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Nigeria, Kenya, Niger to receive first of Canadian-donated COVID-19 doses through COVAX

The Canadian government pledged to provide Nigeria, Kenya, and Niger with more than 1 million COVID-19 doses through the COVAX initiative.

Nigeria will receive 801,600 doses, Kenya 459,300, and Niger 100,800.

Canada’s contribution comes as part of a recent pledge of over 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the COVAX initiative. Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, recognized Canada for its strong commitment to global public health. Canada has pledged over CA$500 million (US$399 million) to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), CA$1.3 billion (US$1.0 billion) to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and 40 million vaccine doses to COVAX. 

News article - Gavi

G7 leaders support UN-led international humanitarian response in Afghanistan, call on Taliban government to uphold international human rights

The UK, as President of the G7 in 2021, hosted a virtual leaders’ meeting of the G7 on August 24 to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan. 

The leaders, delivering a statement from the meeting, called for a cessation of all violence, and agreed to support an UN-led international humanitarian response. The G7 leaders also called upon the new Taliban-led government to uphold international human rights particularly for women and girls and uphold international humanitarian law.

The UN has estimated that 18 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan following the collapse of the government and the Taliban takeover, as US and UK troops withdrew from the country. The UN has also warned that the violence in Afghanistan must stop, noting that if current trends continue, Afghanistan could record the highest-ever number of documented civilian casualties, since the UN’s began collecting annual data on these figures.  

The UK has agreed to increase its official development assistance (ODA) to Afghanistan to £286 million (US$384 million) and has committed to receiving 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years. It also has an Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) which was launched on April 1, 2021 and will remain in place until November 2022, that offers any current or former locally employed staff working for the UK government in Afghanistan (that is assessed to be under serious threat to life) to be offered relocation to the UK.

G7 Leaders' statement - G7

News article - BOND

Canada announces US$40 million in additional humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

On August 26, 2021, the Government of Canada announced CA$50 million (US$40 million) in humanitarian funding for Afghanistan and stated that it will be ready to respond to further UN or Red Cross appeals for support.

The funds will provide life-saving assistance, such as food, medical assistance, clean water, and sanitation. Canada's contribution will be allocated through trusted humanitarian partners, including the World Food Programme, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN High Commission for Refugees, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Cooperation Canada urges greater support from Canada and allies to Afghanistan amid Taliban takeover

Cooperation Canada is calling on Canada and the international community to do more to mobilize resources to address the human rights crisis in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

Thus far, Canada has committed to resettling 20,000 refugees and has also promised to evacuate Afghans who have worked alongside Canadians in Afghanistan. Canada is currently in an election period, which makes new commitments to foreign assistance challenging. Nonetheless, Cooperation Canada urged the Canadian government and its NATO allies to support greater global coordination by means of humanitarian assistance and foreign assistance that prioritizes the lives of Afghan civilians at risk.

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

Canada’s International Development Research Centre announces support for new research chairs on forced displacement in Central and South America, South and Southeast Asia

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has launched a call for proposals to universities in Central and South America as well as South and Southeast Asia to establish a research chair on forced displacement.

The IDRC will support the establishment of two university research chairs for up to five years in South and Southeast Asia and two university research chairs in Central and South America. The goal of the initiative is to empower institutions in the regions to define research agendas, support the rights of forcibly displaced people, and amplify the perspectives of forcibly displaced people and host communities.

Approximately 80 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced because of conflict, human rights violations, climate change, political corruption, and other causes. This initiative is part of a broader IDRC goal of contributing to localized research on forced displacement, given that 80% of the world’s forcibly displaced people are located in countries in the Global South, yet almost all research that influences the policies and practices on forced displacement originates in Northern countries The deadline for proposals is September 30, 2021, at 4:00 pm EDT. 

Press release - International Development Research Centre

Canada to provide US$124 million in emergency support to respond to global food crises

On August 13, 2021, Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould announced CA$155 million (US$124 million) for emergency humanitarian and development assistance to address food insecurity and famine in crisis-affected countries.

This funding will be distributed through several organizations, including:

  • CA$75 million (US$60 million) through the World Food Programme to provide emergency cash, food, and nutrition assistance;
  • CA$25 million (US$20 million) through Canadian non-governmental organization to addresses underlying determinants of acute malnutrition, including water, sanitation and hygiene, and health programming;
  • CA$20 million (US$16 million) through UNICEF to ensure access to essential nutritional supports, such as Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods, and help communities meet nutrition needs through activities, such as sanitation and hygiene programming; and
  • CA$15 million (US$12 million) through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (UN OCHA) Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) to enable flexible and timely country-level responses, including through international organizations and NGOs.

Other focused investments will be distributed through the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and more. These organizations’ global food and nutrition programming will also specifically address people most affected by acute and chronic malnutrition exacerbated by COVID-19.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada 

Canada announces US$26 million to support public services for marginalized groups in Ukraine

On August 12, 2021, Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould announced CA$32 million (US$26 million) over five years to strengthen public services and support inclusive governance in Ukraine. Of this funding, CA$2 million will be directed towards improving the Ukraine government's support for the socio-economic well-being of women military veterans.

To distribute the remaining CA$30 million in funding, Canada has launched a call for proposals to solicit projects that will enhance democratic, inclusive, and gender-responsive governance in Ukraine to support the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in Ukraine. Specifically, the funding is intended to support proposals that are aligned with the inclusive governance action area policy in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

The CA$2 million of funding for women veterans will be distributed through a Saskatchewan Polytechnic project “Women Veterans’ Reintegration in Ukraine”, and implemented in partnership with Ukraine’s Ministry of Veteran Affairs, Ukraine’s State Employment Service, and a leading gender equality NGO in Ukraine called the Women’s Information and Consultation Center. The project seeks to support and improve the Ukrainian government’s ability to assist women military veterans through adapted skills development programs, career guidance, gender mainstreaming, and by promoting dialogue and advocacy.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces 10 million additional COVID-19 vaccines to be donated through COVAX

On August 12, 2021, the Canadian Minister of International Development and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement announced that Canada will donate up to 10 million doses of the Janssen vaccine to countries in need through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX). 

The contribution will be managed by the COVAX Dose Sharing mechanism and will be delivered primarily to countries in the Caribbean and Latin America region. This new contribution brings Canada’s total contribution to COVAX up to 40 million doses and is in addition to the CA$545 million Canada has committed to the COVAX Facility for vaccine procurement, distribution, and delivery for low‑ and middle‑income countries. Since the start of the pandemic, Canada has committed more than CA$2.5 billion (US$2.0 billion) to support the global response to COVID-19.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$15 million to support development projects in Philippines

Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development Maninder Sidhu announced on August 11, 2021, that Canada will provide CA$19 million (US$15 million) over the next five years to support seven new development projects in the Philippines.

The funding will mainly support the Philippines' COVID-19 economic response, including empowering women and girls, improving access to education, and supporting people living in low-income areas of the island of Mindanao, including in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

These projects will be implemented in partnership with Canadian, local, and international multilateral non-governmental organizations and in close coordination with the Philippine government to ensure they reach the most marginalized people.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada to provide 82,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago

On August 4, 2021, Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould announced that Canada will share over 82,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago via a bilateral agreement. 

The vaccine supply comes from doses that already arrived in Canada, but are in excess of Canada’s domestic needs and can be delivered to Trinidad and Tobago in the coming days. Trinidad and Tobago was selected to receive these doses based on need, as well as the country’s capacity to deploy them immediately.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada must focus on three key areas to improve international climate finance, says Canadian International Development Platform

At the G7 Leaders' Summit in June of 2021, Canada announced a doubling of its international climate finance (ICF) to CA$5.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) over the next five years, but the Canadian International Development Platform is arguing that the way Canada doubles its ICF is more important than the quantify of ICF itself. The CIDP proposed three areas to watch in Canada’s ICF portfolio: 

  1. The CIDP argues that a pressure to demonstrate too many inconsistent results out of the same limited funds has led to programs that fail to clearly define objectives and prioritize meaningful outcomes. They also highlight a lack of accountability and transparency in Canada’s ICF as a result of the absence of a mechanism or impact framework to hold donors to account.
  2. The CIDP suggests that Canada needs to focus more on how its assistance is channeled, and strike a better balance between grants and debt, multilateral and bilateral channels, and more overlap between gender and climate projects given Canada's feminist international assistance policy.
  3. Lastly, it finds that global competitiveness has been neglected by Canada’s ICF, which the CIDP argues has been a missed opportunity. It is therefore worth watching whether a doubling of Canada’s ICF includes the leveraging of the private sector to enhance Canadian competitiveness. 

Op-ed - Canadian International Development Platform

Canada must ramp up vaccination supply to low-income countries or risk another COVID-19 wave, experts say

Experts are warning that if Canada and other high-income countries don’t drastically scale up their COVID-19 vaccine supply to low-income countries, it will result in global citizenship failure and, potentially, another global wave of cases that will impact countries at all income levels.

70% of Canadians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 26% of the world’s population have at least one shot, but inhabitants of high-income countries are overrepresented in this percentage; only 1% of people in low-income countries have received any COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Canada is one of the top dose contributors per capita in the world, and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, (co-founder of COVAX) - has praised Canada’s contributions. However, Dr. Prabhat Jha, a global health researcher at Unity Health Toronto and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, said that donating excess vaccines is not enough. He argues that the pandemic requires a “war” effort, which would include using Canada’s purchasing prowess to buy more vaccines for low-income countries and using Canada’s diplomatic advantage to persuade richer nations and vaccine-manufacturing countries to make and supply more vaccines. 

News article - CBC

Canada announces 18 million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine for COVAX, donation matching campaign to UNICEF Canada’s vaccination drive

On July 12, 2021, Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould, announced that Canada will donate an additional 18 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX). The Minister also announced that Canada will match, dollar for dollar, donations made by Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign up to a maximum of CA$10 million (US$8 million). 

The 18 million doses will be administered through a newly-funded COVAX Dose Sharing mechanism. The UNICEF fund matching campaign, “Give a Vax” will run until September 6, 2021. A fully funded matching fund campaign would cover COVID-19 vaccination costs of approximately 4 million people worldwide. Funds raised will enable UNICEF to cover the cost to transport vaccines to countries in need, keep vaccines viable, and train health care workers to administer vaccines, among other costs. This announcement builds on the more than CA$2.5 billion (US$2.0 billion) that Canada has already committed to supporting the global response to COVID-19.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada 

News article - CBC

Oxfam releases new international report on food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic, Oxfam Canada calls for government action

A new Oxfam report, ‘The Hunger Virus Multiplies’, says that as many as eleven people per minute are likely dying of hunger and malnutrition—more than the current global death rate of COVID-19 at around seven people each minute. With half a million people pushed into famine-like conditions since the pandemic started, Oxfam Canada called for more government action to address the crisis.

The report found that 155 million people around the world are now living with crisis levels of food insecurity or worse, which is 20 million more than last year. Oxfam highlighted the impact of economic shock worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which included mass unemployment and severe disruptions in food production, as well as the worsening climate crisis, as key factors influencing the spike of those facing food insecurity. 

Oxfam Canada called on Canada and other donor countries to immediately and fully fund the UN’s humanitarian appeal to address this crisis. Oxfam Canada also highlighted the urgent need to break vaccine monopolies and have a 'people's vaccine' (as referred to by the People's Vaccine Alliance, a coalition fighting for global vaccine access), as well as build fairer and more sustainable food systems and support social protection programs. 

Report - Oxfam Canada

Generation Equality Forum concludes with major financial and political commitments for gender equality

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, kicked off in Mexico City on March 29-31, 2021, and culminated in Paris on June 30-July 2. The Forum brought together high-level stakeholders including heads of government, corporations, and NGOs to accelerate major financial and political commitments to achieving gender equality by 2026. 

Country donors announced the following commitments:

  • Canada committed CA$180 million (US$146 million) to address the root causes of gender inequality around the world, including unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries. Canada also announced that it will commit CA$100 million (US$81 million) in new funding for stand-alone international assistance directed to inequality in unpaid and paid care work;
  • The EU committed at least €4.0 billion (US$4.9 billion) in the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget to be specifically dedicated to women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment. The EU also pledged to propose new legislation by the end of 2021 to combat violence against women and hate crimes against LGBTQI+ people, as well as adding all forms of hate crimes to the list of crimes in the EU treaties;
  • France committed an additional €100 million (US$122 million) in this sector for the next five years. It also announced that €250 million (US$304 million) will be mobilized by the French Development Agency (AFD) through the bilateral channel for sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR);
  • Germany increased its commitment to women's economic empowerment initiatives by €140 million (US$166 million), bringing Germany's total commitment to the GEF to US$285 million (€240 million). US$30 million (€25 million) of that will go to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative;
  • The Netherlands pledged US$620 million to feminist organizations and movements, including supporting the Action Coalition on economic justice, the Action Coalition on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the Action Coalition on climate justice;
  • Sweden pledged to support the implementation of the Common Agenda for Comprehensive Abortion Care and increase resources and support for existing funding mechanisms through the Action Coalition on feminist movements and leadership;
  • The UK recommitted to providing £68 million (US$91 million) to support its seven-year-long Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program; and
  • The US pledged US$175 million to support programs against gender-based violence and to mobilize US$12.0 billion through 2025 in investments by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in businesses that advance gender equity in emerging markets through the 2X Women's Initiative.

Newsletter - Donor Tracker

News article - Forbes

News article - UN News

At Generation Equality Forum, Canada pledges US$146 million to address global inequality in care work, commits to Global Alliances for gender equality

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, Canada committed CA$180 million (US$146 million) to address root causes of gender inequality around the world, including unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries, and affirmed its commitment to two Global Alliances for gender equality. These commitments came in addition to Canada’s contribution of CA$300 million (US$243 million) to the Equality Fund made at the GEF Mexico City kickoff event on March 31, 2021. 

As part of this CA$180 million (US$146 million) in funding, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would be contributing CA$80 million (US$65 million) for women and girls through GEF Action Coalitions. This includes Canada’s role in co-creating the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements, which is being co-developed by Canada, the Netherlands, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, the Global Fund for Women, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development and the 'Count Me In! Consortium', the Equality Fund, and Prospera. The Alliance will focus on improving financial and political support for women’s rights and feminist organizations. Canada also announced that it will join the Global Alliance for Care, which was created by Mexico's National Institute for Women and UN Women and will address the burden of care that hinders women’s economic participation and opportunities. 

A further CA$100 million (US$81 million) will be committed in new funding for stand-alone international assistance directed to inequality in unpaid and paid care work, geared to help increase women’s ability to participate in economic, educational, and public life. This funding marked the first-ever targeted global investment in the care economy by a donor government.

Canada’s new commitments at the GEF are consistent with its feminist policy on an international scale, represented through Canada’s 2017 Feminist International Assistance Policy. During the Forum, Trudeau also highlighted action taken at home towards gender equality, including Canada’s historic CA$30.0 billion (US$24.2 billion) commitment in the 2021 federal budget to build a nationwide early learning and child care system, which will help to remove barriers to women’s full participation in Canada’s workforce and economy. Through Budget 2021, Canada also made several investments to advance gender equality, including over CA$600 million (US$486 million) to advance a new National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and CA$2.2 billion (US$1.8 billion) to implement a National Action Plan to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. 

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

Canada to require 100% zero-emission car sales by 2035, accelerating previous target

On June 29, 2021, Canada announced that it is setting a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero emissions by 2035 to support Canada’s climate crisis mitigation efforts. 

This announcement marks an acceleration of Canada’s previous target of 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2040. To ensure the success of this ambitious new climate and infrastructure target, the Government of Canada will support a combination of investments and regulations to help the transition, including working with partners to develop interim 2025 and 2030 targets. 

These new targets are coupled with existing measures to support the zero-emissions vehicle transition, such as investments in zero-emissions charging infrastructure. 

Press release - Transport Canada

Canada provides additional medical supplies to fight COVID-19 in Pakistan and Nepal

On June 24, 2021, Canadian Ministers including the  Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, announced that Canada would be sending ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) to Pakistan and Nepal to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The support includes 162 ventilators and related equipment to Pakistan, as well as 27 ventilators and over 16,000 units of PPE to Nepal. This support is in addition to previous funds allocated to the Nepalese Red Cross, as well as 600 oxygen concentrators and supplies to Nepal, and 1000 oxygen concentrators and supplies to Pakistan. These additional supplies are being donated by Canada to help respond to the urgent needs arising from the latest wave of the pandemic in Nepal and Pakistan.

Press release – Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$21 million in humanitarian assistance for Nigeria

On June 23, 2021, the High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Nicolas Simard, announced CA$27 million (US$21 million) in new humanitarian assistance for Nigeria.

The contribution will help fight food insecurity and provide critical health and protection services in northeast Nigeria, with a focus on women and girls who are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing conflict in the region.

Twitter - High Commission of Canada to Nigeria

News article - The Guardian Nigeria

With G7 nations, Japan sets goal to raise US$15 billion deliver financial services to women

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) set a goal to raise US$15.0 billion to deliver finical services to women as part of the 'G7 2X Challenge: Financing for Women' (2X Challenge).

The 2X Challenge was founded by development finance institutions of the G7 nations for women’s economic empowerment. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened the situation for women in emerging economies, and research shows that US$1.00 trillion could be lost from global growth if female workers hit hard by the pandemic do not return to the workforce. Therefore, with G7 nations, Japan and development finance institutions announced the goal of raising an additional US$15.0 billion by the end of 2022.

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency