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$21 million in support for climate adaptation, disaster resilience, health services in the Philippines

February 9, 2024 | Canada, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On February 9, 2024, Canada announced CAD28 million (US$21 million) in development programming for the Philippines, focused on climate adaptation, resilience to natural disasters, and improving health care as part of its International Development Week.

The announcement outlined:

  • CAD8 million (US$6 million) to Forest Foundation Philippines to support vulnerable communities in mitigating the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss;
  • CAD13 million (US$10 million) to Alinea International to enhance climate resilience in six vulnerable provinces in the Philippines, with a focus on gender-responsive approaches; and
  • CAD7 million (US$5 million) to Plan International Canada to support health promotion campaigns and increased health-care services in remote communities.
Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$19 million in funding for International Youth Internship Program

February 6, 2024 | Canada, Education, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On February 6, 2024, as part of Canada’s International Development Week, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen announced CAD25 million (US$19 million) in funding for the International Youth Internship Program.

The program allows youth living in Canada to partake in professional development experiences abroad in the field of international development. The funding will go to six program partners, who will select over 800 eligible youth to complete internships in more than 40 LICs.

Areas of work include climate adaptation, gender equality, SRHR, disability support, mental health support, education, restoration of peace and security, and more.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

CSOs call on Canadian government to increase international development funding in Budget 2024

February 5, 2024 | Canada, Climate, Gender Equality | Share this update

On February 5, 2024, Cooperation Canada published an open letter addressed to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling on the Canadian government to restore its envelope for international development assistance in Budget 2024.

The letter highlighted the compounding global crises of climate change, armed conflict, attacks on women’s and children’s rights, the rise of authoritarian governments, as well as the need for Canada to play a critical role in global peace and security amid these crises.

The letter criticized the Canadian government’s recent record of international assistance falling short of Canada’s commitment to global peace, security, and economic opportunity. The group called on the Canadian government to continue to increase its investments in development programming.

Cooperation Canada

Canada announces US$30 million in additional assistance to Gaza

January 30, 2024 | Canada, Nutritious Food Systems, Nutrition, Global Health, WASH & Sanitation | Share this update

On January 30, 2024, Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen announced that Canada is providing an additional CAD40 million (US$30 million) to address urgent needs in Gaza, in the wake of Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA.

The funding will support Canada’s partners in administering life-saving assistance including food, water, emergency medical assistance, and protection services. The announcement included the following funding lines:

  • WFP: CAD16 million (US$12 million);
  • UNICEF: CAD6 million (US$4 million);
  • UNFPA: CAD5 million (US$4 million);
  • WHO: CAD3 million (US$2 million);
  • ICRC: CAD3 million (US$2 million);
  • UNOCHA: CAD2 million (US$1 million); and
  • Canadian NGO partners: CAD5 million (US$4 million).

Canada also vowed to work with UNRWA to support the investigation into the allegations of staff’s involvement in the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack, and reaffirmed its call for a humanitarian ceasefire and a two-state solution.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada suspends development and humanitarian funding to UNRWA

January 26, 2024 | Canada, WASH & Sanitation, Global Health | Share this update

On January 26, 2024, Canada’s Minister of International Development announced the temporary suspension of Canada’s funding to UNRWA, in response to allegations of the agency’s staff being involved in Hamas’s attacks against Israel on October 7, 2023.

Canada vowed to continue its life-saving assistance, including food, water, sanitation, and medical services, for the people of Gaza through other partners.

The director of UNRWA warned that the organization would not be able to continue operations beyond February if support is not restored. Global affairs experts raised concern that Canada and other donor nations’ decision to pause funding could have grave consequences for Palestinians.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$19 million in funding for climate change, justice, economic inclusion

December 21, 2023 | Canada, Climate, Gender Equality, Agriculture | Share this update

On December 21, 2023, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen concluded a three-day trip across Canada, where he announced more than CAD26 million (US$19 million) in funding for global initiatives in climate change, justice, and economic inclusion.

The funding included:

  • CAD5 million (US$4 million) from 2023 to 2028 for the Judicial Strengthening Program for GBV in the Eastern Caribbean. The funding will help increase the capacity of judicial processes, particularly in cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Saint Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • CAD12 million (US$9 million) from 2023 to 2030 to OCIDA in Honduras. The program is implemented by the MEDA and is intended to help address poverty, climate adaptation, and gender inequalities by diversifying and improving sustainable agricultural production; and
  • CAD10 million (US$7 million) from 2023 to 2028 to the TAWASOL. The program is run by WUSC and Canadian Leaders in International Consulting, and will address youth unemployment in Iraq through gender-responsive practices.
Press release - Global Affairs CanadaPress release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces US$7 million to address unemployment crisis in Iraq

December 20, 2023 | Canada, Education | Share this update

On December 20, 2023, Canada announced CAD10 million (US$7 million) to support youth employment in Iraq through vocational and technical training over five years, which will be distributed through a partnership with two groups: the World University Service of Canada and the Canadian Leaders in International Consulting.

The announcement is intended to support Iraqi youth suffering from a deepening unemployment crisis, linked to previous conflict in Iraq, that undermines the country’s current and future economic security.

The funding is part of Canada's overall Middle East strategy to tackle extremism and build post-conflict strategies.

News article - CBC

NGO criticizes Canada’s global plastic waste dumping

December 15, 2023 | Canada, US, Climate | Share this update

On December 15, 2023, the IRPP criticized Canada for plastic waste dumping in LICs and called on Canada to meet its legal obligations to prevent the practice.

Canada has historically shipped large amounts of hazardous plastic waste to the US, which is often re-exported by the US to LICs. The IRPP criticized Canada's arrangement with the US as a constituting a legal loophole of the Basel Convention on Waste, which restricts its signatories' trade of some hazardous plastic waste. The US is not a signatory of the Basel Convention, unlike Canada, and is not bound by the trade restrictions.

LICs receiving this plastic waste typically lack the infrastructure to manage the additional waste, leading to environmental degradation and serious impacts on the health and human rights of vulnerable people. In failing to meet the Basel Convention’s legal obligation, the IRPP criticized Canada for supporting a system of environmental injustice in LICs.

The IRPP called on Canada to help address the plastic pollution crisis by properly implementing its treaty obligations under the Basel Convention and prohibiting any export of hazardous plastics to LICs, both directly and indirectly through the US.

Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)

Netherlands launches COP28 coalition to phase out fossil fuel subsidies

December 9, 2023 | Netherlands, France, Spain, Canada, Climate | Share this update

On December 9, 2023, during COP28, the Dutch government launched an international coalition to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, comprising 13 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain.

Research by the Dutch government found that half of all Dutch fossil fuel subsidies are tied to international agreements. This international coalition was created with the intention of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies while preventing greenhouse gas emissions shifting to other parts of the world.

The coalition noted three main pillars:

  • Transparency: all member countries publishing an overview of their fossil fuel subsidies by COP29 in 2024;
  • International agreements: identifying and addressing international barriers to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies; and
  • National action: encouraging international dialogue to share knowledge, develop national strategies, and join action to minimize carbon leakage.

In the coalition’s joint statement, various international organizations including the IMF, OECD, WTO, and World Bank were asked to develop a comprehensive methodological framework to identify the scope of international fossil fuel subsidies and to develop guidance for national phase-out strategies.

News article - Dutch governmentCoalition to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

Canada pledges US$20 million for UN peacekeeping operations

December 6, 2023 | Canada, Gender Equality | Share this update

On December 6, 2023, Canada pledged CAD27 million (US$20 million) in funding for global UN peacekeeping operations.

The announcement was made by Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pam Damoff during the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting in Ghana.

The funding from Canada is slated to:

  • Provide specialized expertise, training, personnel, and support for new and existing UN peace operations;
  • Promote the meaningful participation of uniformed women in peace operations; and
  • Advance the protection of civilians, with a focus on women and children.

Canada is a co-chair of the 2023 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial process and co-chaired the preparatory meeting on Women in Peacekeeping in June 2023, alongside the governments of Bangladesh and Uruguay.

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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