Key Highlights for CanWaCH Partners and the International Development Sector
- Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s second annual budget focuses on the ‘modernization’ of Canada’s international development assistance delivery and an emphasis on women’s empowerment, including women’s economic empowerment and addressing violence against women.
- Canada’s first ever Gender Statement was also an important feature in the budget with gender-based analysis* becoming an integral part of government decision-making.
- No additional funding for Official Development Assistance (ODA) or Canada’s International Assistance Envelope (IAE) was referenced.
- The forthcoming release of the International Assistance Review (IAR) was also referenced in the budget and will give a clearer indication of the direction of Canada on development assistance.
- The budget references previously funded announcements. This includes:
- $650 million towards sexual and reproductive health and rights;
- Humanitarian support of $1.6 billion over three years (launched in 2016-17 and committed in February 2016) for the promotion of peace through security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance to respond to the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria. The Government also announced it will resettle approximately 1,200 highly vulnerable refugees, including Yazidi women and girls and other survivors of Daesh to Canada; and,
- The Development Finance Institution (DFI), initially announced in 2015 is capitalized at $300 million. The DFI will support sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries by promoting economic growth, creating jobs, advancing women’s economic empowerment and reducing poverty in areas where alternative financing is scarce.
- The budget committed to restoring Canada as a leader in international peace operations with the United Nations, including pledging up to 600 well-trained Canadian military personnel for possible deployment as part of a broader whole-of-government approach that includes “political, security, development and humanitarian response to conflict situations.”
- Minister Morneau remarked to the House of Commons, “In international assistance [Canada] remains committed to helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. And we will continue to modernize our efforts so we can deliver better results, improve transparency, and foster innovation around the world.”
*Gender-based analysis (GBA) identifies the ways in which public policies affect women and men differently. It does so through a systematic use of data to better tailor the design and delivery of government programs. Recently, this tool has evolved into GBA+ to include the intersecting identity factors that must be considered in public policy along with and in relation to gender (e.g. ethnicity, age, income, sexual orientation).