With health systems straining to respond adequately to the global pandemic, it is more important than ever to protect gains in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to safe abortion and contraception, by ensuring crucial services are not diverted. Canada remains committed to delivering on its Feminist International Assistance Policy and development commitments in the context of COVID-19.
The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today announced $93.7 million in funding toward ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe and every girl and woman is treated with the dignity and respect she deserves. A portion of this funding is part of the commitment announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in June 2019.
Canada’s support will focus on areas often neglected in development assistance: comprehensive sexuality education and support for adolescents; advocacy; and family planning and contraceptives. It will also help prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation and cutting, and will support both the right to choose safe and legal abortion and access to post-abortion care. Funding will help the most vulnerable by breaking down barriers faced by marginalised women.
The Minister made this announcement at the #SheDecidesNow Virtual Round Table, which she co-hosted alongside Sonali Silva, SheDecides champion and 25 x 25 young leader.
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy continues to put women and girls at the centre of its development efforts—including by ensuring that health systems meet the needs of women and girls—particularly through support for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Today’s funding investments will help key partners support the most vulnerable people by working to ensure that crucial services continue to be provided and that progress continues in sexual and reproductive health and rights.