canada, largely for education programs, dropped to $4.5 million from $4.8 million.

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