Eight in 10 Canadians support international assistance, despite domestic concerns

OTTAWA, ON – Thursday, August 17, 2023 – According to research led by members from the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH), Canada’s role on the global stage remains a clear priority for Canadians.

A national poll conducted for CanWaCH by Abacus Data found that 77 per cent of Canadians feel that it’s important to maintain Canada’s history of stepping up and supporting other countries in need, while 81 per cent support Canada providing Official Development Assistance (ODA) specifically. This despite 94 per cent expressing concern over the rising cost of living in Canada, and 85 per cent concerned about housing affordability. 

Globally, 92 per cent of Canadians are concerned about poverty, and 90 per cent agree that to solve the big problems of today, countries need to work closely with one another. 

“There’s no denying that the world has changed in the past few years, and we wanted to gauge how Canadians’ thinking around global citizenship has changed alongside it,” says Julia Anderson, CEO of CanWaCH. “When I consider that 83 per cent said it’s important that Canada is a world leader on improving the health of women and children everywhere, it tells me that Canadians have a deep understanding of what’s at stake beyond our borders, and what it means for Canada to step up.”

This polling was conducted in partnership with several CanWaCH member organizations all hoping to answer the same question: In the current global landscape, how do Canadians perceive the country’s role in supporting those beyond our borders? What we heard in response was clear – a strong majority (also 81 per cent) expect Canada to be seen as doing its fair share.

“Canadians have a real appreciation for how conditions and events globally can impact life back at home,” says David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data. “They want Canada to engage and do its part to end global poverty and improve health outcomes for women and girls everywhere.”

CanWaCH members and partners for this research

Aga Khan Foundation Canada

Bigger than our Borders

Cooperation Canada

Cuso International

Plan International Canada

Save the Children Canada

Guelph Institute of Development Studies (University of Guelph)

World Vision Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Media Contact
Charmaine Crockett
Director, Stakeholder Engagement, CanWaCH
613-863-9489 | [email protected]  

David Coletto
Chief Executive Officer, Abacus Data
613-884-4730 | [email protected]


CanWaCH | The Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) is comprised of 100 Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, health professional associations and individuals partnering to improve health outcomes for women and children in more than 1,000 communities worldwide.  

To learn more visit: CanWaCH.ca 

Abacus Data | Abacus Data is an innovative, fast-growing public opinion and marketing research consultancy. We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and exceptional value. We are the only research and strategy firm that helps organizations respond to the disruptive risks and opportunities in a world where demographics and technology are changing more quickly than ever.
To learn more visit: abacusdata.ca