Lead Canada's international effort to help people living in poverty.
Manage Canada's support and resources effectively and accountably to achieve meaningful, sustainable results and engage in policy development in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada's effort to realize its development objectives.
Previously, most Canadian assistance took the form of contributions to the United Nations and its agencies.
Then in 1959, the Department of Trade and Commerce set up an Economic and Technical Assistance Bureau to look after the growing needs of developing countries for international assistance.
In 1960, the Bureau's functions were transferred to the Department of External Affairs, now the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to form a consolidated external aid office. The creation of the External Aid Office was fundamental to Canada's role in international development because foreign aid was increasing.
CIDA was established in 1968 by an order in council to administer the bulk of Canada's Official Development Assistance program and to better assist people living in poverty.