I am pleased to present the 2010-2011 edition of Development for Results. This document reports to Canadians on how Canada helps make the world a better place for the world's most vulnerable people and those living in poverty.
Since 2006 our government made a commitment to make Canada's international assistance more effective, focused, and accountable. In this report, you will see how our efforts deliver real results that make a difference in the lives of people around the world. Our Aid Effectiveness Agenda includes targeting 20 key countries and focusing our development work into three key sectors: increasing food security, securing the future for children and youth, and stimulating sustainable economic growth. The report shows how Canada's international efforts impact each of these sectors, making a difference and reaching families, villages, and nations in need.
Our government also brought increased accountability to its international assistance. Promises and pledges can form the foundation of key development activities, but only accountability for those commitments can deliver results. Development for Results is only one way in which we report to Canadians, describing how Canada plays an important role in the global fight to reduce poverty and make progress to meet the Millennium Development Goals, established in 2000 by the United Nations.
Fiscal year 2010-2011 was pivotal for Canada in international aid and development. Canada continued its work in Afghanistan to improve agriculture, help more girls attend school, improve the rights of women, and enhance access to better health services.
As part of our G-8 and G-20 summits, Canada established the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Later in the same year, the United Nations created the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. Recognizing Canada's leadership for accountability, the Secretary-General asked Prime Minister Harper to co-chair, with the President of Tanzania, the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. Working with its international partners and the World Health Organization, the UN mandated the commission to craft recommendations for an unprecedented level of accountability for all the donors and developing countries working to save the lives of mothers and children living in the world's poorest regions.
Reducing poverty calls for open markets, and more small and medium-sized businesses to create meaningful employment and increase household incomes. In fact, to reduce global poverty, sustainable economic growth is the most important foundation. That is why CIDA focused its work so that businesses can grow with the help of microfinancing and provide skills training to unemployed youth.
Canada continued to demonstrate leadership on the global stage, addressing food security in developing countries. In 2010-2011, Canada maintained its position as the second largest single-country contributor to the World Food Programme and assumed the chair of the Food Aid Convention. Through CIDA, Canada enhanced its support to the agricultural sectors of developing countries, and reinforced its existing work to increase the nutritional value of the produce. Without increasing nutritional values in the diets of the most vulnerable people, we cannot maximize our work in education and other development activities. It also means weaker infants and mothers, and a lessened ability to withstand disease and illness, particularly during disasters or crises.
In 2010-2011, the world experienced disasters that rallied the international community to action. Canada responded to almost 70 humanitarian crises globally. These included the floods in Pakistan, the earthquake in Haiti, and famine and drought in East Africa, where the repercussions of the crisis grew increasingly troubling.
In every area of its humanitarian and development work, CIDA itself took steps to become more effective. It further refined its risk-management guidelines and tools to help better adapt to the various contexts that shape the international development landscape, and ultimately, to better maximize the impact and effectiveness of its work. CIDA also took steps to become more transparent and accountable by participating in the government's Open Data Initiative, which means the results of CIDA's work are now easier for all Canadians to obtain.
Over this reporting period, CIDA engaged in much more beyond the initiatives I have mentioned here. The details are in the following pages, where the results of our work clearly demonstrate our commitment to our mandate, to accountability, and to those in the developing world. This report includes stories that represent real, sustainable, concrete results showing that our investments of public funds can make a difference in the communities and countries that receive our support.