Thank you for the question.
As you know, they were announced in September, so they're at their very initial stages. These are projects that were developed with Canadian organizations. The Canadian organizations then made a proposal and request to CIDA. CIDA was not part of the partnership, which was first developed before they came to CIDA.
Of all the major developing countries, Canada is latest in forming partnerships with the private sector. Other countries—our British, Australian, and American colleagues—have undertaken projects and are increasing those partnerships with the private sector. In fact, it has been noted that Canada is late to the table, and I think we have great opportunity here.
People have noted as well that in order to get a sustainable reduction in poverty.... I'll just quote, as we'll all recognize, Bono, who said, "A lot of people realize that the real way out of poverty is never aid. It's commerce.” Others have said that states with ample resources, strong economic institutions, and good public policies will face the best in the future. Raising people out of poverty means not aid but enabling them to have the opportunity to get good, productive jobs and to increase their family incomes. If you build up a good economy for the country, that's what sustainability is about.
The international community forecast shows there are primarily two major areas for economies of developing countries to grow. They are agriculture and the natural resources sector. In the natural resources sector we're playing a big part, according to the forecast for growth of economies and jobs in those countries. I think Canada has a unique opportunity to have some very good, reputable mining companies and good NGO organizations come together to make sure they are making a difference.
There are the three projects, but we really have to catch up with our other major donors and take advantage of some innovative ideas. As I said, they have expertise in many of the fields. They have innovative approaches, etc., and they want to make a contribution. There are many mining companies, whether they're Canadian or any other country in origin, that are doing their corporate social responsibility.
I was in Mongolia. The mining companies there are contributing to the social development of Mongolia at a higher level than Canada's aid and development program could ever do. Consequently, we want to have them contribute, working with the NGO community, to give us the additional expertise and an additional approach to innovative new ideas on how to ensure we're going to grow the economies and create jobs.
A large proportion of the populations of developing countries are youth. In the future, over 52% of the population in these countries will be youth. We have seen recently what happens when a majority of youth are unemployed: they have nothing to do, nothing constructive, etc., and their alternatives are something that I don't think we as Canadians want them to choose.