Letter to Bev Oda re: CIDA cuts to KAIROS

The Hon. Bev Oda,
Minister of International Cooperation
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Minister Oda,

With dismay and great disappointment I recently learned of the Canadian Government's decision to bring an end to CIDA funding for KAIROS Canada.  As one of the many Roman Catholic Religious Communities in Canada, we strive to serve the poorest and most vulnerable in Canada and around the world.  In cooperative endeavors like KAIROS, we turn our humble contribution into something with considerable impact.  We know that the loss of KAIROS’s expertise in international partnership will be felt by many organizations such as ours, as well as by the many individuals and communities who have benefited from the important projects that KAIROS has undertaken overseas.

This decision, if not reversed, would cut funds to 21 ecumenical and citizen's organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and cut educational work that helps Canadians across the country to develop skills and knowledge in the exercise of their global citizenship.  This is a great tragedy, and can only lead to more global inequality and insecurity.

KAIROS and its precursor organizations have been funded by CIDA since 1973.   The KAIROS-CIDA 2006-2009 program received a positive audit report and an excellent evaluation and the KAIROS staff worked closely with global partners to develop the 2009-2013 program proposal which focused on human rights and ecological justice.  According to KAIROS, the current proposal was deemed by CIDA staff to be within CIDA criteria and priorities throughout the approval process.

From this information I do not see any justification for such a sudden, extreme and unprecedented decision.

I strongly urge the Canadian government and CIDA to live up to its humanitarian objectives and to rescind the decision to cut funding to KAIROS.

Sincerely yours,

Monica Lambton
Office of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation
Congregation of Notre Dame, Visitation Province