Canadian municipalities have much to celebrate during International Development Week 2008

    OTTAWA, Feb. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian municipalities contributed more
than 5000 days of volunteer service to support development in Africa, Asia,
the Caribbean and Latin America, says the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities (FCM).
    FCM's International Centre for Municipal Development is celebrating the
contribution of Canadian municipalities to international cooperation during
International Development Week, February 3-9, 2008.
    "The impressive commitment to international cooperation demonstrated by
FCM's members speaks to a recognition that by working together, local
governments yield practical improvements to quality of life for people around
the world and in Canada," says Basile Angelopoulos, Chair of FCM's Standing
Committee on International Relations.
    Over the past year, more than 65 Canadian municipalities from coast to
coast have worked internationally through programs managed by FCM and funded
by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In 2007, municipal
partnerships and projects assisted local governments in 21 countries to
improve grassroots delivery of services, increase public participation in
decision-making, and cooperate with other orders of government to promote
national policy and legislative change that supports local communities:

    - In Sri Lanka, Canadian volunteers have helped the city of Galle reduce
      solid waste by 50% in two wards that were affected by the 2004 tsunami
      through improved collection and a composting project. Public health
      officials have attributed improved waste collection as a factor in the
      reduction of reported fatalities from mosquito-borne Dengue fever in
      Galle over the past year.
    - In Guyana, volunteers from local and provincial governments in Canada
      have helped create the Guyana Association of Municipalities. Local
      governments in Guyana now have a forum to share knowledge and
      collaborate on issues that affect communities country-wide, and
      throughout the Caribbean region.
    - FCM has supported the creation of the African Women in Local Governance
      Network. The network is the first of its kind and brings together women
      local leaders from several countries in Africa to promote women's
      participation in local government and decision-making. Women leaders
      from Canadian municipalities have been instrumental in supporting their
      African colleagues.

    FCM's international programs are made possible with funding from the
Government of Canada through CIDA, and through contributions of volunteer
technical assistance from municipal elected leaders and staff.
    "FCM's partnership with CIDA has demonstrated how our municipalities can
help contribute to achieving global development goals that reflect national
priorities," says Angelopoulos. "Local governments have a major role to play
in improving health, the environment and alleviating poverty. They are a
bridge between the public and other orders of government."

For further information:

For further information: Noelle Grosse, Outreach Officer, (613)

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