G20 Summit concludes with Canadian funding announcement and reaffirmation of Canadian priorities

The group of 20 (G20) summit has concluded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The summit allowed nations, including Canada, to build on priorities established at the group of seven (G7) Summit. These priorities include equal access to quality education to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; the implementation of the 'Ocean Plastics Charter' to eradicate plastic pollution; and for the replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

At the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an additional US$8 million (CAD10 million) in funding for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI). This funding targets developing vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease outbreaks.

News release—Prime Minister of Canada


International Development Research Centre announces partnership to improve Ebola pandemic response capacity

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will be funding four Canadian-African research teams, under their Rapid Research Fund for Ebola Virus Disease Outbreaks. The teams will be conducting innovative research projects to improve capacity to prevent or mitigate the impact of future Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other at-risk nations.

News article - IDRC


Canada and Zambia lead on UN resolution to end child, early, and forced marriage

The Canadian ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Development have announced Canada’s support for a United Nations resolution to end child, early, and forced marriage. On November 15, 2018, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a resolution on child, early, and forced marriage. This resolution was led by  Zambia and Canada, along with 114 co-sponsors. The UN has set a target of eliminating child, early, and forced marriage by 2030. The resolution assesses progress made and provides a road map to achieving this 2030 goal. The ministers issued a joint statement stating that increased efforts are necessary to meet the 2030 target.

Press release – Global Affairs Canada


Canada announces new initiatives to empower women and girls in Ethiopia

Canadian Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced CAD23 million (US$17.4 million) in funding for initiatives to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Ethiopia following a three-day visit to the country. The first initiative, 'Innovative Finance for Women Entrepreneurs', will provide 25,000 women entrepreneurs access to financial services, technologies, and leadership training.  The second initiative, 'Women’s Voice and Leadership', will provide support for 48 local women’s organizations across four regions of Ethiopia. This support is intended to help organizations increase their capacity to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in their communities.

Press release – Global Affairs Canada


FinDev Canada and ADB prioritize climate, agribusiness, and gender in new agreement

The African Development Bank (ADB) and FinDev Canada, Canada's development finance institution, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that signifies their intention to collaborate in joint transaction opportunities, external partnerships, and best practices to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. A key focus of the MoU is enhancing women’s economic empowerment and addressing the financial gap between men and women. Additionally, partners have a shared interest in financial institutions, agriculture and green growth,  and will work together on job creation and addressing climate change.

News release - FinDev Canada


Canada pledges additional US$39 million to Global Financing Facility

Canada has committed CAD50 million (US$39 million) in funding to the Global Financing Facility (GFF). This contribution is aligned with Canada’s G7 commitment to address the obstacles faced by women and girls in fragile states, particularly barriers to education. The pledge raises Canada’s total contribution to the GFF for the 2015-2020 period to CAD290 million (US$227 million).

Canada is one of the founding partners of the GFF, along with the World Bank, Norway, and the United Nations (UN). The GFF has developed innovative solutions to help developing nations prioritize health sector investments in a way that benefits women and youth, aligning with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

News release – Government of Canada


FinDev Canada joins Gender Finance Collaborative

During the G7 Summit, FinDev Canada and other development finance institutions (DFIs) from G7 countries committed to the 2X Challenge, which involves raising US$3 billion towards business that benefit women as entrepreneurs, leaders, employees, and consumers. As a follow up to this commitment, FinDev Canada, along with 14 other DFIs and the European Investment Bank, are joining together to launch the Gender Finance Collaborative. The collaborative is hosted by the United Kingdom’s CDC Group. The partners will work together to enhance women’s economic empowerment programs. They will share case studies, best practices, support, and resources to improve gender-smart investing.

News release—FinDev Canada


Fellow at Munk School of Global Affairs outlines challenges surrounding Canada’s feminist foreign assistance policy

In an article for the National Post, Susanne Courtney, the 2019 Global Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, outlines a wide array of criticisms facing Canada’s 'feminist' foreign assistance policy. She states that some claim it to be too abstract and lacking substance; making it difficult to evaluate. Others state that the policy is too ideological, and its lofty goals are too ambitious. Courtney notes that much of the criticism has come as a result of implementation issues within the government—including complicated bureaucratic processes and a lack of funding for local NGOs.

Courtney reminds readers that the criticisms of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy are likely to get louder as Canada approaches its federal elections in 2019.   

News article – National Post


Canadian and Dutch prime ministers agree to deepen partnership against climate change

During the Prime Minister of the Netherlands’ visit to Ottawa, Canada and the Netherlands have announced the Netherlands’ endorsement of the Canada-led Ocean Plastics Charter. The charter was adopted at the G7 Summit in June, initially by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the EU, and consists of actions aimed towards fighting the pollution of marine bodies.

Canada has also confirmed that it will be providing CAD7.5 million dollars (US$5.9 million dollars) for the Global Commission on Adaptation, a Dutch-led climate change initiative. 

News Release – Prime Minister of Canada

Canada Netherlands

IPCI attendees commit to advancing gender equality and SRHR

In the Ottawa Statement of Commitment, released at the conclusion of the 7th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI), 90 parliamentarians from over 70 countries agreed to various pledges tackling preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence, enhancing reproductive rights, and promoting gender equality.  The IPCI was a jointly organized event which included keynote speeches from Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund.

Press release - IPCI