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Canada’s International Development Research Centre announces new AI-global health development research program

The International Development Research Centre recently announced CA$16 million (US$12 million) for a new Artificial Intelligence for Global Health (AI4GH) research program. The program will focus on conducting AI research for epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response, and for sexual, reproductive, and maternal health in low- and middle-income countries. 

This program will focus on applied research, knowledge mobilization, and capacity strengthening in partner countries. The calls for research are expected to include countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Press release - International Development Research Centre

Oxfam criticizes G7 for falling short of COVID-19 vaccine pledges; timely delivery could have prevented 600,000 deaths

New analysis by Oxfam Canada and the People’s Vaccine Alliance found that only 49% of the 2.1 billion COVID-19 donations promised by the G7 to low- and middle-income countries have been delivered;  Oxfam called out the UK and Canada as the worst offenders.

The analysis showed that, had the missing donated doses been shared, they could have saved almost 600,000 lives in low- and middle-income countries, equivalent to one death every minute. Oxfam criticizes Canada and the UK as the worst performers, having failed to deliver anywhere near the number of vaccines they promised. The G7's contributions are as follows: 

  • Only 39% of the 100 million doses the UK pledged to deliver by the end of June 2022 were delivered;
  • While the deadlines to meet their respective commitments are the end of 2022, only 30% of Canada’s over 50 million pledged doses, and 46% of the US's 1.2 billion pledged doses have been delivered;
  • France, Italy, and Germany have collectively delivered just 56% of 700 million promised doses by the middle of 2022; and
  • Japan has delivered 64% of the 60 million doses it promised to contribute.

Op-ed - Oxfam Canada

Canada announces US$194 million to fight Ukraine food security crisis

While participating at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced CA$250 million (US$194 million) to help address the global food security crisis, exacerbated by the invasion of Ukraine. 

This funding will address the increasing global food and nutrition needs – especially for the most vulnerable and with a focus on 'Sub-Saharan Africa', according to the announcment. The announcement builds on previous commitments by Canada to address global food and nutrition needs, including an allocation of CA$515 million (US$399 million) in 2022 for urgent humanitarian food and nutrition assistance.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Canada announces US$155 million to establish new COVID-19 vaccine program targeting 13 countries

On June 22, 2022, Canada announced CA$200 million (US$155 million) in funding for a new initiative aimed at supporting vaccine delivery and distribution in 13 targeted countries, mostly in Africa. The targeted countries include Bangladesh, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) will support country-led efforts to enhance vaccine delivery and distribution, as well as local production of vaccines. This initiative includes CA$100 million (CA$78 million) for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to build up vaccine logistics and supply chains and strengthen health care systems while also undertaking targeted programming to increase vaccine uptake.

Along with CanGIVE, Canada continues to work with its Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) partners to speed up equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing and treatment.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s International Development Research Centre appoints new chair

On June 21, 2022, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, announced the appointment of Dr. Dorothy Nyambi as the new chairperson of the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC’s) Board of Governors.

Dr. Nyambi has significant leadership experience in the international development sector, and is a noted champion of women’s rights and an advocate for the power of entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty. She is the president and CEO of Mennonite Economic Development Associates and was previously the executive vice president of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. She has also worked for the World Health Organization and the United States Agency for International Development.

IDRC’s Board of Governors provides strategic direction, stewardship, and oversight for IDRC, an organization that champions local, high-quality research in low- and middle-income countries and is an integral part of Canada’s approach to international assistance.

Press release - IDRC

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$223 million in assistance to respond to Rohingya, Myanmar crisis

On World Refugee Day (June 20, 2022), the Canadian government announced the next phase of Canada’s strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh that was escalated in the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar. Canada announced it will dedicate CA$288 million (US$223 million) to this new phase of the strategy over 3 years.

Canada’s response will transition from immediate crisis response toward addressing the medium- and longer-term needs of refugees and other crisis-affected populations, both in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The funding will support 16 new development, peace, and security projects, including:

  • CA$44 million (US$34 million) for the International Labour Organization: Gender-Responsive Skills and Livelihoods;
  • CA$30 million (US$23 million) for the United Nations Development Programme: Addressing Environmental Degradation;
  • CA$11 million (US$9 million) for BRAC: Addressing Gaps in Refugee Access to Health; 
  • CA$10 million (US$8 million) for the International Rescue Committee: Prevention of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Myanmar; and
  • CA$8 million (US$6 million) for Oxfam Canada: Women Leading Durable Solutions in Myanmar.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

At Summit of the Americas, Canada announces US$111 million in new assistance to Latin America, Caribbean

On June 10, 2022, at the Summit of the Americas, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced over CA$145 million (US$111 million) in assistance across the Latin American and Caribbean regions.

The funding is divided among the following priority areas:

  • CA$68 million (US$52 million) to promote gender equality;
  • CA$27 million (US$21 million) to address irregular migration and forced displacement;
  • CA$32 million (US$25 million) to support health and pandemic responses;
  • CA$17 million (US$13 million) for projects supporting democratic governance; and
  • CA$2 million (US$1 million) to advance digital access and combat disinformation.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Canada contributes US$583 million in additional funding to ACT-A, donates 658,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Liberia, Equatorial Guinea in May

In the past month, Canada has donated 658,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Liberia and Equatorial Guinea. This donation is part of Canada’s ongoing commitment to donate the equivalent of at least 200 million doses to the COVAX Facility by the end of 2022. 

To date, Canada has delivered the equivalent of over 100 million doses to COVAX, and has committed over CA$3.4 billion (US$2.7 billion) in international assistance in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. This includes:

  • Over CA$2 billion (US$ 1.6 billion) for the Access to COVID‑19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to ensure equal access to COVID‑19 tests, treatments and vaccines;
  • CA$840 million (US$669 million) through the COVAX Facility; and
  • On May 12, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an additional CA$732 million (US$583 million) in multilateral funding to ACT-Accelerator partner agencies over the coming weeks. 

Press release - Government of Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$178 million to support development needs in South Sudan

During a recent visit to South Sudan, Harjit S. Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, announced CA$223 million (US$178 million) in new assistance funding to address food security and development assistance in the country, as well as assist in child protection in peacekeeping.

This funding comprises CA$203 million (US$162 million) in bilateral development assistance which will go towards supporting food security, gender equality and access to health services. The remaining CA$21 million (US$17 million) will support urgent needs including protection, food, nutrition, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to conflict-affected populations.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada 

Canada announces US$53 million in international assistance funding for development projects in Eastern, Central Africa

On May 26, 2022, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, concluded a visit to Rwanda and Kenya where he announced CA$68 million (US$53 million) in international assistance funding to support development projects in Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. 

The funding includes:

  • CA$25 million (US$20 million) to support technical and vocational education and training reform in Kenya; and
  • Over CA$37 million (US$29 million) to support four projects focusing on gender equality, including women’s economic empowerment, political participation and leadership, and equal rights to land, housing, and livelihood.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada contributes US$79 million to support small and medium-sized agri-food enterprise growth on African continent

On May 24, 2022, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, announced that Canada has contributed CA$100 million (US$79 million) to the African Development Bank (ADB) to support the growth of small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises.

The funding is intended to support green agribusinesses, particularly those run by or benefitting women to strengthen inclusive food security on the African continent.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

G7 health ministers agree on Pact for Pandemic Readiness

On May 19 and 20, 2022, the G7 health ministers met in Berlin to discuss and address global health challenges, especially related to COVID-19 and reacting to future pandemics. One of the key results of the meeting includes the initiation of a 'G7-Pact for Pandemic Readiness'.

The 'G7-Pact for Pandemic Readiness', a global network of health experts, aims to strengthen and align efforts for worldwide pandemic readiness. It will work in close cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO). To strengthen its role, the G7 states agreed to increase their mandatory contributions to the WHO by 50% in the long term. The Pact aims to support local, national, and regional structures, technologies, and health workforce to improve public health risk assessment and rapid response to pandemic threats.

Additional topics during the ministers’ meeting included support for the Ukrainian health system, fighting anti-microbial resistance, and the climate-health-nexus.

G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting Communiqué

Press release – German Federal Ministry of Health (in German)

News article – Relief Web

Canada announces US$9 million in new funding to support Ukraine

At the G7 Development Ministers’ Meeting on May 18 and 19, 2022, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, announced CA$11 million (US$9 million) in new funding to help people affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

The funding includes:

  • CA$7 million (US$5 million) to the UN Poluation Fund (UNFPA) to increase security and protection from sexual and gender-based violence for women and girls in Ukraine; 
  • CA$2 million (US$2 million) to support dairy cooperatives in western Ukraine to create opportunities for economic growth and help to enhance food security in the region; and
  • CA$2 million (US$2 million) to Humanity and Inclusion to address basic needs and health, with a specific focus on internally displaced persons and refugees.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

G7 development ministers launch Global Alliance on Food Security

On May 18 and 19, 2022, the development ministers from the G7 states met in Berlin to discuss current challenges and potential solutions within the global development space. The ministers focused on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, especially on global food security, among other things. The meeting marked the launch of a Global Alliance on Food Security to increase funding for and coordination of international efforts for food security.

The Global Alliance on Food Security was proposed by the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze and World Bank President David Malpass during the World Bank’s Spring Meeting from April 18 - 24, 2022.

The Global Alliance on Food Security has been supported by the G7 states, the EU Commission, the UN Global Crisis Response Group, Norway, Denmark, the African Union, the World Food Programme, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development so far, but is open for participation from the private sector and CSOs, according to Schulze.

Additional topics at the meeting included gender equality, climate change, sustainable infrastructure, and debt burdens. Part of the meeting included a joint discussion with the G7 health ministers, who met in Berlin on May 19 and 20, 2022, to discuss strengthening pandemic preparedness and global health systems.

G7 Development Ministers’ Meeting Communiqué

Press release – German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development 

Press release – ONE (in German)

Oxfam calls on donor countries to do more to address drought-related hunger in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia

A new report published by Oxfam and Save the Children found that one person is likely dying of hunger every 48 seconds in drought-ravaged Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Despite these and other warning signs, Oxfam Canada claimed that rich countries like Canada are not doing enough to address the crisis, leaving millions of people facing catastrophic hunger. 

Oxfam was particularly worried about women and girls, who are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, arguing that widespread hunger threatens the achievements of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Oxfam called on Canada to show political and financial leadership by putting famine at the center of the agenda in talks with other G7 leaders.

More specifically, Oxfam and Save the Children called for urgent action by Canada and other G7 leaders to immediately contribute financially to meet the US$4.4 billion UN appeal for Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and to ensure flexible funding that can be used where it is most needed.

Oxfam Canada - Op-ed

Canadian organizations urge government to amend Budget Implementation Act

Over 60 Canadian global development and humanitarian organizations took a stand in an open letter to urge the Canadian government to amend the Budget Implementation Act (BIA). The organizations argued that the proposed amendment will help them engage in more equitable partnerships with communities at the forefront of change in Canada and globally.

The organizations emphasized that the current BIA reinforces colonial and paternalistic approaches to the relationship between charities and partner organizations. They also argued that the current BIA structure is too rigid, confusing, risky, and challenging, making it more difficult for registered charities and recipients to work together. The 60 organizations are calling for changes to the BIA, as the current structure impedes philanthropic and charitable resources flowing to communities in need. 

Cooperation Canada - Op-ed

Canada increases focus on stabilization, peace-building with US$36 million for projects in Middle East, Africa, Central Asia

On May 11, 2022, Global Affairs Canada announced CA$47 million (US$36 million) in funding for 15 projects in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. These projects, funded through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program and the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program, are aligned with Canada’s and the Global Coalition’s ongoing efforts to bolster peace and security in multiple regions.   

The projects receiving this funding focus on countering extremism, supporting women’s movements, clearing explosive hazards, strengthening judicial systems, strengthening independent and accountable media, and supporting social cohesion. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Despite falling short of expectations, Second Global COVID-19 Summit mobilizes US$3.2 billion in new pledges, establishes new World Bank fund

Global leaders pledged an additional US$3.2 billion in new and additional funding during the second Global COVID-19 Summit, which took place virtually on May 12, 2022. The meeting included commitments related to COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in addition to licensing, reducing the price of oral antiretrovirals, and the creation of a fund to prevent future pandemics to be housed within the World Bank.

A country-by-country breakdown can be found in our recent Commentary

Canada announces US$181 million to support people affected by conflict in Syria

Canada participated in the sixth conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region on May 9 and 10, 2022, with the intention of addressing the critical needs of millions of people across the region amid the ongoing Syrian conflict. Canada announced that it would commit CA$229 million (US$181 million) in funding for humanitarian and development assistance to Syria and the region this year.

CA$60 million (US$48 million) of the funding will specifically support development assistance in Syrian, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. The funding will focus on supporting accountable governance, empowering women and girls, advancing gender equality, improving the quality and sustainability of gender-responsive services including health and education, fostering economic growth, and addressing climate change.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada allocates US$27 million to support food security, human rights, civil society in Ukraine

On May 9, 2022, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Kyiv, Ukraine, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During the visit, he announced CA$35 million (US$27 million) in additional investments to support the redevelopment of Ukraine in response to the ongoing Russian invasion.

The Prime Minister announced the following support to Ukraine:

  • CA$25 million (US$19 million) through the World Food Programme to address food security in Ukraine;
  • CA$10 million (US$8 million) in funding to support human rights and civil society in Ukraine, including:
    • CA$2 million (US$2 million) to the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund;
    • CA$3 million (US$2 million) to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor and document human rights violations; and
    • Over CA$1 million (US$775 thousand) in digital emergency support for civil society in Ukraine.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada