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Canada is outpacing other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations in terms of how much money it’s dedicating to foreign aid. 

In a recent analysis by the OECD, Canada has ranked seventh globally in terms of foreign aid expenditure. 

The final bill of the 2023 fiscal year was a whopping USD $8 billion in taxpayer funding spent on foreign aid programs.

But not all of this money leaves Canada’s border. A significant portion of the bill was directed towards the support of refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced Ukrainians. 

This figure represents 19% of the nation’s total foreign aid budget, surpassing the OECD average of 13.8%.

“Most Canadians would not think that counts, because when we think of foreign aid we think of something happening in other countries, not costs that we have here,” anti-poverty advocate and Canadian director of One Campaign Elise Legault told CTV News. 

According to Legault, the Canadian government has yet to budge on its generous foreign aid spending, despite the growing costs of taking in refugees.  

“Other countries like the U.K. and Sweden have been raiding their foreign-aid budgets to cover the cost of refugees arriving in the country, and thankfully Canada has avoided that path,” explained Legault. 

The detailed breakdown reveals that Canada’s aid efforts are not just confined within its borders. 

Internationally, the Liberal government has dumped money into the conflict in Sudan, on the crisis in Haiti, and provided financial assistance to Ukraine.

Loans to other countries accounted for a substantial 21.4% of all of the aid sent abroad. 

However, there have been concerns from aid groups about a 15% reduction in the international aid budget.

Yet the Liberals insist that they will incrementally raise aid funding. 

The ambiguity surrounding the exact figures for future aid spending has persisted, with no consolidated numbers presented in the latest budget and no clarification from Development Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office.