As COVID-19 continues to impact people around the world, we are seeing the troubling and inequitable effects of the pandemic on different populations. We know that the virus and the various responses to the virus have transformed the lives of many and that these impacts are not equal – women, girls, adolescents, LGBTQI2S+ people, people with disabilities, and many others, are particularly at risk due to the way COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gender and social inequities. That is why Canada and Canadian partners must ensure a feminist response to COVID-19 in addressing this global health crisis.
In 2019, Canada’s global health community came together under the Thrive Agenda to co-create and endorse an ambitious ten-year vision for Canadian leadership on global health and rights. The Thrive Agenda leverages Canada’s unique voice and global leadership to strategically drive progress and address critical, unmet needs to improve global health and strengthen human rights. It includes bold commitments to renew, accelerate, and lead with development interventions that increase Canada’s global health impact. In June 2019, the Canadian government adopted this agenda and announced a bold and ambitious commitment to increase funding to global health and rights to 1.4 billion per year by 2023 and maintained through 2030.