Oxfam Canada calls for Canada to apply feminist policy to extractive sector

In a recent blog post, Ian Thomson, policy expert on extractives for Oxfam Canada, called on the Canadian government to apply its Feminist International Assistance Policy to mining finance and expertise. By engaging Canada’s mining industry associations and submitting policy recommendations to Export Development Canada, Oxfam Canada is looking at ways that Canadian companies and Canadian international assistance can work in developing countries to implement gender-responsive budget initiatives. Moreover, Oxfam Canada points to the first-ever Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise as an opportunity for the Canadian government to further engage on gender issues.    

Blog post - Oxfam Canada


New CCIC president says that Canada should do more for world poverty

Nicolas Moyer, the new president of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), has said that the CCIC believes Canada should be giving more to reduce global poverty. Citing the statistic that Canada is well-below contributing 0.3% of its GDP to official development assistance (ODA), Moyer stated that the CCIC and its members are always looking for a willingness by the Canadian government to increase the ODA budget. Additionally, Moyer argued that the delivery of international assistance could be improved by cutting through red tape and simplifying the request for proposal process.

Article - CCIC


Canada denounces Guatemala’s decision not to renew international commission against impunity

Following a decision by the government of Guatemala not to renew the mandate of the United Nations International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed Canada’s disappointment as an international donor to the CICIG. She stated that despite the decision, Canada remained committed to rule of law and accountable governance in Guatemala. 

The CICIG’s mandate was to investigate illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in Guatemala – groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions and who undermine the democratic gains in Guatemala.

Press release – Global Affairs Canada


Canadian prime minister announces new Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced a shuffle of Canada’s parliamentary secretaries, which included a change to the parliamentary secretary supporting the Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau. The new parliamentary secretary will be Kamal Khera, formerly Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue. Khera replaces Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who had been in her role since January 2017. Prior to working with the Minister of National Revenue, Khera had been the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister of Canada


UNICEF Canada calls for greater focus on 'resilient development' during crisis

David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, and Jean-Jacques Simon, Chief of Communications for UNICEF Bangladesh, have co-authored an article in the journal 'Policy Options' in which they reflect on the first anniversary of the start of the Rohingya crisis and point-to-crisis prevention as an important element of any policy response. The authors argue that making use resilient development, a technique used to bridge long-term development with short-term humanitarian assistance, would allow countries to “build back better”.  The authors offer a series of recommendations to the Myanmar government and the international community to ensure that Myanmar returns to a better state than before the crisis, in order to prevent crises in Myanmar and neighboring countries.

Article – Policy Options


High-profile Canadian project for Afghan women panned for not meeting objectives

A CAD5.6 million (US$4.4 million) Canadian project designed to encourage Afghan women to run for political office was found to have limited success in changing women’s capacity to shift decision-making processes and to have not delivered funds to women it was designed to help. The evaluation cites a poor design and implementation as the main reason for the failing, and notes that implementers failed to adequately reflect on structural gender discrimination in Afghanistan. Making matters worse, the evaluation notes that the Canadian government considered cancelling the project when it became apparent that it was not meeting its objectives, but decided to continue.

News article - CBC


CCIC describes complex human rights record of new UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) has issued a brief analysis of the new United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. While Bachelet was a political prisoner and victim of torture under Chile’s Pinochet regime, the CCIC also points to Bachelet’s time as President of Chile when her government employed police repression and continued human rights abuses against Chilean First Nations. 

The CCIC concludes its analysis by calling on all civil society and social movements to monitor Bachelet in her new role to ensure the Office delivers on its mandate.

Analysis - CCIC


Canada to support women’s rights via pan-African initiative

Upon the completion of meetings with Sierra Leonean women’s organizations in Freetown, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, French Minister of International Development, pledged CAD7 million (US$5.5 million) in support of the Shaping our Futures: African Women’s Voice and Leadership project. 

The project is aimed at improving the capacity and sustainability of local women’s organizations and ensuring that these organizations can deliver quality services and advocacy.  The funding is also intended to increase the capacity of women’s rights platforms to influence gender-sensitive policy change.  The project will be led by the African Women’s Development Fund.

Press release – Global Affairs Canada


CIDP releases estimates of Canadian ODA to SGBV initiatives

The Canadian International Development Platform (CIDP) has released a data dashboard estimating Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) disbursements to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) projects between 2010 and 2016.  Total disbursements over this period totaled US$545 million with the annual amount peaking in 2015 at US$176 million.  Regionally, most of this funding has been targeted to sub-Saharan Africa (37% of all disbursements) and the Middle East (28% of all disbursements).  The largest country recipients over the period were Haiti, Lebanon, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Jordan.

Website – CIDP


Canada loses support of its ODA recipients in face of diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia

Following a Global Affairs Canada (GAC) tweet in which Canada called for Saudi Arabia to immediately release what Canada called 'civil society and women’s activists', Saudi Arabia has moved to expel the Canadian ambassador, remove 16,000 Saudi students studying in Canada on scholarships, froze exports, and grounded Saudi Arabia’s flights to Canada. Following these actions, two Canadian official development assistance (ODA) recipients, Jordan and Sudan, have sided with Saudi Arabia by stating that Canada should not be interfering in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs. Jordan was the third-largest recipient of Canada’s ODA in 2017.   

News article – CBC

News article – The Jordan Times

News article – Sudan Tribune

ODA data- Canadian International Development Platform