(Ottawa) What is Justin Trudeau going to do at the Global Citizen NOW summit in New York, just three weeks after cutting 15% in international aid from the federal budget? A coalition of NGOs is asking the question, seeing it as a flagrant inconsistency.

The Prime Minister flies this Wednesday afternoon to New York, where he will be one of the guests of this summit which gets underway on Thursday. The event aims to “set a global agenda for action on the most pressing issues facing humanity and the planet,” according to Global Citizen.

He is on the program for the first day of activities, when he will take part in a discussion on gender equality moderated by journalist Lisa LaFlamme in the company of Jacqueline O’Neill, Canada’s Ambassador for Women, peace and security.

“We wonder a little what he will do in New York when we made a clear decision: that we return to our 2019 levels and that we cut international aid by 1.3 billion per year says Louis Bélanger, director of the NGO group Beyond Our Borders.

“I talk to NGOs on the ground who feel it. The impact is real; Canadian NGOs are wondering if they will fire people who are on the ground. It will have an impact on the education of young girls, on migrants, on our actions in relation to climate change, ”he laments.

And so, “what we want is not necessarily a prime minister who goes to New York with actors, influencers and musicians”, but rather “a prime minister who has a real vision, a real plan game for foreign affairs, ”argues Louis Bélanger, a former Liberal employee.

In her budget tabled on April 4, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland allocated nearly $6.9 billion in international development assistance over the next fiscal year, a 16% decrease from the previous fiscal year. last year.

Humanitarian organizations quickly mounted the barricades, judging this amount clearly insufficient.

In 2019-2020, the last fiscal year before the pandemic, the government had budgeted $6.6 billion for international aid. With the measures linked to the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this figure jumped to more than 8 billion last year.

Prior to the unveiling of the budget, government officials warned the aid community that the amount of the 2021-2022 budget was exceptional, and that the figure for the next year would be closer to that of 2019.

The government press release announcing Justin Trudeau’s attendance at the summit noted that he “will advocate for women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive health and related rights, and empowerment women around the world.”

French President Emmanuel Macron is also among the guests of the event, which will also bring together personalities such as singer John Legend and actress Katie Holmes. Summit co-chairs actor Hugh Jackman and Coldplay singer Chris Martin are also expected to attend.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s plane is scheduled to take off from Ottawa around 4:45 p.m.