Plan Canada Welcomes Global Goals and Push for a More Equitable World

Canadians weigh in via national survey, calling for an end to global poverty and a need for Canada to lead in foreign aid

TORONTO, September 25, 2015 - Today, Plan Canada stood with the international community at the annual UN General Assembly in New York as a new set of global goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were ratified by 193 countries with the aim of building a more inclusive, just and safe world. The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the most successful anti-poverty push in history, and build on that strong progress to ensure a better world for everyone by 2030.

Plan Canada research indicates that Canadians recognize the important role that this country can play in achieving the new global goals. In conjunction with the launch of the SDGs, Plan Canada commissioned a national survey in which 89 per cent of Canadians polled said it is important for Canada to take a leadership role in foreign aid.

Many developed countries, including Canada, are falling behind the United Nations’ established target of committing 0.7 per cent of gross national income to official development assistance. Canada’s current spending on aid is 0.24 per cent. Reaching 0.7 per cent is one key way that nations could break the cycle of global poverty.

“More girls and boys are in school and more than one billion people are out of poverty. The global effort that led to this unprecedented achievement, one which Canadians have contributed to, is something that we should be proud of,” said Marie Staunton, Plan Canada’s interim President and CEO. “I can’t help but feel inspired, but we also recognize that there is far more work to be done. Now the job is to ensure not even the poorest girl or boy is left behind, wherever they live on the planet and ‎whoever they are.”

Canada’s decision to invest in and focus on the MDGs regarding reducing child mortality and improving maternal health has delivered strong results; this includes Plan programs, done in partnership with other Canadian NGOs, funded by the Government of Canada that saw:

  • 50 per cent increase in mothers receiving postnatal care for themselves or their babies
  • More than 400,000 children receiving life-saving vaccinations to protect against serious childhood diseases
  • 21 per cent increase in women who were assisted by a skilled health professional during delivery

Since the launch of the MDGs, global extreme poverty has been reduced by half. Canadians were clear in the recent Plan Canada survey that they support this achievement – 58 per cent indicated that ending extreme poverty should continue to be a high priority.

Plan Canada and its international counterparts also want to ensure that these new global goals go beyond the MDGs to reach the most vulnerable or harder to reach populations, including adolescent girls, children with disabilities, and children and families impacted by conflict situations.

The Plan Canada survey also found Canadians are still particularly concerned about issues that uniquely impact girls and women in the world:

  • An overwhelming 91 per cent of those surveyed are particularly concerned about the practice of child marriage involving girls under the age of 15
  • More than a third (35 per cent) believe more should be done to help pregnant and new mothers and newborns in developing countries around the world.

The SDGs were developed in consultation with world leaders, young people, international organizations like Plan Canada and the general public from all over the globe to ensure they represent critical needs and perspectives. More information about the global goals can be found at

To learn more about what Canadians think about the SDGs, Plan Canada has produced a video to hear from them in their own words:

About the Plan Canada National Survey

H+K Strategies conducted a national survey using its internal panel, H+K Perspectives, from July 16 to 21, 2015. In total 1,118 Canadians from across the country were surveyed; an associated margin of error for a sample this size would be ±2.9% 19 times out of 20.

About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit and for more information.

Media contact

Abigail Brown, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: (416) 920-1654 ext. 277 | C: (647) 971-3764 |