Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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Canada announces US$40 million in assistance to Syrian civilians

May 27, 2024 | Canada, Gender Equality, WASH & Sanitation, Global Health, Family Planning, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health | Share this update

On May 27, 2024, Canadian Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussed announced more than CAD55 million (US$40 million) to address urgent civilian needs in Syria amid the ongoing conflict.

The new funding will address urgent civilian needs in Syria and the region, including providing food, WASH services, protection services including the prevention and response to GBV, and health services including the provision of access to SRH healthcare. Development assistance funding will also be allocated through existing projects in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon that benefit Syrian refugees and strengthen these countries’ ability to support displaced Syrians.

More than 13 years into the Syrian crisis, over 16 million people, or 70% of the population, urgently require assistance, and nearly 7 million Syrian refugees remain sheltered in neighboring countries. The new funding brings Canada’s total commitment to over CAD147 million (US$108 million) in international assistance funding to Syria and neighboring countries in 2024.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

G7 finance ministers call on donors to coordinate efforts, increase investments

May 25, 2024 | UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Italy, Germany, EUI, Global Health, Climate, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On May 23-25, 2024, the G7 Ministers of Finance met at a summit in Stresa, Italy, where the ministers voiced support for contributions to the IDA, WHO, Gavi, and the Global Fund in the resulting communiqué.

The G7 ministers supported efforts towards a successful 21st replenishment of the IDA by the end of 2024 through an ambitious policy and financing package. Notably, they did not give a concrete signal that the critical US$100 billion threshold requested by the World Bank will be crossed, nor any indication of the US$120 billion expected by African leaders.

The ministers reaffirmed their dedication to strengthening the governance and finance of the global health architecture and voiced support for refinancing processes of several GHIs, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and the Global Fund, and expressed support for the Pandemic Fund. The communiqué called on the donor community to coordinate efforts and increase investments in global health in line with their capacities to ensure sustainable funding and maximize the impact of available resources.

Following the summit, the C7 pointed out the G7's lack of ambition and financial commitment to international development, including climate adaptation. International civil society organizations criticized the lack of any reference to allocating SDRs to global solidarity.

G7 Ministers of FinanceC7 statement

Canada announces US$143 million to education, SRHR, climate, peace, security in Ethiopia, Tanzania

May 16, 2024 | Canada, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Family Planning, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 16, 2014, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen concluded a trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania, where he announced nearly CAD195 million (US$143 million) to several development projects focused on education, SRHR, climate, peace, and security.

The funding included:

  • CAD65 million (US$48 million) to UNFPA to implement the Protecting the Dignity and Rights of Women and Girls project in Ethiopia, which will support family planning services and prevention and response to SGBV;
  • CAD30 million (US$22 million) to the International Finance Facility for Education to implement a new financing mechanism for global education, which will support lower-middle income countries to fund quality education;
  • CAD25 million (US$18 million) to ACELI Africa to implement the Agri - SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism, helping high-impact agricultural SMEs and promoting economic growth and food security;
  • CAD21 million (US$15 million) to CARE Canada for the Her Resilience, Our Planet project, which promotes climate-resilient agriculture and supports the empowerment of women to address climate change;
  • CAD20 million (US$15 million) to the [[AU] to help implement its 2063 agenda and strategic plan to advance sustainable and inclusive development;
  • CAD15 million (US$11 million) to UNICEF’s Improving Adolescent SRHR in Tanzania initiative, to enhance access to gender-responsive SRHR information and services for adolescents; and,
  • CAD14 million (US$10 million) to the UNDP’s demobilization and reintegration project in Ethiopia.
Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$48 million to support needs of Palestinians

May 16, 2024 | Canada, Education, WASH & Sanitation, Global Health | Share this update

On May 16, 2024, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen announced CAD65 million (US$48 million) in funding to address urgent civilian needs in Gaza amid the ongoing conflict, including food, medical assistance, and other essential services.

The funding includes CAD25 million (US$18 million) to UNRWA, previously announced in June 2023, as well as an additional CAD40 million (US$29 million) in new funding distributed to UNWRA and other trusted partners, including the CRC. The funding will support the distribution of food, water, emergency medical assistance, protection services, and other critical assistance.

Hussen also announced that Canada has delivered a payment of CAD25 million (US$18 million) to UNRWA as part of its previously announced existing multi-year commitment with the agency to help meet the education, health, and safety assistance needs of Palestinian refugees in the region.

Canada reiterated its condemnation of Hamas and their attack on October 7, 2023, as well as Canada’s demand for the immediate release of hostages, the urgent need for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza, and its commitment to a two-state solution.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

C7 releases international civil society communiqué around seven key issues

May 15, 2024 | Italy, Germany, EUI, Japan, Canada, US, France, UK, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 14-15, 2024, the C7 summit was held at the UN FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, organized by the Italian Civil Society Coalition that led, coordinated, and moderated the C7 2024 process.

Approximately 400 global representatives took part in the event, as well as international decision-makers, including FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, Italian G7 sherpa Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, Cardinal, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Pope’s envoy for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict Matteo Maria Zuppi, and Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign Marina Ponti.

The official C7 communiqué that listed the international civil society recommendation to the G7’s Leaders around seven key issues was released at the event, which included:

  • Economic justice and transformation;
  • Climate, energy transformation, and environmental justice;
  • Global health;
  • Principled humanitarian assistance;
  • Peace, common security, and nuclear disarmament;
  • Human mobility and migration; and
  • Food justice and food systems transformation.
C7 communiqué

Canada announces US$48 million in assistance to Lebanon

May 3, 2024 | Canada, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, WASH & Sanitation, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 3, 2024, Canada announced CAD65 million (US$48 million) in international assistance funding to Lebanon, including CAD38 million (US$28 million) in development assistance funding and CAD27 million (US$20 million) in humanitarian assistance funding.

The humanitarian assistance will help provide WASH services, health care including SRH services, and protection services including for survivors of SGBV.

The development funding includes:

  • CAD20 million (US$15 million) to the UN FAO to improve the capacities of farmers and increase food security in response to climate change and economic shocks;
  • CAD13 million (US$10 million) to UNDP to improve the economic security and prosperity of women-led micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in sectors with high growth and export potential; and
  • CAD5 million (US$4 million) to UN Women and UNDP to address barriers facing women’s representation in decision-making and leadership positions, specifically for women in parliament and municipal councils.
Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$96 million to Sudan, neighbouring countries amid armed conflict

April 15, 2024 | Canada, Global Health, WASH & Sanitation, Nutritious Food Systems, Gender Equality, Education | Share this update

On April 15, 2024, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen participated in the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbours, where he announced CAD132million (US$96 million) in international assistance funding to Sudan and neighbouring Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

The announcement included nearly CAD101 million (US$73 million) in humanitarian assistance and nearly CAD32 million (US$23 million) in development assistance amid the ongoing armed conflict in Sudan. The funding is slated to provide crisis-affected people with emergency health services, food and nutrition assistance, protection services for gender-based violence survivors, and other assistance including shelter, water, and sanitation services. The development assistance will support critical programming in SRHR and education infrastructure.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$103 million for inclusive health systems and women’s rights in DRC, Benin

April 11, 2024 | Canada, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On April 11, 2024, Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen announced CAD142 million (US$103 million) in funding for projects in the DRC and Benin to advance gender equality and women’s rights.

Six projects valued at a total of nearly CAD75 million (US$55 million) were announced for the DRC. The projects will improve access to health resources for women and girls, promote inclusive governance practices, improve women’s inclusion in public and democratic life, and help prevent and respond to SGBV. Funding also included humanitarian programming that will address critical needs arising from the conflict in eastern DRC.

Five projects valued at a total of CAD68 million (US$49 million) were announced for Benin. The initiatives are slated to increase women’s economic resilience, promote a greener economy and agricultural sector, address SGBV, and strengthen inclusive health systems.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Open Canada criticizes government inaction in Sudan conflict

March 25, 2024 | UK, Canada, US, EUI, WASH & Sanitation, Nutritious Food Systems, Global Health | Share this update

On March 25, 2024, amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Sudan, Open Canada is criticized the government of Canada for its inaction to address the public health and nutrition crisis, as well as the government’s lack of focus on the African continent as a whole.

The humanitarian crisis in Sudan followed the outbreak of war in April 2023, with 8 million people displaced, roughly half the population (approximately 25 million people) in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, a cholera outbreak, and a widespread famine predicted by June 2024.

Open Canada criticized the government for its passivity in the crisis, with neither Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nor Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly having spoken publicly about Sudan since shortly after the outbreak of war. While Canada evacuated its Sudanese embassy in April 2023, it did not follow other donor countries in maintaining the presence of a senior official in the region to assist in conflict resolution or support key international humanitarian and development organizations. Open Canada also noted that, unlike the EU, UK, and US, Canada has not imposed sanctions on Sudan.

The group also criticized Canada's apathetic approach to the region more broadly. Canada announced a new Foreign Policy Engagement Plan for Africa in 2022, however, the strategy has since been transitioned into a “framework” with the Canadian government yet to release any details of the plan. Open Canada called on the Canadian government to implement a proper engagement strategy in Africa, particularly amid the growing humanitarian, development, and security crisis in Sudan.

Open Canada

Canada announces US$49 million for international development projects in Mozambique

March 18, 2024 | Canada, Global Health, Education, Gender Equality, Family Planning | Share this update

On March 18, 2024, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen announced CAD66 million (US$49 million) in funding for six international development projects to support sexual and reproductive health and rights, mental health, and education for women and girls in Mozambique.

Projects included:

  • CAD20 million (US$15 million) to the University of Saskatchewan for their Sexual and Reproductive Health for Young Women in Inhambane project, which aims to improve sexual, reproductive and maternal health and rights in the province of Inhambane;
  • CAD20 million (US$15 million) to Pathfinder International for Impacto II: Supporting Family Planning Services in Mozambique, which aims to improve gender equality, self-determination, and access to sexual and reproductive health services in the Tete and Manica provinces;
  • CAD13 million (US$10 million) to the UNDP through Action for Girls and Young Women’s SRHR, which removes barriers that prevent young women from accessing sexual and reproductive health rights services;
  • CAD7 million (US$5 million) to the WHO’s Improving Data for Better Health Systems project, which aims to improve the quality of data to facilitate decision-making on sexual, reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health;
  • CAD5 million (US$4 million) to the University of Washington for the project Empower Mental Health, focused on strengthening existing health care and community-based systems of mental health care for underserved populations in the provinces of Manica and Sofala; and
  • CAD1 million (US$1 million) to the Voluntary Service Overseas for their Empowering Adolescent Girls to Learn and Earn project, which aims to expand the basic literacy and numeracy of 3,000 out-of-school adolescent girls.
Press release - Global Affairs Canada

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US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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