Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 30, 2006
Development and Peace secures 5-year grant from CIDA
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
A new $42-million federal government pledge to fund the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace over the next five years will allow CCODP to continue its work in developing countries.
"This is good news," Development and Peace's executive director Michael Casey told the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) annual plenary Oct. 16. "This is the best and longest agreement with CIDA so far."
CCODP is cutting back the number of its projects and partners and has just undergone a painful internal restructuring.
According to a report delivered by Valleyfield Bishop Luc Cyr and Grand Falls Bishop Martin Currie, Development and Peace will reduce its number of projects by about 30 per cent.
The organization will still continue to work in 30 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The $20 million balanced budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year allocated 67 per cent for international development, 22.5 per cent for in-Canada educational programs and 10.5 per cent for administration and governance.
The restructuring included a departure incentive program offering early retirement packages to 17 eligible employees.
Development and Peace continues to face challenges identified during the restructuring process, the report said.
Those challenges include an aging and declining membership in the Canadian Church's traditional sectors; static levels of core revenue and financial contributions; steadily increasing operating expenses and aging staff.
Share Lent is the chief fundraising drive for Development and Peace. It provides about 40 per cent of the total annual revenue. In 2006, the campaign collected about $9 million.
Bishop Cyr pointed out that many Catholics do not know that Development and Peace is a Catholic organization. The organization's Catholic identity has been a help, however, when it comes to negotiating with the federal government.
Casey told the bishops CCODP was able to negotiate more independence from the Canadian International Development Agency "because of the strength of the Catholic Church" as a "social movement."
Despite the restructuring, Development and Peace maintained its work at home and abroad.
Casey explained that the mandate for the organization is not only helping out developing countries, but also "to make the Canadian public aware of the need for help by animating a spirit of solidarity."
Development and Peace will begin a new five-year program under the theme Building More Just and Equitable Communities, after finishing its third year of a program with the theme Support for the Democratization of Development.
The organization also finished its three-year water campaign, urging the federal government to recognize access to safe water as a human right. That campaign has also seen 183 municipalities pass resolutions on water that oppose the privatization of water resources.
* The organization also continues its emergency relief work, earmarking 10 per cent of Share Lent funds for that purpose.