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Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance 2015-2016

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Table of Contents

Message from the Minister

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau

As Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, I am pleased to present the 2015-2016 Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance.

In accordance with Canada’s Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, our efforts continue to contribute to the reduction of poverty around the world while also taking the perspectives of the poor into account and aligning them with international human rights standards.

Since becoming the Minister of International Development in November 2015, I have concentrated on refocusing Canada’s international assistance on the poorest and most vulnerable, as well as on fragile states. In line with this goal, our Government recently launched the International Assistance Review, a significant aspect of which has been broad consultations with Canadians as well as members of the international community. Before undertaking these public consultations, however, I made a point of rekindling the dialogue with all of our partners. As a result, I have had the pleasure to hold in-depth discussions on the future of Canada's international assistance with major donors, Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations and, of course, with partner countries directly.

As our consultations have progressed, it has become apparent that women and girls must be at the heart of Canada’s new international development policies. This decision was made not only because they are often the first to be affected by poverty, conflict and climate change, but also and especially because it is with the engagement and leadership of women and girls that we see the most potential for sustainable development and peace. It has been demonstrated that, when girls and women are given the means to reach their full potential, they create positive and lasting change within their families, their communities and their countries.

That is why I have committed to ensuring that Canada assumes a leadership role in strengthening women’s socio-economic independence; advocating for their rights, particularly with regard to sexual and reproductive health services; fighting against child, early and forced marriage; and providing education. To do this, we will ensure that women are our partners, not just recipients of our support. From now on, they will be consulted, they will take part in decision making, and they will be actively involved in carrying out each of our projects.

Alongside the ongoing International Assistance Review, we are also developing an action strategy for La Francophonie. This is guided by the two most significant issues currently facing Africa: a population boom and climate change. If not managed properly, both will continue to put considerable pressure on the peace and security of the continent and the whole world.

In the early months of our Government, we announced two significant commitments. First, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (also known as COP21) that was held in Paris, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a commitment of $2.65 billion to help developing countries address climate change.

Second, my colleagues the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and National Defence and I unveiled a joint action strategy to address the crisis raging in Syria and the Middle East, which features a new focus on delivering humanitarian and development assistance to the region. This innovative commitment of $1.1 billion over three years was long-awaited by our humanitarian partners, who require a sustained commitment in order to be able to deliver real improvements for those suffering through this prolonged crisis.

On top of these commitments and the collaborative, whole-of-government approach that we have adopted, our Government was proud to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. These three major decisions significantly contributed to marking Canada’s return to the international stage.

In addition to these important new commitments, Canada continues to achieve meaningful results through our official development assistance. In 2015-2016, Canada invested $4.82 billion to help the poorest and most vulnerable; to improve the health of women and girls, now including reproductive and sexual health and rights; to stimulate sustainable economic growth; to increase food security; and to promote democracy. This report summarizes the initiatives of 17 Canadian government departments and agencies that collaborated with over 320 Canadian partners and numerous international organizations to achieve results of which all Canadians can be proud.

Lastly, progress was made at the end of fiscal year 2015–2016 in combatting epidemics and infectious diseases that especially affect the most vulnerable, as well as by creating an innovative development funding mechanism, which will be used to leverage the engagement of the private sector in achieving international development goals.

The challenges are formidable, but so are the skills and dedication of my team. It is therefore with hope and determination that we will continue our work so that the assistance provided by all Canadians has the greatest possible positive impact on the quality of life of the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Canada’s Official Development Assistance at a Glance

* Disbursements in the previous fiscal year, 2014-2015, totaled $5.37 billion. This value is attributable to significant one-time expenditures, in particular, a double payment of $442 million to the International Development Association as a result of changes in the Government of Canada’s payment schedule. When this exceptional payment is removed for year-over-year comparison purposes, and applied to the following fiscal year 2015-2016, Canada’s ODA increased by 7% .

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Canada’s Official Development Assistance at a Glance

Canada spent $4.82 billion in Official Development Assistance in 2015-2016.

Amount Disbursed by Department or Agency in 2015-2016
Department or AgencyAmount Disbursed ($ millions)
Global Affairs Canada3,794.06
Department of Finance Canada492.81
International Development Research Centre194.58
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada256.46
Other departments and agencies86.85

This includes $684 million in Humanitarian Assistance.Footnote i

Canada provided humanitarian assistance in 57 countriesFootnote ii and responded to 27 natural disasters.

Canada is matching Canadians’ contributions of $51.7 million for the Nepal Earthquakes.Footnote iii

Canada has committed $221.1 million for the Syria CrisisFootnote iv.

Canada disbursed $2.37 billion in bilateral assistance in 2015-2016.Footnote v

Canada ranked 8th among OECD-DAC donors for ODA volume in 2015, up from 10th in 2014.Footnote vi

Canada worked with more than 320 Canadian partnersFootnote vii to deliver ODA

In 2015-2016, Canada resettled 39,907 refugees, which is almost 3 times more than the previous year.

With Canada’s support,

  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has immunized 500 million children and saved 7 million lives.Footnote viii
  • 69% of girls in Global Partnership for Education countries now finish primary school, compared with 56% in 2002.

Sources and further details appear in the Endnotes.

Introduction

In accordance with the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA), this report addresses the Government of Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) spending and activities in fiscal year 2015-2016 (April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016). It highlights the collective efforts of 17 Canadian federal departments and agencies that have provided ODA to help reduce poverty and build peaceful societies, while creating a more sustainable and inclusive global community. During 2015-2016, the Government of Canada disbursed $4.82 billion of ODA in over 80 countries. The previous fiscal year’s efforts have consistently built upon successes over time to generate economic growth in developing countries, yield nutritious food for those in need, and enable greater access to maternal, newborn and child health services. These have contributed to improved quality of life for many of the world’s most vulnerable.

Since 2009, ODA spending has focused on five thematic priorities, in line with Canada’s aid effectiveness agenda. The priorities are: stimulating sustainable economic growth, increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, advancing democracy, and promoting stability and security. These priorities are complemented by Canada’s commitments to maternal, newborn and child health; environmental sustainability; gender equality; accountable governance; and effective humanitarian assistance in a world facing more frequent natural and man-made disasters. The needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are integral to Canada’s approach to international assistance, which aims to leave no one behind in the global fight against poverty—a commitment that reflects Canadian values of compassion and generosity. Through ongoing work with partners in the field, we are able to work toward a better future for all.

Yet, the world continues to present new and emerging development challenges. Priorities are regularly re-examined to ensure Canada’s ODA remains relevant and directed to helping the most vulnerable. In this regard, 2015 was a pivotal year that encouraged new thinking on international assistance and how Canada, as a member of the global community, can both contribute to and lead the call for more effective assistance.

Three significant developments have changed our approach to international assistance. One was the adoption of the ambitious United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“2030 Agenda”), which identifies actions for eradicating poverty in all its forms. The second was the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, which actively encourages a wider spectrum of financial partnerships, including—but not limited to—private-public arrangements. The third was the broad-scale adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, an agreement that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. The Government of Canada is currently reviewing its policy and funding framework for international assistance to ensure that it is poised to respond effectively and efficiently to this changing global context.

The results presented in this report thus reflect both the thematic priorities in place since 2009 and new, emerging priorities. This includes a greater emphasis on women and girls in all of our development programming, tackling climate change, and responding to the crises in Iraq, Syria and neighbouring countries.

Notably, Canada was quick to respond to urgent international needs in 2015-2016. Demonstrating global solidarity at a critical time, Canada welcomed almost three times as many refugees for resettlement as in any recent year. Most of these refugees are from conflict and war-torn regions of the world, such as Syria and Iraq. In addition, Canada provided urgent humanitarian assistance to people displaced by conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan; to victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes; and to families facing food insecurity due to El Niño-related droughts.

Canada also strongly advocated for effective action to prevent and reduce the detrimental effects of climate change. This included the adoption of a new global climate change agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that encourages all countries to take action toward a low-emissions and climate-resilient economy. Helping vulnerable countries transition to low-carbon economies is a top priority for the Government, as demonstrated recently by the Prime Minister’s announcement to deliver $2.65 billion in climate change financing for developing countries. Enhancing the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable in developing countries is consistent with Canada’s commitments under the UNFCCC and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, both of which aim to foster a more environmentally sustainable future.

Canada has 25 countries of focus for development programming. These countries have been identified based on their crucial needs, their capacity to benefit from development assistance, and their alignment with Canadian foreign policy priorities. The Government of Canada’s ODA is aligned with the principles of the Aid Effectiveness Agenda emphasizing that donors and partners are mutually responsible for delivering results that improve quality of life for the most vulnerable. The results and progress achieved in each country were made possible with cooperation from our Canadian, international and civil society partners. Our long-standing and continued work with these partners is essential as we move forward to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Highlighted in this report are stories and results of Canada’s efforts in 2015-2016 to end poverty and build a better world.

Official Development Assistance Accountability Act

The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA) came into force in 2008 with the purpose of ensuring Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) is specifically channelled to reduce poverty in developing countries. The law identifies three conditions that must be satisfied for international assistance to be considered ODA.

These conditions include that 1) Canadian ODA contribute to poverty reduction; 2) the perspectives of those that receive ODA have been taken into consideration; and 3) Canadian ODA be disbursed in a manner that is consistent with Canadian values, and with international human rights standards. Canadian ODA can also be directed toward alleviating the effects of natural or artificial disasters, or other emergencies, occurring outside Canada. This is consistent with aid effectiveness principles and Canadian values.

The ODAAA requires that an annual summary report showcasing the results of Canada’s ODA, highlighting disbursements by federal government departments and agencies, be tabled in Parliament by the Minister of International Development on behalf of the Government of Canada.

In addition, an annual Statistical Report on International Assistance is produced for all Canadian ODA disbursements, including those made by provinces and municipalities. The next edition of the statistical report will be available on the Global Affairs Canada website in March 2017. ODA terms are in accordance with international reporting standards agreed upon by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee.

Official Development Assistance Disbursements by Department for 2015-2016

The Government of Canada disbursed $4.82 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2015-2016 through 17 federal departments and agencies. Final and detailed financial information for 2015-2016, including for bilateral and multilateral assistanceFootnote 1 , will appear in the Statistical Report on International Assistance (Fiscal Year 2015-2016), which will be available on the Global Affairs Canada website by the end of March 2017. Table 1 describes the amount disbursed by each of the 17 federal departments and agencies, along with which key commitments and ODA thematic priorities these funds addressed.

Table 1: Official Development Assistance Disbursements by Department and Agency for 2015-2016
Compiled by Global Affairs Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada.Key CommitmentsThematic Priorities
Department / AgencyDisbursementsFootnote 2 (C$ millions)Maternal, Newborn and Child HealthIncreasing Environmental SustainabilityInternational Humanitarian CrisesSustainable Economic GrowthIncreasing Food SecurityChildren and YouthAdvancing DemocracyStability and Security
Global Affairs Canada3,794.06
Department of Finance Canada492.81 
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada256.46    
International Development Research Centre194.58  
Royal Canadian Mounted Police28.91       
Public Health Agency of CanadaFootnote 318.04       
Department of National Defence8.22      
Environment and Climate Change Canada8.16       
Canada Revenue Agency1.07       
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada1.03       
Employment and Social Development Canada1.00       
Parks Canada0.88      
Health Canada0.48      
Statistics Canada0.44       
Canada Post0.36       
Canadian Intellectual Property Office0.05       
Natural Resources Canada0.04       
Subtotal4,806.60 
Services supporting Global Affairs Canada activitiesFootnote 418.16 
TOTALFootnote 54,824.76 
Canada’s Bilateral Development Programming
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Canada’s Bilateral Development Programming

Countries of Focus
CountrySustainable Economic GrowthFood SecurityChildren and YouthAdvancing DemocracyPromoting Stability and SecurityHumanitarian Assistance
Caribbean    
Colombia    
Haiti  
Peru    
Honduras    
Afghanistan   
Bangladesh    
Burma    
Indonesia    
Mongolia    
Philippines     
Vietnam    
Ukraine    
Jordan   
West Bank and Gaza  
Benin     
Burkina Faso    
Democratic Republic of the Congo    
Ethiopia   
Ghana   
Mali   
Mozambique    
Senegal   
South Sudan   
Tanzania   

Partner Countries

  • Bolivia
  • Cuba
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Marocco
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa

Aid Effectiveness

In 2007, the Government of Canada committed to making Canada's international assistance more efficient, focused and accountable via its Aid Effectiveness Agenda. In 2015-2016, Canada concentrated 90 percent of its bilateral development assistance in 25 countries of focus. These countries were identified based on their crucial needs, their capacity to benefit from development assistance, and their alignment with Canadian foreign policy priorities. Canada also maintains significant bilateral aid programs in 12 additional partner countries. Overall, Canada delivers development assistance in more than 80 countries through various channels, via bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental partners. Working directly with countries is a key facet of aid effectiveness. Canada’s bilateral relationships are built upon partnerships with countries to reduce poverty, take into consideration the perspectives of the poor and are consistent with international human rights standards. Canada continues to align its assistance with local country priorities to help the poorest and most vulnerable. Additional information on the work Canada does around the world, including detailed financial information regarding contributions, can be found in the Statistical Report on International Assistance, which is available on the Global Affairs Canada website.

Canada’s Leadership: Delivering on Our Commitments

Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Canada is delivering on its promise to shift the focus to the health and rights of women and children. This includes ensuring that programming is evidence-based and expanded to include sexual and reproductive rights and the full range of health care and services for women. Between 1990 and 2015, the number of women who died each year during pregnancy or childbirth decreased by 43 percent from 532,000 to 303,000. At the same time, the number of children younger than age five who died each year decreased by more than half, from 12.7 million to 5.9 million.

Canada recognizes the crucial importance of quality health care and services for women, adolescents, and children, particularly those in fragile and conflict-affected states. It is these individuals who are often the poorest and most vulnerable. As a result, Canada has committed $3.5 billion from 2015-2020 to improve the health and rights (including sexual and reproductive rights) of women and children by improving nutrition, reducing infectious diseases, and strengthening health systems.

Through partnerships with multilateral and country partners, Canada helped achieve the following in 2015-2016.

Improving the Health and Rights of Women and Children

Each year 1.5 million children under five die of vaccine-preventable diseases and one in five infants lacks access to routine immunizations. Approximately three million newborns die each year within 28 days of birth: 98 percent of those deaths occur in developing countries. More than 16 million adolescent girls become mothers every year, with maternal mortality being the number one cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15 to 19. Globally, young women aged 15 to 24 have HIV infection rates twice as high as young men.

Canada continues to play a leadership role in improving the health and rights of women and children around the world. In an effort to reduce mortality rates and increase health-related services, Canada worked on the renewed World Health Organization-led Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. This strategy focuses on ending preventable deaths, ensuring the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, and expanding environments that enable good health. The renewed strategy was launched in September 2015 and, in January 2016, the UN Secretary-General appointed Canada’s Minister for International Development and La Francophonie to the High-level Advisory Group for the Every Woman Every Child movement. This global movement helps ensure that all women, children and adolescents can survive, thrive and reach their full potential.

Canada also leads global coordination efforts to improve the health and rights of women and children. Canada is a founding donor and member of the governing body of the Global Financing Facility, a country-driven international partnership that aims to accelerate financing for global health for the poorest, the most vulnerable and the hardest-to-reach populations. In 2015, Canada committed $200 million to the facility’s mission to coordinate and align partners to meet the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. As a result of Canada’s leadership, the Global Financing Facility has begun an unprecedented movement among countries, the United Nations and multilateral agencies as well as public and private sector financiers and civil society organizations. This movement will increase and align funding for countries’ health priorities and plans, and drive transformative improvements in the health of women and children around the world.

Canada also took steps to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and children by announcing $81.6 million in support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This commitment includes:

Canada is a long-standing supporter of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which aims to save children’s lives and protect health by increasing equitable access to immunization in the world’s poorest countries. In 2015, Canada pledged $500 million for Gavi’s 2016-2020 strategy, which seeks to immunize 300 million more children by 2020. Gavi has already immunized half a billion children and saved seven million lives. Canada’s support will enable Gavi to save an additional six million lives between 2016 and 2020.

Delivering Concrete Results for the Poorest and Most Vulnerable

Canada supports those countries where improving the health and rights of women and children is critical. In 2015-2016, Canada achieved the following results:

Building on Evidence and Results

Canada’s accountability relies on formal evaluations to assess the relevance and performance of its assistance programs. The Formative Evaluation of Canada’s Contribution to the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative reported a positive assessment overall of Canada’s investments from 2010-2014. However, it recommended placing greater emphasis on addressing factors that contribute to high maternal, newborn and child mortality, such as reproductive health. It also recommended balancing support for interventions that target community demand with the supply of maternal, newborn and child health services.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals have focused international attention on the lack of adequate data broken down by sex, age and diversity. These data are needed to better inform policy and program development. Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS)—including births, deaths and their causes, marriages, and divorces—provide valuable information to help clarify the nature and extent of health issues and protect human rights. Building on Canada's global leadership on accountability for development results, Canada led the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems through the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The Centre works alongside the Global Financing Facility and the Every Woman Every Child movement to assist countries with weak CRVS infrastructure to establish, strengthen and scale-up CRVS systems to be universal and sustainable.

In addition, the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with support from the Government of Canada, are collaborating to develop a suite of tools for high quality, evidence-based program planning and evaluation. These tools will:

Innovating to Improve Health

Canada has played a lead role in establishing innovative public-private partnerships, such as the Born On Time partnership and the Zinc Alliance for Child Health (ZACH).

Born On Time, a partnership between NGOs, governments and the private sector, seeks to reduce premature births and newborn deaths caused by complications during pregnancy in Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Mali. Canada’s investment of $20 million has attracted new partners and has already leveraged a $10 million contribution from Johnson & Johnson.

ZACH was established as an alliance between Teck Resources Ltd. and the Micronutrient Initiative, with support from the Government of Canada, and is valued at $20 million over five years (2011-2016). As a result of ZACH, 22 million children under the age of five with diarrhea have been treated with zinc and oral rehydration salts, and more than 50,000 healthcare providers have been trained on the use and benefits of zinc and oral rehydration salts in treating diarrhea.

The Government of Canada’s $225 million Development Innovation Fund - Health, managed by IDRC and implemented by Grand Challenges Canada, funds health innovators in low and middle-income countries and Canada. It concluded its last full year of programming in 2015-2016 with its Stars in Global Health – Portfolio, which featured new diagnostic devices, drug delivery technology, and business models that give clients greater access to healthcare treatment and provide them with social support services.

The Scaling-up Birth Registration Using Innovative Technology project in Tanzania, a $10 million partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is scaling up a new birth registration system with Tanzania’s birth registration agency in partnership with Tigo, a mobile service provider. The system uses leading-edge technology to quickly upload records of all birth registrations to a centralized system through text messages sent from mobile phones. This allows for real-time monitoring of birth registrations at national, regional and local levels and greatly simplifies the registration process.

Canada’s Efforts to Support Polio Eradication in Pakistan

Polio is an infectious disease that mainly affects children under the age of five.

One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, with five to 10 percent of those paralyzed dying when their breathing muscles become immobilized. Pakistan accounts for 85 percent of all cases found worldwide. Despite significant progress, polio can still spread rapidly across borders. This means that adequate surveillance, high levels of immunization coverage and rapid outbreak responses are essential.

In April 2016, Canada announced a contribution of $40 million over three years for two initiatives implemented by UNICEF and the World Health Organization in Pakistan. These will improve community acceptance of polio vaccination and the detection and tracking of polio, as well as the monitoring of all polio eradication efforts.

Responding to the Zika Virus

The rapid spread of the Zika virus has heightened global concerns about mosquito-borne diseases. Zika, in particular, is of highrisk to women and newborns because of its link to life-threatening birth defects.

New research supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre in Venezuela and Colombia is scaling up successful ways to tackle the Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever, mosquito. This mosquito can transmit three viral diseases—chikungunya, dengue and Zika. Based on earlier research on dengue, showing the value of targeting mosquitoes before they develop fully, Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá is working with universities, the private sector, city officials and civil society in Girardot, Colombia, to reach 10,000 households at risk. Citizens are now covering water containers and taking other measures to deprive mosquitoes of breeding sites, and protecting their homes with locally made, insecticide-treated curtains and window screens. It is also now mandatory for new homes to have covers on large water tanks.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also supports the efforts of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to increase global emergency preparedness and response activities in the Americas. PAHO provided tools and guidance on effectively responding to the Zika virus. This included:

  • mosquito control,
  • laboratory testing of the new virus,
  • surveillance of microcephaly (a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected),
  • case management (such as preparing health facilities and healthcare workers for surges in demand of specialized care), and
  • enhanced risk communication capacities.

Global Affairs Canada also provided $1 million in emergency assistance to the Americas region via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and PAHO. This funding helped enhance preparedness and health emergency risk management in affected and at-risk countries. It also strengthened vector surveillance and control, and provided care and support to families affected by the Zika virus.

Canada and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Canada supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and is its seventh largest donor. The Global Fund, a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, supports programs in more than 140 countries. These programs have saved an estimated 17 million lives to date—mostly in Africa, where the burden of disease is greatest. Since 2002, Canada has committed over $2.88 billion to the Global Fund. This includes a pledge of $785 million for 2017-2019, which will help save an additional eight million lives and stop an additional 300 million new infections by 2019.

Deaths and new infections from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are declining and the Global Fund is on track to saving 22 million lives by the end of 2016. The Global Fund estimates that approximately 55 to 60 percent of its investments benefit women and girls. Gender inequalities, harmful practices, sexual violence and discrimination against women continue to fuel a disproportionate number of new HIV infections in women and adolescent girls.

The Global Fund has also achieved the following results:

  • 89.2 million people on antiretroviral therapy for HIV,
  • 15.1 million people tested and treated for tuberculosis,
  • 659 million mosquito nets distributed to protect children and families from malaria, and
  • 3.6 million HIV-positive mothers receiving medicine to prevent them from transmitting HIV to their babies.

As a reflection of the importance Canada places on the work of the Global Fund and Canada’s leadership in this area, Canada hosted the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Montréal, Quebec on September 16 and 17, 2016.

Increasing Environmental Sustainability

Throughout the world, climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly affecting economies and the well-being of people. People are highly dependent on the natural environment for their physical, social and economic well-being. This ranges from the necessities of life such as water, food and air, to reliance on resources for economic growth, to the need for resilience against the impacts of natural hazards. With a rising global population and more people living in urban centres, environmental challenges have the potential to destabilize communities, jeopardizing hard-fought development gains and contributing to social unrest and migration. Evidence also shows that the impacts of climate change often disproportionately affect women and girls—as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent for their livelihoods on natural resources that are threatened by climate change. Furthermore, women and girls have limited mobility, unequal access to resources and decision-making processes and face social, economic and political barriers that limit their coping capacity. It is estimated that in the coming years, billions of people, particularly those in developing countries, will face shortages of water and food and greater risks to health and life as a result of climate-related impacts.

In November 2015, recognizing the pressing and urgent need to act on environmental and climate change issues worldwide, Canada announced a new commitment in climate financing, of $2.65 billion over five years, to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world adapt to climate change. This investment will help build a more environmentally sustainable future for generations to come. As part of this commitment, the Government announced funding for a number of key initiatives, including:

Multilateral Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Achievements

The impacts of environmental degradation and climate change (including drought, floods, extreme weather events, pollution and diminished biodiversity) represent key global challenges that are as persistent as they are complex. Environmental sustainability and the fight against climate change are inseparable from other critical development challenges such as gender equality, economic growth, governance and human rights, education, health, peace and security, and humanitarian assistance and resilience. To address these challenges, Canada supports global initiatives and international organizations that help maximize the impact of its contributions.

During the Conference of the Parties (COP15), held in Copenhagen in December 2009, developed countries pledged to provide significant financial resources; this collective commitment came to be known as ‘fast-start finance’. Canada’s Fast-Start climate finance commitment provided $1.2 billion over three fiscal years (2010-2013) in climate change financing to enable the poorest and most vulnerable countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change; support also focused on forests and agriculture. Canada’s COP15 support continues to be disbursed at the project level and results are ongoing. Most of Canada’s support (approximately 90 percent) was channelled through multilateral institutions with strong reach and proven ability to achieve results via lending activities. These organizations set up Canada-designated funds to administer the fast-start financing and oversee project results. For example:

Canada has also widened its scope of support for different adaptation efforts by contributing to multilateral trust funds such as the Least Developed Countries Fund, the Canadian Climate Change Adaptation Facility at the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. Altogether, Canada’s $1.2 billion in Fast-Start climate financing has already supported adaptation and mitigation projects in 65 developing countries and continues to pave the way for future environmental benefits.

Canada also works closely with a number of other global financial facilities to address climate change and environmental sustainability. As part of its $2.65 billion climate financing commitment (made in November 2015), Canada announced a contribution of $300 million to the Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest fund for tackling climate change. As of May 2016, the Green Climate Fund had approved eight projects, totalling US$624 million. These projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilient communities in a number of countries, including Peru, Malawi, Senegal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Fiji.

Canada also continues to be a strong partner of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with a contribution of $233 million to the GEF’s 2014-2018 replenishment period. The GEF funds several multilateral environmental conventions, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. As of 2015, projects supported by the GEF had successfully reduced 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, brought 103 million hectares of land under sustainable land management and protected over 50 river, lake and ground water basins.

Canadian federal departments, such as Environment and Climate Change Canada, also provide support to developing countries to increase their capacity to address climate change and enhance their ability to engage multilaterally. For example, in 2015-2016, Canada provided support to the International Organisation of La Francophonie to assist developing countries in preparing and submitting climate change reports that proactively monitor climate change impacts and initiatives. Canada also supports activities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that enhance the capacity of developing countries to report on mitigation and adaptation activities, advocate for environmental sustainability, and effectively engage in global climate change negotiations. Canada’s ODA also funds research to better understand climate change. For example, to advance environmental research with developing country partners, Environment and Climate Change Canada supported the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. Canada’s contribution to the Trust Fund of the UN-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change helps developing countries participate in panel meetings and make more informed decisions on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Bilateral and Regional Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Achievements

Canada works directly with countries and regional organizations to tackle climate change by offering communities products and services that address indoor air pollution, poor quality and scarcity of water, and waste management and sanitation issues. For example, Canada contributed $10 million to the work of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help smallholder farmers become more resilient to the negative impacts of climate change. Canada’s funding helped IFAD implement climate change activities with more flexibility and it will help IFAD integrate climate considerations into all of its programming by 2018.

In Ghana, the Systems Approach to Improving and Sustaining Food Security in West Africa project helps farmers adopt climate-smart agriculture practices, such as improved weed control and effective land management. Over 300 farmers have adopted these practices and approximately 70 percent of them have reported more efficient use of seeds and fertilizers, and reduced labour costs.

In Jordan, Canada has introduced households to sources of renewable energy and energy-efficient products and practices, including photovoltaic or solar panels, water solar heaters and energy efficient light bulbs. This is improving the livelihoods of 150,000 women, men and their families in poor communities in the Jordan Valley and Ajloun region.

The Integrated Disaster Risk Management Fund, administered by the Asian Development Bank, addresses disaster risks, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable people across Southeast Asia. This includes implementing climate resilience strategies in communities in the Greater Mekong Sub-region as well as providing disaster risk information for investment planning in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and across Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

In Belize, the Compete Caribbean program was co-funded by Canada and helped nine out of 10 shrimp farms achieve Aquaculture Stewardship Council shrimp standard certification. The certification, which ensures the environmentally and socially responsible production of farmed shrimp, will allow Belize to access high-value premium markets in Europe, the U.S and Canada.

Canada’s Support to the Health Zones project in the Democratic Republic of Congo improved hospital hygiene and enhanced biomedical waste management in the province of Kinshasa. This reduced the risk of injuries and health infections, and the contamination of soil and water.

Canada will continue to support its development partners in addressing the many environmental and climate change challenges they face. This includes delivering on Canada’s climate finance commitment under the Paris Agreement on climate change, and ensuring that environment and climate change considerations inform Canada’s development assistance.

Helping Farmers in Uganda Adapt to Climate Change

At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), the UN Momentum for Change Award was presented to a project in Uganda that was funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre. The project piloted the delivery of weather forecasts, agricultural advisories and market information through mobile phones and radios to 120,000 farmers. The information helped farmers reduce crop loss and damage by 67 percent. The award showcased the work of Berhane Gebru, an emerging Ethiopian researcher who helps farmers deal with extreme weather events, land conflict and increasing water shortages in the country’s dry cattle corridor.

Wetlands International South Asia and the Chilika Development Authority

Low-lying coastal areas, which include some of the most densely populated areas on Earth, are at high risk from rising sea levels and other effects of climate change. Since 2011, Canada’s International Development Research Centre has supported Wetlands International South Asia and the Chilika Development Authority. Working with local stakeholders, these organizations assess how people and ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change in one coastal hotspot—India’s Chilika Lagoon. An integrated management planning framework resulting from the research is now helping preserve the livelihoods of some 200,000 fishers and 400,000 farmers living around the lagoon. In addition, training materials and other resources have been created for wetland managers and decision-makers so that others can benefit from Chilika’s experience. The project’s disaster-response measures were dramatically tested in 2013 when Cyclone Phailin struck the region. Disaster resilience committees, cyclone shelters and family survival kits that were put in place helped avoid a major loss of life in Chilika.

Responding Quickly and Effectively to International Humanitarian Crises

Humanitarian crises, driven largely by protracted conflicts and significant displacement of people, dominated 2015-2016. In 2015, approximately 65 million people world-wide were forced from their homes. This included more than 21 million refugees. Overall, women and children make up the majority of any given refugee population. Due to a combination of different factors, including gender-based discrimination in access to resources, education and employment, poor reproductive healthcare and exclusion from decision-making processes, refugee and internally displaced women and girls constitute one of the most vulnerable groups in the world.

Yet, they also play a central role in the survival and resilience of families and communities. While some crises in 2015-2016 had a painfully acute impact, such as the Nepal earthquakes, others placed a prolonged and heavy strain on affected populations. These were primarily families facing food insecurity due to the El Niño-related droughts and people displaced by ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

During 2015-2016, Canada provided humanitarian assistance to 57 countries affected by complex emergencies, food insecurity, non-recurrent health epidemics and natural disasters, which alone numbered 27. Canada worked with UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and civil society organizations to provide critical humanitarian assistance in 2015-2016:

Top 15 recipients of Canada's international humanitarian assistance in 2015-2016 ($ millions)
Text version
Top 15 Recipients of Canada’s International Humanitarian Assistance in 2015-2016Footnote 6 ($ millions)
CountryHumanitarian Assistance
($ millions)
Syria64.90
West Bank and Gaza53.90
Lebanon53.40
Jordan45.20
Ethiopia41.99
Iraq41.05
Nepal30.46
Yemen26.09
South Sudan24.95
Afghanistan19.22
Somalia17.97
Turkey17.85
Democratic Republic of Congo14.32
Haiti11.26
Central African Republic10.77

Nepal Earthquakes

In April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck near Kathmandu, Nepal, and was followed by a series of large aftershocks, including a 7.3-magnitude earthquake shortly thereafter. The disaster affected over eight million people, led to more than 9,000 deaths and temporarily displaced 2.8 million people.

Within days of the earthquake, Canada provided $10 million in humanitarian assistance and deployed its Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to provide crucial engineering expertise, mobile medical teams geomatics support teams, and liaison officers on the ground. Canada’s DART team:

In addition, four planeloads of supplies from Canada’s relief stockpiles were deployed to support the efforts of humanitarian partners in meeting the needs of approximately 4,000 earthquake-affected families.

Through its Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, the Government of Canada offered to match contributions made by Canadians in support of the public’s response to the Nepal earthquakes. Between April and May of 2015, Canadians generously donated a total of $51.7 million to eligible organizations. The Government of Canada matched this amount with $27 million used for the immediate response to the crisis and $24.7 million committed to rebuilding communities.

Canada’s humanitarian assistance funding significantly helped 14 of the most affected districts:

Syria and Iraq

The ongoing conflict in Syria, now entering its sixth year, has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. According to the UN, 13.5 million people inside Syria need urgent help, including 6.5 million who are internally displaced. It is estimated that over 250,000 people have died in the conflict, with hundreds of thousands more wounded. Almost 4.6 million Syrians have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Thousands more have made the harrowing journey to Europe in search of a better, safer life.

In Iraq, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate as armed clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and government forces drive displacement. As of early 2016, at least 10 million people required immediate humanitarian assistance. Three million of these people are in areas difficult to access. Overall, 3.2 million people have been displaced and an additional 440,000 Iraqis who were previously displaced have returned home to find their communities destroyed. In these contexts, women and girls face heightened risks and vulnerabilities, such as trafficking, early and forced marriage, sexual and gender-based violence, and reduced access to sexual and reproductive health services.

In February 2016, the Government of Canada announced its new strategy to address the crises in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region over the next three years. Of the $1.1 billion committed to helping those most affected by the crisis, $840 million will be dedicated to humanitarian assistance. At the same time, Canadians have also donated generously through the Syria Emergency Relief Fund, launched in September 2015. Last year, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie announced that Canadians contributed $31.8 million in eligible donations to charitable organizations, which are being matched by the Government of Canada. Through this support, UNICEF is delivering education and child-protection services in Syria and Jordan and immunization for children in Syria, thereby responding to critical needs and building the resilience of conflict-affected communities.

El Niño

Starting in early 2015, extreme weather linked to a particularly strong El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean led to elevated levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, loss of livelihood, and displacement across a number of developing countries in eastern and southern Africa, Central and South America, and the Southeast Asia and Pacific region. Ethiopia was one of the hardest-hit countries, where the worst drought in 50 years led to three times the volume of people needing emergency food assistance, up from 2.9 million in January 2015 to 10.2 million in December 2015. Malnutrition rates rose substantially, while access to water, particularly for rural households, decreased dramatically. Southern Africa faced elevated levels of food insecurity as a result of adverse climatic conditions and poor harvests throughout 2015. At least 28 million people in southern Africa were food insecure.

Canada was among the first to respond to El Niño-related food insecurity, providing emergency food and nutrition assistance to Ethiopia ($35 million), Malawi ($3 million) and Zimbabwe ($1.5 million) between October 2015 and February 2016. Canada also increased its humanitarian allocations to Central America and Haiti in March 2016. The Canadian Red Cross, which administers the Government of Canada’s Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund, facilitated immediate support via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies emergency relief operations to several sudden small- and medium-scale humanitarian crises. Canadian support was distributed as follows: El Salvador ($30,000), Guatemala ($85,000), Namibia ($35,000), Malawi ($35,000), and Zimbabwe ($35,000).

Ebola

Following significant contributions to fight the Ebola crisis in 2014-2015, Canada continued to help eradicate Ebola in 2015-2016 and assist recovery in the most affected countries.

Global Affairs Canada’s continued response to the crisis in 2015-2016 included $24.35 million in financial assistance. This includes Canada’s contribution to the UN’s Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund which helps UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations address immediate priorities and gaps in the response to the Ebola outbreak.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada also provided approximately $2.5 million to deploy public health experts to West Africa to support the Ebola response. The deployments were made possible through partnerships with various organizations, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, the World Health Organization Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts provided much-needed laboratory, emergency management, epidemiology, and border health services. Health Canada assisted the World Health Organization in African countries affected by Ebola by reviewing the results of vaccine clinical trials and other activities required to assess potential therapies and vaccines for approval. The Canadian Armed Forces provided $263,000 in services, working alongside military colleagues from the United Kingdom to treat suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola in foreign and local health care workers and other international staff.

Canada’s Response to Cholera Outbreaks in Haiti

By mid- 2016, Canada had contributed $2.3 million in humanitarian funding in response to cholera outbreaks in Haiti. This funding is channelled through multilateral organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization and UNICEF as well as NGOs, to help address the emergency health, water, sanitation and hygiene needs of vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Since the onset of Haiti’s cholera outbreak in October 2010, Canadian bilateral programming helped respond to the epidemic through a UNICEF project (2014-2019) that helps improve access to potable water and better sanitation and hygiene in the departments of Artibonite and Centre. Funding for this project was increased from $12 million to $20 million in March 2016 to extend the fight against cholera to two additional municipalities with high rates of cholera.

Helping Refugees

Canada is recognized around the world for its leadership in offering a haven to international refugees. In 2015-2016, Canada resettled 21,102 government-assisted refugees, 15,954 privately sponsored refugees, and 2,851 blended visa office-referred refugees from all over the world. Within this group of almost 40,000, the Government of Canada welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada between November 2015 and February 2016. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) disbursed ODA of $256.46 million via three programs dedicated to assisting refugees.

Under IRCC’s Resettlement Assistance Program, government-assisted refugees arriving in Canada receive immediate and essential services during the first four to six weeks after arrival and monthly income support for up to 12 months (blended visa office-referred refugees may receive support for up to six months). In 2015-2016, 18,501 people received services funded through this program.

Canada’s Settlement Program, also managed by IRCC, assists newcomers—including refugees—in overcoming barriers specific to the newcomer experience. Settlement services provide newcomers with:

  • information required to make informed decisions,
  • language skills to achieve their settlement and integration goals,
  • assistance in finding and retaining employment, and
  • the support needed to build networks within their new communities.

Settlement services support the full participation of newcomers in the economic, social, cultural and civic life of Canada.

In addition, through the Interim Federal Health Program, health-care costs for protected persons, refugee claimants, rejected refugee claimants and certain persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may be temporarily covered until they are eligible for provincial or territorial health coverage. Starting in April 2016, this program was expanded to provide health-care coverage similar to that which provinces and territories provide to Canadians on social assistance.

Canada’s Thematic Priorities for International Assistance

To advance Canada's aid effectiveness agenda and maintain the focus of its international assistance, Canada’s international assistance in 2015-2016 was guided by five thematic priorities:

Additionally, to build upon Canada’s comparative advantage, crosscutting themes—increasing environmental sustainability, advancing gender equality, and helping to strengthen governance—were integrated into all of Canada's international assistance.

Canada’s thematic priorities are currently being reconsidered as part of the Government’s International Assistance Review. The review will inform how Canada can best use its resources to address emerging global challenges and which priorities will guide its development assistance. The empowerment of women and girls will be at the heart of the new priorities. Canada will also continue to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations and support fragile states.

Stimulating Sustainable Economic Growth

Global Affairs Canada’s Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy seeks to create balanced, long-term economic growth that increases revenue generation, creates employment, and leads to poverty reduction in developing countries. In 2015-2016, Canada’s sustainable economic growth initiatives focused on building economic foundations, growing businesses and investing in people. 

Building Economic Foundations

Governments play a key role in creating the conditions and institutional frameworks for investment, innovation and economic growth. Canada is helping developing countries build their capacity to ensure sound transparent financial and economic management, and establish public policies that encourage private investment and reduce corruption. In alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“2030 Agenda”), Canada is also providing support to governments of developing countries to build the necessary legislative and regulatory business, industrial and financial frameworks to enable sustainable growth.

In 2015, Canada supported five regional development banks that provide financial and technical assistance for development: the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank. Canada’s contributions to these banks helped build or upgrade 10,000 kilometres of roads, provide a supply of clean water to 166,000 households, and improve sanitation services for over three million people in developing countries.

In Africa, 441,270 hectares of land were improved through replanting and reforestation, benefiting 9.6 million people, (4.1 million of which are women), with these improvements in agriculture. This contributed to greater food security and more sustainable economic growth across the continent. Investments by the African Development Bank also provided or improved electricity connections for over 10.8 million people. In March 2016, the Minister for International Development signed a memorandum of understanding with USAID to increase access to energy for those in need in sub-Saharan Africa. This memorandum of understanding will help the Government of Canada coordinate its engagement in Africa around the G7 goal of supporting the generation of 10 gigawatts of new renewable energy by 2020 and 300 gigawatts by 2030.

In the Caribbean, 30,609 people (half of whom were women) benefited from safer, more rapid transit due to the construction or upgrading of 91 kilometres of roads. Reduced transit times make a difference particularly in the lives of women and girls who typically have more complex commuting patterns due to their family responsibilities.

In the Americas, 161,836 megawatt hours of renewable energy were produced in 2015 and 121,663 tons of carbon dioxide emissions were prevented through the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas and the Inter-American Development Bank Group.

Each year, Canada provides technical assistance to improve the tax administrations of developing countries, as a key member of international and regional tax organizations. The Canada Revenue Agency hosts study visits, responds to requests for information, and provides on-the-ground technical expertise to many developing countries. In 2015-2016, beneficiaries of this support included Bangladesh, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Tunisia, Turkey and South Africa.

Through the Canada-Americas Business Environment Reform project, Canada helped improve the business environment in the Latin America and Caribbean region and simplify the tax regime for micro, small and medium enterprises. Since its start in 2012, the project has improved the regulatory frameworks and processes for doing business through 24 reforms in nine countries, including four reforms that were completed in 2015-2016. The project is expected to benefit 860,000 firms in Colombia, almost 60,000 in Peru and more than 10,000 in the Caribbean.

In 2015-2016, Canada continued to support the International Monetary Fund’s technical assistance to the National Bank of Ukraine. This assistance will help the bank manage upheaval in its banking system, improve regulation and supervision, and reform its monetary and exchange rate policy framework and operations. This has helped the Government of Ukraine implement the financial sector component of its $17.5 billion International Monetary Fund Program. It has also helped Ukraine restore macroeconomic stability (achieving six percent GDP growth in the last quarter of 2015), strengthen economic governance and transparency, and progress toward balanced economic growth following the political and economic crises of 2014.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) provided training through the World Intellectual Property Office, on the delivery of intellectual property services to 12 senior officials from Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Ghana, Mozambique, Tunisia, Egypt and Romania. CIPO also provided research and examination reports for patent applications to Madagascar and Djibouti.

Growing Businesses

The private sector is an important force for sustainable economic growth. Developing countries with healthy private sectors typically have higher levels of growth and poverty reduction. In 2015-2016, Canada supported the financial viability, productivity and competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized private sector enterprises around the world, with a focus on those led by women. This resulted in increased employment opportunities for the poor.

World Renew helped 13,463 residents of Honduras, Mali, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Mozambique to organize themselves into 715 village-based saving and lending groups, and trained them to create income generation activities in their villages. Savings were used to purchase seeds, fertilizer and other agricultural inputs for small enterprises. Approximately 500 of these savings and lending groups have been linked with financial and government lending institutions.

Since 2012, the World University Service of Canada has helped 5,000 small- to medium-scale producers in the Caribbean access high-value markets for their produce.

In 2015-2016, with the assistance of SOCODEVI, rural producers, mostly from Bolivia, produced and sold over 520 metric tons of oregano (valued at US$1.26 million). This resulted in a $US323 increase in net family incomes.

The Municipal Partners for Economic Development project implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities delivered technical assistance to municipalities and local government associations in seven countries, including Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Nicaragua and Vietnam. From 2011 to 2016, with the help of volunteer Canadian municipal experts, 45 local governments developed local economic development (LED) strategies, 29 local governments piloted new LED services and more than 700 local government staff acquired LED skills. LED training helped marginalized groups, especially women and youth, participate in land administration, tourism and agriculture.

Investing in People

People are at the centre of sustainable economic growth and their ideas drive the economy. Governments help by investing in people through training and education, and by creating an enabling environment for better jobs.

Through this strategy, Canada supported entrepreneurship and vocational training for youth, particularly young women, to help them gain better jobs. For example, Canada’s existing economic empowerment programming in Africa was expanded in 2015-2016 to include entrepreneurship, information and communications technology, innovative problem-solving, and empowerment and leadership skills development. With this assistance, approximately 200,000 youth have gained entrepreneurial skills and are now better equipped in the use of technology to increase their income and employment opportunities.

Many workers are ill-equipped to find meaningful formal employment or take on the risks of entrepreneurship. Since 2011, the Financial Literacy and Business Development for Women project implemented by the Kashf Foundation in Pakistan has trained over 900,000 women in basic financial literacy and financial education. Ninety-four percent of these women reported an increased ability to save money, and 59 percent reported an increased ability to work outside the home. To date, 19,657 women have graduated from the project’s Business Incubation Lab and 14 percent of women entrepreneurs have grown their businesses from micro enterprises to small enterprises.

In 2015-2016, the Canadian Co-operative Association helped women and men smallholder farmers from 15 co-operatives in Rwanda to increase their crop yields. Thanks to the introduction of new seed varieties and training on sustainable production techniques, their production of aggregated maize increased by 1.3 tons (or 46 percent) and their production of aggregated rice also increased by 1.4 tons (or 25 percent).

In 2015, Canada launched the Strengthening Vocational Training for Better Youth Employability Project in Mali, which aims to increase the employability of vulnerable young Malians through technical and vocational training.

With Canada’s support, Haiti’s Centre for Professional Training was able to professionalize its administration and teaching methods and better guide its students toward skilled trades. In 2015, the centre’s training programs welcomed 503 first-year students. A survey found that 35 percent of graduates quickly found employment in their field of studies, despite Haiti’s current economic challenges.

Across Latin America and the Caribbean, micro-entrepreneurs typically employ just one or two people. These tiny enterprises represent the hopes and ambitions of the regions’ poorest. In February 2016, with support from Canada’s IDRC, the Universidad de los Andes of Colombia launched the SCALA Knowledge Observatory, a research and information-sharing platform to promote new business models with distribution networks that include these micro businesses. These models commercialize products and services that have social value and extend business opportunities to women and other low-income groups. Through the SCALA Observatory, IDRC, Citi Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank are now collaborating to generate new business prospects for 10,000 vulnerable women, in partnership with corporations and social enterprises.

In the Philippines, Canada’s programming helped increase access for 7,110 micro-entrepreneurs, low-skilled tourism workers and smallholder farmers (of whom 34 percent are women) to employment opportunities. It also helped micro-enterprises connect with markets through skills training, improved farm practices and access to technology. A total of 127 loans (US$ 770,000) were disbursed to smallholder farmers, while 52 micro loans (US$278,857) were disbursed to women. Of the 1,413 out-of-school youth trained (half of whom are women), 57 percent had found paid employment by the end of 2015. The Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development, active from 2008 to 2016, also contributed the creation of more than 22,000 employment positions in the tourism industry.

Nutritious Potatoes: A New Opportunity for Farmers in St. Lucia

Since 2000, agriculture in St. Lucia has been in decline and now accounts for less than four percent of the country’s GDP. However, local demand for fresh produce is rising, in part to supply the growing tourism industry. The agricultural sector and Government of St. Lucia had been actively looking for ways to diversify and promote domestic food production when Canada’s Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project, in association with Consolidated Foods Limited, offered a solution.

The project evaluated three varieties of potatoes to determine their marketability in St. Lucia. PROPEL provided the seeds and the varieties while Consolidated Foods Limited and a PROPEL agronomist located suitable areas and producers for the project trials. The farm of Raphael “Freedom” Gaston was selected as it is 1,900 feet above sea level and enjoys the cooler nights needed for optimum tuberization (growth) of potatoes. Throughout the crop cycle, PROPEL provided technical guidance on land preparation, planting, pest and disease control and fertilizer use. As Mr. Gaston noted, “This was the first time that I have grown potatoes. I was very happy with the experience and the help that PROPEL provided. I plan to plant more potatoes in the future and increase the acreage.”

Increasing Food Security

Global hunger and malnutrition continue to threaten the quality of life and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in developing countries. With an estimated 795 million people food insecure and almost two billion people malnourished, food insecurity is a major obstacle to growth and the rights of millions, particularly women. The challenges of increasing food production to meet the needs of a rising global population are further compounded by land degradation, increased competition for water, and changing climatic conditions. The 2015 El Niño weather phenomenon has been one of the most intense broad weather phases of the past 100 years and its impact on global hunger has been significant and wide reaching. It is estimated that the agricultural systems and food security of up to 60 million people around the world have been negatively affected by droughts, floods and extreme hot and cold weather caused by El Niño alone. In response, Canada joined international efforts to build the resilience of rural communities and mitigate the negative impacts of El Niño, and included climate change considerations in its agriculture and food security programming.

In 2015-2016, Canada supported women to increase the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, improve the efficiency of agri-food value chains, and increase the consumption of nutritious foods by food insecure and undernourished populations. Support for smallholder farmers, agri-business and government authorities helped reduce hunger and undernutrition, increase agricultural productivity and foster greater agricultural growth in the rural areas of developing countries. 

Sustainable Agricultural Development, Nutrition and Innovation at Farm Level

Canada helped smallholder farmers adopt sustainable agricultural practices, including water and land conservation measures and other climate-smart agricultural approaches. Canada supported a wide range of agricultural innovation activities with smallholder farmers via support for research and innovation in development projects.

A project with the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development helped 30,700 smallholder farmers from 22 countries in Western and Central Africa adopt agricultural innovations that increase productivity and climate resilience. These included artificial insemination for livestock, better fish farming techniques, developing five disease-resistant varieties of tomatoes and potatoes, developing four aflatoxin-tolerant peanut varieties and inventing a zero-energy cooler chamber for vegetable storage.

Canada’s support for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) helped millions of smallholder farmers in the world’s poorest countries receive agricultural inputs, such as locally adapted seeds, and technical training to boost productivity and market access. Canada’s funding for the public and private sector windows of the GAFSP helped to support the development and execution of government agricultural investment plans and agri-business projects in 39 countries. One GAFSP project with the Government of Rwanda helped 209,251 people increase their agricultural productivity and market access. The project introduced new high-yield, high-nutrition crop varieties that achieved yields of maize, beans and potatoes that were well above their national average. A complementary project from the GAFSP private sector window used blended finance to attract private sector investment to address chronic malnutrition.

In 2015-2016, Canada’s support for the CGIAR’s Wheat Initiative used advanced science and field research to improve wheat production for 2.5 billion resource-poor consumers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where people depend on wheat as a staple food. An impact study concluded that the total area sown with modern varieties of wheat (over 100 million hectares) had an economic benefit to farmers of US$3.1 billion per year.

Canada’s support to the Canadian Co-operative Association improved the agricultural livelihoods of over 2.6 million women and 800,000 men and helped 13,000 young women and 15,000 young men access financing and markets. In Tanzania, women reported higher incomes due to the training they received in entrepreneurship and new agricultural practices in poultry, milk production and livestock. As a result, these women could more easily pay school fees for their children, afford a diverse diet and pay for health and medical services.

In the Caribbean, 1,334 agricultural producers received support through the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages project for the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and improved access to high value markets for potatoes, sweet potatoes, ginger, yams and plantains. Fifty-two buyers from high-value markets are now purchasing produce as a result of this project.

Sustainable Agricultural Development, Nutrition and Innovation in Agri-Food Value-Chains

Canada's partnerships with the private sector helped improve agri-food value chains and strengthen market linkages for smallholder farmers. In 2015-2016, Canada helped global partners such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the GAFSP to create stronger market linkages between smallholder farmers and global agricultural valuechains. With Canada’s support, IFAD reached over 114 million people in rural areas (49 percent were women). It trained 2.47 million people in improved crop production practices and technologies to increase agricultural productivity. IFAD’s work on inclusive and rural finance helped over 25 million people obtain rural financial services. In addition, support to the private sector window of GAFSP brought investment and advisory services to small and medium-sized agri-businesses and farmers so that they could participate in value chains. Canada’s support for the UNDP in Sri Lanka helped nine agriculture producer organizations receive business development support for their 8,350 members.

Canada’s support for the World Bank’s Global Food Safety Partnership helps build food safety capacity, including the technical, scientific and regulatory aspects of government oversight in developing countries. Health Canada’s support for the Global Food Safety Partnership enabled upgrades to food industry value chains and management systems to ensure the production of safe foods in developing countries.

Health Canada contributed to the World Health Organization’s Codex Trust Fund through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Federal Assistance Program. Codex helps establish international food safety standards and enable recipient countries to participate at sessions in standard setting bodies and commissions. Health Canada’s support enhanced participation and contribution from Codex Trust Fund eligible countries in various Codex meetings.

In Morocco, the Canadian International Grains Institute provided a number of services. These included:

Through Canada’s partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh Province, more than 10,000 farmers have gained access to agricultural support services and/or applied new agricultural technologies since 2011. This has increased productivity and improved the competitiveness of key agricultural products. In addition, more than 8,000 rural households also benefited from new small-scale infrastructure. Ninety-five percent of the more than 5,600 farmers who received training indicated that they had gained an improved awareness of environmentally friendly farming methods.

Food Security and Nutrition Activities for Households and Consumers

In 2015-2016, Canada's support helped improve the consumption of nutritious food‎ by children, women and poor households via nutrition-sensitive agriculture, nutrition education, micronutrient supplementation, and school feeding programs. The UN World Food Programme’s school meal programs provide safety nets for vulnerable children, often in the hardest-to-reach areas. In 2015, Canada helped these programs reach 16 million children in 64 countries. This assistance allows households to retain income and ensure food availability. It enables children to remain in school and receive sufficient nutrition, so they can develop into healthy and productive adults.

With 2016 declared as the International Year of Pulses, these resilient crops—among them beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas—are now gaining increased global recognition for their nutrient value and soil-boosting properties. Current research supported through Cultivate Africa’s Future, a multi-year partnership between Canada’s IDRC and the Australian International Food Security Centre, aims to make pulses more accessible. Kenyan and Ugandan researchers have joined forces with the private sector and Canada’s Food Development Centre to develop pre-cooked bean products with wide appeal. As of 2015, 47 bean varieties had been tested, with 12 selected for their nutritional value and suitability for pre-cooking. Nearly 24,000 farmers, more than half of whom are women, are now growing these varieties. Two types of products—pre-cooked beans and bean snacks—have been developed, with the snacks tested with consumers in major supermarkets in Kenya and Uganda. The result is convenient and affordable products that improve nutrition, while saving time and cooking fuel for millions of households.

Canada’s support for the UN World Food Programme helped over 408,000 food-insecure Palestinians receive food assistance. More than 233,000 of them received in-kind food, such as fortified flour, vegetable oil, chickpeas, lentils and iodized salt, and over 175,000 received electronic vouchers with cash credit value. The vouchers allow households to purchase locally produced food, such as dairy products, eggs, cereals and olive oil. Vouchers empower households to make food choices and they also support the local economy. Whenever possible, vouchers and food entitlement cards are issued in women’s names, while voucher shops and food distribution centres are selected on the basis of their easy access for women.

In partnership with Helen Keller International and the International Food Policy Research Institute, Canada helped increase the consumption of nutritious food‎ for children, women and poor households in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Tanzania. Through this initiative, 13,000 people (11,500 women and 1,500 men) were trained in home-based agricultural production and received inputs to produce their own nutritious foods. They also received counselling on basic health and nutrition, good hygiene and sanitation practices. As a result, the intake of nutritious foods increased by over 40 percent for women and over 50 percent for their children from 2012 to 2015.

Promoting Food Security

Since 2010, the CARE Canada project PROSADE – Promoting Food Security in Choluteca and Rio Negro Watersheds in Honduras has helped more than 28,000 Hondurans in municipalities of the “dry corridor” increase their average household income by 37 percent. The project has also helped increase access to nutritious food. It developed geotextile bags to store rain water for household use, allowing families to continue using water for personal consumption and agriculture during the dry season. Over 10,000 poor people benefited from improved water access, thanks to the project’s rain water harvesting systems in 18 communities. By providing clean water and good hygiene practices, the PROSADE project has directly contributed to a 10 percent reduction in diarrheal diseases in children under the age of five years. As Lexi Rodriguez, one of the participants, indicated: “Before we had to walk one kilometre to wash our clothes, especially during the dry season when springs were dry. Now we have water in our house and that benefit is marvellous.” In 2015, more than 2.5 million litres of rain water were harvested.

Securing the Future of Children and Youth

Canada is a long-standing champion of child rights and takes a holistic approach to creating a better future for children and youth in developing countries. Through its Children and Youth strategy, Global Affairs Canada helps children and youth become healthy, educated and productive members of society. Its work on improving the health and rights of women and children, education and child protection helps children to survive and thrive as they progress into adolescence and young adulthood. This includes access to care and protection services, and opportunities to learn, work and participate in decision-making. While important gains have been made, millions of children and youth still face obstacles that prevent them from realizing their full potential and safely moving into adulthood. This is especially true for adolescent women and girls, who face particular challenges in the realization of their full human rights.

Canada supports children and youth as both beneficiaries and as agents of change. Canada’s work builds on international human rights commitments, including the 2030 Agenda, which calls for a world that “invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation.” The 2030 Agenda contains explicit references to the rights and development of children and youth (girls and boys) in six out of the 17 goals that deal with hunger and nutrition, health, education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, climate change and healthy environments, and in targets on violence, exploitation and harmful practices, including child, early and forced marriage.

Improving the Health and Rights of Women and Children

The global community has achieved significant progress in improving the health of women and children around the world. Yet, every day approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and 16,000 children under the age of five die, half of them due to conditions that could have been prevented or treated with access to simple affordable interventions.

In response to this global challenge, Canada has committed $3.5 billion from 2015-2020 to improving the health and rights of women and children. This now recognizes the full range of women’s health needs, including sexual and reproductive health services. Canada led global efforts by supporting the renewed Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. In 2016, Canada’s Minister for International Development and La Francophonie was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to the High-Level Advisory Group for the Every Woman Every Child movement. Canada is a leader in mobilizing action on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda. As a founding donor of the Global Financing Facility and a member of its governing body, Canada also leads global efforts to coordinate financing for the health and rights of women and children.

Improving Access to Quality Basic Education

Education is a fundamental human right. Investments in education lead to successful outcomes in other areas of sustainable development, including governance and clean economic growth as well as the health and rights of children and youth, particularly girls and young women.

In 2015, Canada welcomed the inclusion of a dedicated goal for education as part of the 2030 Agenda. This goal shifts the international priority from access to education to ensuring higher quality education and learning outcomes.

Canada supports the Global Partnership for Education which helps over 60 developing countries deliver quality basic education. Since 2002, the Global Partnership for Education has:

In Kenya, through a partnership with York University, Canada is investing $4.5 million to enhance access to quality education for vulnerable girls and boys living in the Dadaab refugee camp and local area. To date, 328 individuals have been trained to teach at primary and secondary schools and received their accreditation from two partner universities. As a result, these individuals eventually obtained formal work as teachers outside of the camps.

In Jordan, Canada’s support has improved school-based planning and decision-making via training teachers, principals, supervisors and school management committees in the 3,567 public schools attended by Jordanian and Syrian refugee children.

In Mali, Canada’s $20 million support for Plan International Canada helps increase access to safe and secure primary education and early childhood centres. The project contributed to an increase in the national gross primary enrolment rate (from 57.6 percent in 2014 to 83.1 percent in 2015). Over 27,000 children, approximately half of whom are girls, are also being provided with nutritional daily meals.

In 2015-2016, Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program provided $350,000 to the International Labour Organization for a pilot project in Jordan that reduces the number of children in the labour market and increases the rate of school completion among Syrian refugees and within host communities.

Ensuring the Safety and Security of Children and Youth

Canada is working to strengthen national systems to protect children and youth, particularly girls, from all forms of violence and harmful practices. This includes reducing human (child) trafficking and combating gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, promoting safe and secure schools, supporting at-risk youth, and preventing child, early and forced marriage.

Ending violence and harmful practices against children is a priority for Global Affairs Canada. Child protection is highlighted as an objective of the 2030 Agenda. It aims to eliminate harmful practices, including child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation and cutting. The 2030 Agenda urges immediate action on the worst forms of child labour and an end to child labour in all forms. It also seeks action to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children, including the torture of children.

The expertise of Canadian organizations helps achieve results for children and youth around the world. Canada’s $9 million support for Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education has helped nearly 1,000 children strengthen their leadership skills to build safer, more equitable communities with greater respect for human rights and democracy in Tanzania, Senegal, Haiti and Colombia. Their participation has helped combat discrimination and violence against women and girls and has empowered them to be agents of change on issues affecting children and youth.

Canada’s support for Save the Children in Iraq has helped protect children from violence and exploitation, via the creation of four child-friendly spaces where 2,381 children were enrolled, the rehabilitation of six schools attended by 550 children, and case management support for 181 children requiring child protection.

Investments across the Children and Youth strategy are critical to ending the practice of child, early and forced marriage. Canada’s $3 million contribution to Plan International Canada is helping combat child, early and forced marriage in Bangladesh by training teachers and school management committee members on prevention and the creation of safe spaces where peer mentors provide support and disseminate information on life skills, sexual and reproductive health, and child, early and forced marriage.

Canada also conducted high-impact advocacy at home and abroad to build support to end child, early and forced marriage in high-prevalence countries and raise awareness among key stakeholders. This included co-hosting a side event with Bangladesh at the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2016, and hosting multiple launches of the exhibit “Girls’ Voices: Speaking Out Against Child Marriage” at the African Union Summit, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015 and the First African Girls’ Summit.

WinS for Girls - Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Management in Schools for Girls

Canada is contributing $7.5 million as the lead donor to WinS for Girls – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools for Girls, a multi-country program and partnership led by UNICEF and the UN Girls' Education Initiative. This initiative seeks to increase the number of girls completing primary school and entering secondary schools by supporting girls’ menstrual hygiene needs. Inadequate facilities at schools and a lack of access to feminine hygiene products force millions of girls around the world to miss class during menstruation. The project is being implemented in 14 countries, with 10 projects funded by Canada in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Zambia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, and Bolivia.

With the support of the Government of Canada, ministries of education in all participating countries have established menstrual hygiene management working groups. In addition, a Web-based learning program has helped WinS for Girls network members strengthen their capacity for research and action on menstrual hygiene management. A basic package of water, sanitation and menstrual hygiene management interventions is under development and will be rolled out in 100 schools in all 14 countries by the end of the project. These activities will help reduce one of the most significant barriers that adolescent girls face in completing their education in developing countries.

Together for Girls

Canada is contributing $5 million to UNICEF and Together for Girls, a global public-private partnership that helps countries to prevent and respond to violence against children.

In Cambodia, the Together for Girls partnership financed a study on the Economic Burden of Health Consequences of Violence Against Children, providing key evidence on the prevalence, consequences and impact of childhood violence. As a result, a costed action plan to prevent and address violence against girls and boys is now being developed by Cambodia’s National Steering Committee for Violence Against Children. Government, civil society, donors and other stakeholders have also increased their support for action to address violence against children.

Canada’s support for the partnership also helps implement child-friendly healthcare and education systems in Cambodia. For example, with Cambodia’s Ministry of Health, Canada is helping 25 health facilities use a Child Protection Clinical Handbook for screening, treating, reporting and referral of children subjected to violence and sexual abuse. With Canada’s support, 100 primary schools are also improving positive discipline and effective classroom management training for teachers and administrators.

Advancing Democracy

The development of free, well-governed and pluralistic societies based on human rights and the rule of law cannot happen without the full participation of people in decision-making and in the institutions that affect their lives. In 2015-2016, Canada helped advance democracy by supporting:

This focus is also evolving to include inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity, and the specific rights of women and refugees. Global consensus was reached through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, which recognizes that all of these are essential for sustainable democracies.

Civil Society, Independent Media and Freedom of Expression

A healthy and vibrant civil society strengthens the ability of people to participate, hold their governments to account, and advocate on issues that affect their lives. Civil society organizations are crucial to achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development. Canada supports safe and enabling environments for civil society in developing countries and respects their rights of freedom, peaceful assembly and association.

In June 2015, the Canadian social justice organization Inter Pares concluded a five-year Burma Border Assistance Program project funded by Canada. Over 60 civil society organizations increased their ability to research and disseminate information on human rights, development and environmental sustainability.

From 2011 to 2015, through the National Languages Project implemented by Agriteam Canada, Canada contributed to post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka by increasing awareness and support for language rights, bilingualism and linguistic diversity. Support was provided to the initiatives of 13 civil society organizations. These initiatives, which promoted respect for linguistic and cultural rights, reached over 4,362 beneficiaries.

Canada is a strong advocate for freedom of expression internationally, and builds the capacity of media to report freely through the Internet and traditional media. Internews, an international NGO that supports independent media and access to information worldwide, launched the Strengthening Investigative Reporting in Ukraine initiative two years ago with Canada’s support. This initiative supported what has quickly become the nation’s pre-eminent investigative media program. Drawing on audiences from mainstream television, Web TV, YouTube and Facebook, the Strengthening Investigative Reporting in Ukraine television program “Slidstvo.info” now has a growing audience, estimated at over 9.5 million. In 2015-2016, the project produced 149 investigative reports on socially important topics, leading to greater government transparency and accountability. Its reporting led to the resignations of eight people in senior leadership positions after the public learned of their alleged corruption.

Electoral Processes and Political Party Systems

Free and fair elections are at the heart of a representative democracy. Canada supports electoral processes and institutions, as well as civic education and engagement throughout the electoral cycle. Canada also supports election observation missions by deploying Canadian election observers and by assisting domestic election observer groups in partner countries. This helps deter electoral fraud in real-time. Recommendations issued by election observation missions help the long term development of free and fair elections.

In 2015-2016, Canada provided $5.1 million for multinational and domestic election observation missions and deployed 302 Canadian and international election observers to observe elections in Haiti, Guatemala, Guyana, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Ukraine. Canada’s partners included the Organization of American States, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, Canada’s Civil Response Force, the Forum of Federations, and Canadian Election Observation Missions. Canada helped improve citizen participation and monitoring of Tanzania’s 2015 national elections process by supporting a consortium of local civil society organizations in their use of social media platforms.

Empowering women and girls through full participation, including as elected representatives, goes beyond numbers. It means creating spaces where women and girls can express their needs and interests, and help shape the decisions that affect their lives. In March 2016, Canada launched a $2 million project to support the Inter-Parliamentary Union Gender Equality in Politics program from 2016 to 2019. This will:

Political accountability also means informed and transparent budget preparation. Canada’s Strengthening Democratic Governance project in Myanmar helped advance Myanmar’s ongoing transition toward democracy by helping parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to enhance their knowledge about their roles and responsibilities in Myanmar’s annual budget process.

Human Rights and the Rule of Law

The promotion and protection of human rights are essential in a democratic society. Human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. In 2015-2016, Canada provided support to Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education’s project Strengthening Human Rights Education Globally. Canada’s contribution helped human rights defenders, including children and youth, become agents of change. From 2014 to 2016, Equitas trained 310 human rights defenders from countries such as Haiti, Tanzania, Colombia and Senegal. These human rights defenders were trained to lead initiatives in human rights and human rights education, using international and human rights standards.

The rule of law is also key to development and economic prosperity. An impartial, accessible, equitable and independent justice system that protects the rights of all people without discrimination is at the heart of a well-functioning democracy.

Until very recently Ukrainian citizens were obliged to pay privately for legal advice and representation. For many, particularly marginalized populations, this meant that justice was unaffordable. This had a corrosive effect on citizens’ trust in public institutions and the justice system. In 2015, with Canada’s support the Ukrainian legal aid system was expanded to include 100 local legal aid clinics. These will provide free legal services to up to eight million prospective clients, thus improving their access to justice and increasing the protection of their rights. During 2015, more than 60,000 legal aid applications were registered.

In Panama and Honduras, Employment and Social Development Canada’s Building Labour Law Compliance Capacities project helped governments, workers and employers to improve labour relations and practices through new tools and resources. New online services were launched by labour ministries for workers and employers to calculate benefits, minimum wage and overtime, and request labour inspections. Labour rights training and communication campaigns on women’s labour rights, the eradication of child labour, and the minimum wage helped improve overall labour conditions.

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala is a UN-backed, independent investigatory commission supported by Canada and other donors. Over the past eight years, Canada’s contribution of $18 million to the commission has helped the Government of Guatemala investigate and prosecute organized crime and conduct criminal investigations.

IDRC-funded researchers in Guatemala and Colombia are leading the charge to provide Indigenous and peasant women with access to justice. IDRC support has helped build evidence on how the formal and community justice systems have failed sexual violence victims during and after armed conflict. It has brought together the Ke´quchi Indigenous women of Guatemala with Indigenous and peasant women from Colombia to share their experiences and discuss strategies to achieve justice. It also offered an opportunity for Colombia’s younger generation to tell their mothers’ stories through video, which empowered the women and spurred discussions among community Elders about how to address gender-based violence. In 2016, this has helped lead to the conviction and sentencing of two former Guatemalan army officials for crimes against humanity.

Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Labour Program

ESDC’s Labour Program negotiates and administers Canada’s trade-related labour agreements (TRLAs). TRLAs include commitments to protect internationally recognized labour rights and principles and to enforce domestic labour laws. By protecting workers’ basic rights and improving working conditions and standards of living in partner countries, these agreements ensure fair competition for Canadian industry in a globalized economy.

ESDC also provides technical assistance through capacity-building projects that support the modernization of labour policy and administration in developing countries. These projects foster better enforcement of national labour laws and greater respect for internationally recognized labour rights, which are an integral part of human rights, and help developing countries meet their obligations under TRLAs. This helps developing countries achieve sustainable economic growth while advancing democracy.

Through its technical assistance program, ESDC seeks to strengthen the institutions of democratic governance; promote economic growth while respecting workers’ rights; and improve the quality of working conditions in partner countries.

Projects supported in 2015-2016 included the following:

  • The Université de Montréal’s “Labour Mediator and Arbitrator Capacity Building in China Project” is strengthening respect for international labour principles, including freedom of association and collective bargaining. The project has also promoted good governance through capacity building for Chinese mediators and arbitrators, and fostered workplace democracy by encouraging the participation of workplace partners in labour dispute resolution and prevention processes.
  • The Better Work program of the International Labour Organization in Vietnam aims to strengthen social dialogue in the garment sector, particularly among government and employer and employee organizations, to increase the capacity of garment factories to meet core international labour standards. An example of such standards is freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • The Fundación para la Paz y la Democracia is working to bring the capacity of occupational health and safety auditors in Honduras in line with international practices, and to enhance Honduran employers’ ability to comply with occupational health and safety standards.
HarassMap

HarassMap—an International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-supported non-profit network that has created crowdsourcing tools and social campaigns to confront sexual harassment—has made waves in Egypt since its founding in 2010. Last year, HarassMap’s ground-breaking work helped Cairo University adopt an anti-sexual harassment policy—the first public university in the Middle East to do so. The network has inspired and trained a host of other campaigns to end abuse, and produced myth-busting research on harassers and their victims. By testing and promoting harassment-free “safe areas,” it has helped to shift social norms so that bystanders confront and report abuse. With support from IDRC, the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research is learning from HarassMap’s experience with crowdsourcing information to tackle other challenges, such as petty corruption in Egypt. HarassMap, meanwhile, is exploring how its model can be used to fight sexual harassment in other countries.

Strengthening National Statistical Offices

Developing and strengthening public institutions is a crucial aspect of development. Quality statistics are essential for making informed decisions to address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. In 2015-2016, Statistics Canada provided support to national statistical offices in several developing countries around the world.

Statistics Canada’s ODA activities are demand-driven. These typically include study visits where delegates spend time at Statistics Canada, improving their knowledge of statistical methods and practices or of statistical organization governance. In 2015-2016, countries that benefited from study visits included Senegal, Indonesia, Ukraine, Brazil, Turkey, Côte d’Ivoire, and Colombia, whose delegates participated in teleconference seminars. This training improved their understanding of various aspects of social, economic and methodological statistics, as well as corporate business architecture and organizational design.

In addition, Statistics Canada provided training in the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting through three regional workshops. Two were hosted in Santiago, Chile, by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and a third was hosted in Shanghai by the Government of China. Statistics Canada is an active participant in the UN’s Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which enabled Canada to bring essential statistical expertise to the development of global indicators for measuring progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Promoting Stability and Security

Almost half of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable live in fragile or conflict-affected states. Fragility and conflict are exacerbated by pressures such as climate change, competition for resources (for example, land and water) and weak or corrupt governance. State fragility is also exploited by terrorists and criminals who undermine laws, institutions and values across borders. Both low-income and middle-income countries are struggling with these challenges. Canada’s work with the international community, including with governments, civil society and the private sector, helps address fragility, insecurity and conflict.

In 2015-2016, Canada promoted global security and stability through a combination of diplomacy, deployments of experts and targeted projects with a host of partners, including foreign governments, international organizations and civil society. These efforts are an essential part of broader Canadian efforts to address underlying grievances and drivers of conflict that undermine development goals.

At the 2015-2016 International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and State-building, Canada helped shape global policy norms on how ODA can best be used to promote security and stability in fragile states by engaging with other donors, civil society, and the g7+ group of self-identified fragile states. This led to the April 2016 endorsement by over 40 countries of the Stockholm Declaration on Addressing Fragility and Building Peace in a Changing World, a political statement to advance the 2030 Agenda in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Protecting Civilians

In 2015-2016, Canada combined its diplomatic and programming efforts through multilateral partnerships in priority countries to address immediate security and stabilization challenges. The protection of civilians and empowerment of women and girls have been key priorities for Canada.

Canada contributed $13.7 million for landmine action initiatives worldwide, including in conflict-affected states such as Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq and Ukraine. This work made it possible for peacekeepers to carry out patrols, for humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance and for ordinary citizens to live without the fear that a single misstep could cost them their lives. Canada’s contribution not only helped to clear landmines and other explosive hazards, but also supported landmine risk education for vulnerable populations.

In 2015-2016, Canada also continued to support multilateral peace operations, and was an active member of the Global Coalition to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Canada continued to exercise leadership at the UN on peace operations and the protection of civilians, particularly women and children, in armed conflict. Canada contributed to UN resolutions and reviews, and chaired the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations. Canada also reinforced the UN by providing $270 million in assessed contributions for peacekeeping operations.

Canada also supported multilateral efforts at the regional level, deploying 70 personnel and a force commander to the Multinational Force & Observers mission in the Sinai Peninsula. This mission builds trust and fosters dialogue between Egypt and Israel. In Ukraine, Canada provided funding and deployed up to 25 experts (at any one time) to monitor implementation of the Minsk Agreement through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

In addition, Canada helped to strengthen the capacities of national security institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states. Global Affairs Canada, in partnership with the Department of National Defence, supported the Ukrainian military in defending and securing its citizens through the provision of training assistance and non-lethal equipment. In partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Global Affairs Canada deployed police officers and funded projects to provide training, advice and equipment to help reform Ukraine’s Patrol Police.

In 2015-2016, IDRC and the philanthropic organization Carlos Slim Foundation partnered to develop the Youth Citizen Security Platform. This platform supports policies and strategies that empower youth in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where lack of employment opportunities and deep social inequalities can lead to organized crime and other forms of violence. The platform will be launched in 2017 and is expected to harness expertise from across government and civil society and enable face-to-face and virtual training on citizen security and youth violence prevention. Participants will jointly create an agenda to influence public policy that focuses on youth economic inclusion and a reduction of violence in the region.

Conflict prevention and resolution often require political solutions and other forms of assistance beyond ODA, such as non-lethal security assistance for a foreign government. In the Middle East, Canada supported international peace negotiations for the ongoing conflict in Syria. Specifically, Global Affairs Canada helped build the negotiating capacity of the Syrian opposition delegation to engage in the Geneva peace talks via assistance from the Public International Law & Policy Group, an international NGO. Canada also sought to broaden political dialogue in Syria on the principles for a future transition with different Syrian community leaders and constituencies.

Protecting the Human Rights of Women and Girls

Canada recognizes that conflicts and crises affect women, men, girls and boys differently. Canada’s efforts to promote security and stability around the world help foreign governments, international organizations, and civil society promote and protect the human rights of women and girls. For example, Global Affairs Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (formerly known as the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force, or START) incorporates gender analysis in its programming. This analysis helps us understand women's and men's access to resources. It helps challenge systemic gender inequalities and power imbalances (most often faced by women).

In 2015-2016, Canada supported the implementation of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which recognizes that women are routinely excluded from efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. The annual progress report on the implementation of Canada’s Action Plan for the Implementation of Resolution 1325 was tabled in Parliament in June 2015, emphasizing that active and meaningful participation of women and girls improves program and project effectiveness and sustainability at the local, national and international levels.

Canada reinforced efforts to strengthen legal frameworks and judicial capacity to confront sexual and gender-based violence and child, early and forced marriage in several countries, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Myanmar, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Niger, Somalia, Tanzania, and Togo. Global Affairs Canada deployed civilian experts to investigate sexual and gender-based violence and address impunity for grave violations of human rights. For example, through its engagement with Justice Rapid Response, Canada supported the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Canada also helped the UN strengthen its zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, including providing a formal submission in August 2015 to the panel examining the UN’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse in the Central African Republic.

Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) is a local fund delivered by Canada’s foreign missions overseas. It supports small-scale local projects in line with Canada’s thematic priorities in-country. Missions also use the CFLI to rapidly respond to sudden-onset natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies via grassroots organizations.

Most CFLI projects are implemented by local NGOs who help advance Canadian priorities and values through workshops, training, education and public awareness campaigns. In 2015-2016, the CFLI funded 584 local projects totalling $13.82 million through 70 Canadian missions in 118 countries and the West Bank. These projects helped prevent sexual and gender-based violence, protect human rights, support democratic transition and participation, and support the rule of law and strengthened economic governance. Preventing child, early and forced marriage and promoting religious freedom were also key priorities.

For example, the Election Watch Organization of Afghanistan held a series of consultations and workshops with 250 women across five provinces to discuss the challenges for female political participation, including for candidates who ran in the 2014 election. A report was published and shared with the Government of Afghanistan and NGOs, with recommendations on how to decrease barriers to female political participation.

In Ghana, one project addressed violence against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual and queer (LGBTQ) people by:

Non-ODA Security Assistance

In 2015-2016, Canada provided non-lethal security assistance to security forces in Jordan, Niger and Belize to help them build their capacity to counter instability and extremism. This included the provision of funding, training, vehicles or equipment to security forces. In addition, Global Affairs Canada’s Global Partnership Program, which seeks to reduce the threat posed by weapons and materials of mass destruction, supported international efforts to destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.

While these security efforts are not defined as ODA, they contribute to an integrated Canadian approach to improving peace around the world and helping those most affected by armed conflict.

Operation PROTEUS

Operation PROTEUS, also known as Task Force Jerusalem, is Canada’s contribution to the Office of the United States Security Coordinator in Jerusalem. In 2015-2016, Canadian Armed Forces provided $4.23 million to the office and provided personnel to help the Palestinian Authority ensure a safe and secure environment for its citizens and promote peace in the region.

The members of Task Force Jerusalem also provide the Palestinian Authority Security Forces with training advice and support, develop logistics capabilities, and construct security infrastructure. They also facilitate co-operation between the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Canada on issues that are not usually of military interest, such as borders and crossings, movement and access.

Canadian Police Arrangements

The Canadian Police Arrangement guides the Government of Canada’s response to foreign requests for police assistance. This partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Global Affairs Canada, and Public Safety Canada enables Canadian police participation in international peace operations and contributes to longer-term security system reform and conflict-prevention efforts.

Canadian police operations in 2015-2016 included the following:

  • There were deployments to promote stability and police development in the West Bank. Two police advisors were assigned to the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support, to help establish law and order within the West Bank. A senior police advisor was also deployed to the Canadian Armed Forces’ Operation PROTEUS in the West Bank.
  • Approximately 85 Canadian police officers were deployed to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti to help enhance the capacity of the Haitian National Police. In addition, Canadian police continued to work with Norwegian officers on projects to reduce sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Four senior Canadian police officers were deployed to the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine to provide strategic advice on the development of effective and accountable security services in Ukraine.
  • To assist the UN in its goal of increasing female police participation in UN missions, Canadian police officers and UN counterparts travelled to Benin, Niger and Togo to oversee training in communications, firearms and driving. Canadian police also provided this training to both men and women officers in Colombia.

Canada’s Engagement with Canadian and International Organizations

Canadian Partners

The Government of Canada’s engagement with Canadian partners helps reduce poverty and inequality in low-income countries and fragile states. Canadian civil society organizations have demonstrated their comparative advantage in international development—namely, their vast policy and program expertise and networks, built over many years, both domestically and internationally. They are especially adept at responding to evolving needs and challenges such as humanitarian crises or in encouraging innovative public-private partnerships.

In 2015-2016, Global Affairs Canada provided ODA funding to more than 320 Canadian NGOs, colleges and universities, municipalities, cooperatives, professional associations and private sector organizations to support Canada’s international development objectives. These objectives include sustainable and green economic growth, inclusive and accountable governance, gender equality, the rights and health of women and children, and development innovation.

Announced in July 2015, the results of the Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health call for proposals illustrated the central role of Canadian partners in implementing key government priorities related to the rights and health of women and children. As a result, 36 proposals selected for contributions of up to $421 million are now being implemented by 51 Canadian organizations working with local partners in 30 developing countries.

Policy dialogue and consultations have been a particularly strong focus of the Government’s relationship with civil society organizations and with Canadians more broadly. Through these processes, the Government takes stock of accomplishments to date, discusses new challenges and opportunities, and sketches out a shared vision of our international development moving forward, as per Canada’s Civil Society Partnership Policy.

Since December 2015, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie have had discussions and consultations across the country as part of the International Assistance Review. The aim of the Review is to rethink Canada’s international assistance policies and programs so as to respond better to the challenges and opportunities of the new global context and refocus assistance on the poorest and most vulnerable. These discussions and consultations will assist Canada in making its approach, investments and partnerships more innovative and effective. They included individual meetings, round tables and high-level brainstorming events, often using social media and Web portals. In March 2016, the ministers of International Development and La Francophonie and National Defense co-chaired the first joint meeting with Canadian partners on humanitarian principles. Global Affairs Canada has also brought together development practitioners from various Canadian organizations to build a vibrant community of practice and share best practices on innovation and the delivery of results. The Minister of International Development and La Francophonie also hosted a roundtable on Gender Equality and the Rights of Women and Girls in early 2016. The discussion focused on lessons learned and opportunities for Canada’s leadership and comparative advantage in this area.

Maximizing Development Impact through Innovations

The Government of Canada believes that ODA can also reach the poorest and most vulnerable when organizations invest in development innovation. These innovations will allow for the best use of Canada’s resources and maximize benefits for people in need. Innovation will be even more important as we advance with the 2030 Agenda.

In 2015-2016, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) completed its five-year $5.7 million government-funded project on water, sanitation and hygiene services for women and children in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Haiti, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal and Zambia. CAWST teaches people how to get safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation using Canadian technology: household biosand filters. CAWST reached 2.6 million people—more than five times the original target— by building the skills of trainers who in turn train hundreds of local organizations and community workers.

The Government of Canada’s ongoing partnership with Grand Challenges Canada has supported the search for innovative solutions to improve the health of women and children. In 2015, Canada committed new support to Grand Challenges Canada’s 10-year Innovation Platform for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. This will help develop and test social policy and technology innovations that improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in low- and middle-income countries.

The Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) Phase II, co-funded by Global Affairs Canada and IDRC, helped scale-up cutting-edge innovations that:

Eighteen CIFSRF II projects are now being implemented by 17 Canadian partners, mainly universities, in cooperation with counterparts in southern Africa.

In 2015, the UN recognized Farm Radio International for its innovative use of radio and other technologies like cell phones to support small-scale farmers. In 2015-2016, the Radio for Farmer Value-Chain Development project reached more than 1.3 million farmers in Mali and Ghana. Radio helped inform their decisions on what and when to plant, and how to share techniques and markets. Since the project began in 2012, it has reached an estimated 4.6 million farmers in four countries.

In December 2015, Canada announced that it will contribute $15.7 million to Oxfam Canada for its Creating Space to Take Action on Violence Against Women and Girls project, which uses new technology–such as mobile applications–to end violence against women and girls.

After seven years, the International Research Chairs Initiative, a partnership between IDRC and the Canada Research Chairs program, has brought together leading researchers and non-academic partners to address some of the greatest challenges of our time. Awardees have created a range of breakthrough technologies and fostered relationships among communities, governments and private sector partners to strengthen policies and programs. For example:

Engaging Canadian Youth and Volunteers in International Development

Through initiatives such as the Volunteer Cooperation Program, the International Youth Internship Program and the International Aboriginal Youth Internships initiative, Canadian volunteers in professional fields and youth have supported capacity building in developing countries and built ties as global citizens. In 2015-2016, approximately 1,200 volunteers were deployed across 47 countries by 15 Canadian volunteer-sending partners. Through the International Youth Internship Program and the International Aboriginal Youth Internships initiative, more than 355 Canadian youth participated in development internships in 39 countries, through 22 Canadian organizations.

The Government of Canada has long-established partnerships, including with provincial and regional Councils for International Cooperation, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the Canadian Red Cross. These partnerships familiarize Canadians with Canada’s development priorities and help engage them in international development.

The eight provincial and regional councils organized a range of public engagement activities across the country, including events with a focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. International Development Week provided a valuable platform for information and exchange to reach over 3.6 million Canadians in 2016, notably youth, sharing knowledge about poverty reduction.

The Canadian Red Cross’s Faces of Humanity online exhibit illustrated how Canadian aid workers routinely respond in crisis situations by providing life-saving assistance. In particular, it showcased the personal accounts of 13 Canadian Red Cross aid workers who responded to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the devastating earthquakes in Nepal, and the surge of refugees fleeing war in Syria.

The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health was strengthened in 2015-2016 with the addition of 32 new Canadian organizations (a 40 percent increase in its membership). The network, with approximately 100 Canadian partners, works to save the lives of vulnerable women, newborns and children in the developing world and undertakes activities like knowledge sharing, public engagement and improved data collection to support international development.

International Organizations

Canada supports a number of multilateral development institutions, global initiatives and international organizations to help alleviate poverty worldwide. Working closely with these partners, Canada can leverage their expertise and economies of scale to respond quickly to humanitarian crises and pressing global development challenges. Canada works to ensure that these institutions and the multilateral system can function effectively, deliver strong results, and build consensus on important global issues.

Canada’s Contribution to the World Bank

In 2015-2016, the Department of Finance Canada provided a total of $492.8 million in grant support to the World Bank Group to achieve results in all of the Government’s thematic priority areas: increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, stimulating sustainable economic growth, advancing democracy, and ensuring security and stability.

Progress and Results Achieved Through the World Bank in 2015-2016

The International Development Association (IDA) aims to reduce poverty by providing loans and grants to the world’s poorest countries to boost economic growth, reduce inequalities and improve living conditions. It is currently in its 17th operating cycle (IDA17), which runs from 2014-2017.

Recent negotiations on financial replenishments enabled Canada to shape World Bank priorities in keeping with Canadian priorities. For instance, IDA is now working toward greater private sector mobilization and stronger, more targeted investments in gender equality. Canada’s IDA contribution includes a range of policy and performance commitments, including:

In November 2015, the World Bank held its IDA17 Mid-Term Review in which Canada and other IDA partners reviewed the implementation of the policy package up to that point. Participants acknowledged the strong start for the IDA17 period, including record lending for the first year and solid progress in the implementation of commitments. IDA17 funds, including Canada’s contributions, have helped IDA countries in a variety of areas including providing electricity for an estimated 19.1 million people between 2013 and 2015, vaccines for more than 135 million children, and essential health, nutrition and population services for more than 330 million people.

The implementation of all IDA commitments is monitored by the World Bank Group Corporate Scorecard,which provides an overview of the results and performance indicators of IDA and other key arms of the World Bank Group (the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency). The scorecard highlights results across many investment areas such as institutions and governance, human development and gender, infrastructure, agriculture and food security, climate change and the environment, and finance, private sector development and trade. Examples of development results achieved through the World Bank Group include the following:

Results for 2015-2016 should be available in the next World Bank Group Corporate Scorecard, expected in October 2016.

Canada’s Contribution to the Regional Development Banks

Regional development banks provide grants, low-interest loans and technical assistance to their member countries for economic growth and poverty reduction. Priority sectors include infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, agriculture, natural resource management, private sector development, regional integration and public administration.

Canada is a key shareholder and significant donor to five of these regional development banks: the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Canada’s contributions are channelled through:

Canada contributed the following in 2015-2016:

Canada’s Contribution to the International Telecommunication Union

The International Telecommunication Union is the UN specialized agency responsible for coordinating the global development of telecommunications. Virtually every facet of modern life—in business, culture or entertainment, at work and at home—depends on information and communications technologies.

The International Telecommunication Union currently has a membership of 193 countries, including Canada, as well as almost 800 private sector and academic member institutions. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is Canada’s official representative to the union and Canada has served as an elected governing council member since 1947. During 2015-2016, the union enhanced the ability of member states to save lives when disaster struck. This was done by deploying emergency telecommunication equipment and capacity to assist the following countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Nepal, Kenya, Myanmar and the Dominican Republic.

The union also offered direct technical assistance in Zambia, Uganda, Niger and Tanzania to:

In addition, the union organized two regional workshops, one in Botswana and one in Benin, to help develop national e-health strategies. Another two regional workshops, one in Bangkok, Thailand, and one in Budapest, Hungary, helped develop national e-agriculture strategies. A training session for almost 300 Indigenous leaders on the use of information and communications technologies in the Americas proved successful as well.

Canada’s Contribution to Tax Organizations

Canada’s international tax capacity building efforts are being led by Global Affairs Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Working with the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) and regional tax organizations—whose members are primarily developing countries—the CRA shares its expertise to improve tax policy and practices. Global Affairs Canada also works with a range of partners on tax programming, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and private sector organizations.

Taxation is an important aspect of development as it mobilizes domestic resources and helps countries develop economically. The G-20 international tax agenda and the 2030 Agenda have influenced the work of these regional tax organizations by underscoring the importance of building capacity in the tax administrations of developing countries. In July 2015, Canada joined more than 30 other countries and international organizations to launch the Addis Tax Initiative, which seeks to double domestic resource mobilization capacity building by 2020.

In 2015-2016, CRA focused on in-kind support for tax administration capacity building in developing countries. As part of its in-kind contribution to the OECD, CRA provided training at nine events – primarily for tax officials from developing countries—through the Global Relations Program, OECD global forums on various tax subjects, and the International Academy for Tax Crime Investigation.

Canada’s Contribution to the Pan American Health Organization

Canada's contributions of $14.62 million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) helps the Organization implement its 2014-2019 strategic plan. In 2015, the Americas became the world’s first region to eliminate rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, largely due to a 15-year consolidated effort and the implementation of this strategic plan. This is considered to be a historic milestone for public health.

In 2015, Canada used its membership on the PAHO Executive Committee to lead the development of the Strategy and Plan of Action on Strengthening the Health System to Address Violence Against Women. By adopting this strategy and plan of action, PAHO member states recognized that violence against women is a public health and human rights problem, and pledged to ensure that their health systems will prevent and respond to such violence. 

Canada’s support for PAHO helps enhance global health security by strengthening public health services in the Americas region via sharing of information, and strengthening surveillance and response capabilities to public health emergencies.

Parks Canada’s Contribution to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Parks Canada’s multilateral funding contributes to three organizations directly mandated with achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the International Union for Conservation of Nature; and the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property.

UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to encourage international cooperation in the conservation of the world's cultural and natural heritage. Parks Canada provides funding to the World Heritage Fund, intended to supplement national efforts for the conservation and management of World Heritage when adequate resources cannot be secured at the national level. The World Heritage Convention recognizes cultural and natural heritage places that contribute to maintaining ecological diversity, provide a platform for sustainable economic development, and act as centres for learning and peaceful cultural exchange.

Appendix I — Overview of Official Development Assistance by Department

Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada is the lead department responsible for providing Canada’s international assistance. Development assistance was provided to more than 80 countries around the world in 2015-2016, but was concentrated in 25 countries of focus for more targeted, effective and accountable cooperation. In 2015-2016, ODA programming focused on the current international assistance thematic priorities of stimulating sustainable economic growth, increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, advancing democracy, and promoting stability and security, along with crosscutting themes of gender equality, environmental sustainability and governance. In times of disaster, crises, or severe conflict, Global Affairs Canada provides humanitarian assistance to save lives and alleviate suffering. The department works with country partners, key multilateral partners, Canadian organizations, private sector partners, other donor countries and other government departments to deliver its programming.

Department of Finance Canada

The Department of Finance Canada provides support to the World Bank Group to achieve results in all of the Government of Canada’s current international assistance thematic priority areas. This includes core support to the International Development Association, which provides grants and concessional loans to low-income countries, and grants to fragile and conflict-affected states and other countries at risk of debt distress. In addition, the Department of Finance Canada provides support to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative to contribute toward decreasing debt-service payments in developing countries.

International Development Research Centre

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) invests in knowledge, innovation and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, it builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive change for those who need it most. IDRC’s work focuses on three thematic areas: agriculture and environment, social and economic policy, and technology and innovation. By the end of 2015-2016, IDRC had supported 697 global projects that were carried out by 569 research institutions.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada upholds Canada’s international obligations and humanitarian tradition of efficient and effective refugee protection policies and programs. In 2015-2016, the department funded a variety of services for refugee integration, refugee resettlement and refugee health to help integrate newcomers into Canadian society.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

In 2015-2016, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police deployed Canadian police officers to peace operations around the world. Canadian police assist in building and strengthening law enforcement capacity in countries at risk. By building the capacity of foreign police to maintain law and order, Canadian police, in cooperation with international partners, help create a safer and more stable global environment.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s participation in the Pan American Health Organization helped combat disease, enhance global health security and strengthen public health infrastructure. The agency also mobilized staff from the Health Portfolio to support the Ebola virus disease outbreak response in Guinea and Sierra Leone. In response to the rapid spread of the Zika virus in the Americas region, the agency provided support to global emergency preparedness and response activities in the region, and strengthened core capacities under the International Health Regulations.

Department Of National Defence

The Department of National Defence’s ODA activities in 2015-2016 included Canada’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, the deployment of the Disaster Assistance Response Team as part of Canada’s humanitarian relief effort to Nepal, and Operation PROTEUS, through which the Canadian Armed Forces supported capacity-building efforts with Palestinian security forces.

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada recognizes the importance of international cooperation on environmental issues. In 2015-2016, the department largely provided ODA through support for multilateral environmental organizations that provide technical cooperation and capacity building to developing countries.

Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency provides knowledge and technical support to tax administrations in developing countries, both bilaterally and multilaterally, as a key member of international and regional tax organizations.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada supports the International Telecommunication Union, the UN specialized agency responsible for coordinating the global development of telecommunications. This support helps member states save lives when disaster strikes via the deployment of emergency telecommunication equipment.

Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program provides ODA to help partner countries implement existing labour legislation and modernize labour policy and administration. This fosters better enforcement of national labour laws and greater respect for internationally recognized labour rights, an integral part of human rights.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada’s ODA includes Canada’s annual core contribution to UNESCO's World Heritage Fund, membership dues to the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and membership dues to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Health Canada

In 2015-2016, Health Canada assisted the World Health Organization and African countries affected by the Ebola virus disease outbreak, bringing expertise to the clinical trial reviews as part of a commitment to fulfill Health Canada’s regulatory capacity-building agenda. Through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Federal Assistance Program, Health Canada also contributed to the World Bank’s Global Food Safety Partnership to support global cooperation for food safety capacity building, and the World Health Organization Codex Trust Fund to support the participation of representatives from developing countries in Codex meetings.

Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada engaged in various statistical capacity-building activities through the UN and regional organizations and directly with national statistics offices in developing countries. Statistics Canada is a member of the Partnership in Statistics for the 21st Century (known as PARIS21), and provides technical assistance in support of PARIS21’s activities and events. Through participation in the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals, Canada provides expertise for the development of sound global indicators for measuring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

Canada Post

Canada Post contributed to the Universal Postal Union which provides technical assistance to developing countries.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

In 2015-2016, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office provided technical assistance to developing countries through two main channels: a technical assistance workshop with the World Intellectual Property Organization, and research reports for patent requests.

Natural Resources Canada

In 2015-2016, Natural Resources Canada provided an in-kind contribution of training on the use of geomatics technologies to help the Government of Senegal develop a national geomatics plan.

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