Celebrating New Investment: Government of Canada Commits $400M To Combat COVID-19 in Developing Countries
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged an additional $400-million in international development to enable Canada to support the recovery and resilience of developing countries as they combat COVID-19. The announcement was made at the High-Level Meeting of Heads of State and Government, convened with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The Prime Minister says the new money will go to trusted partners fighting COVID-19 around the world. Additional details will follow.
The Prime Minister’s statement says, “The ultimate objective is to ensure that the development gains made over the past decade are not lost, and ensure that the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not at risk. Canada will make sure that women and girls, who have been disproportionately impacted by the consequences of COVID‑19, benefit from this new funding.”
This announcement follows the Government of Canada commitment on September 25 of $220-million to secure vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility. In total, this represents a Canadian commitment of more than $620-million in new funding over the past five days to support the COVID-19 response in developing countries.
Why Does It Matter?
This announcement is a further indication that the Government of Canada recognizes that we cannot beat this virus in Canada unless we end it everywhere, and that women and girls are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
In this interconnected world, any gains made in the Canadian domestic response to COVID-19 will be at risk unless Canada acts to combat the pandemic elsewhere as it destabilizes health care systems, blocks access to essential health services, gives rise to the spread of other viruses and disease, especially among vulnerable populations.
The pandemic will push 47 million more women and girls below the poverty line, reversing decades of progress to eradicate extreme poverty. Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services, is expected to result in the deaths of an additional 253,500 children and 12,200 women in the next six months. It is also estimated that COVID-19 will result in 117 million missed child vaccinations.
The Prime Minister and International Development Minister Karina Gould have indicated that Canada will invest more towards development in the future. The PM also indicated he will be advocating for debt relief for countries facing economic hardship because of the pandemic and that he will push to have the voices of those countries heard in larger forums such as the G7, G20 and the World Bank.
CanWaCH is continuing to work closely with Minister Gould on maximizing the impact of the $400-million investment to make the world a safer place for all.
We will be encouraging CanWaCH members to acknowledge and celebrate this strong signal that Canada will continue to hold its place as a global champion for the world’s most vulnerable.
“We congratulate the Government of Canada for investing in the long term to fight the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and globally. Alongside dire health consequences, entire economies are crumbling around us and the time is now for Canada to fulfill its long, proud tradition of global leadership.” - Julia Anderson, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer