Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s official development assistance

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Message from the Minister

As Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, I am pleased to present the 2016-2017 Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance.

In accordance with Canada’s Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, we continue to meet the criteria of the Act and we are proud with our long-standing efforts to reduce poverty around the world, while also taking the perspectives of the poor into account and aligning our efforts with international human rights standards.

In order to improve accessibility and transparency, this year’s report is delivered via a dynamic online platform. This platform enables Canadians to engage with visuals and clickable media to support easier access to information, with better linkages to showcase the work of Canada around the world.

The Prime Minister has given me the mandate to refocus international assistance on the poorest and most vulnerable and on fragile states. He has also asked me to position Canada as a leader in development innovation and effectiveness, including by strengthening aid transparency and supporting better data collection and analysis, and by examining current and new aid delivery mechanisms and partnerships.

After a year of consultations with over 15,000 people in 65 countries, I am proud to have launched Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. This policy reflects the contributions of stakeholders and remains true to Canadian values. The priority action areas are based on clear evidence and take into account Canada’s experience and comparative advantage. The policy is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to eradicate poverty by the year 2030. It is also aligned with the Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. Canada has adopted the new Feminist International Assistance Policy to promote gender equality and help empower all women and girls. For Canada, this is the most effective approach to reducing poverty and building a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.

For our assistance to have the greatest possible impact, we must be not only determined, but also creative, flexible and rigorous in our approach. We must be innovators ourselves and encourage innovation through our funding mechanisms and by forming new partnerships. Canada now has the capacity to play a leading role on the international stage. This leadership is translating into results. I am lending my voice to supporting the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls in all of their diversity. They can count on the commitment and expertise of Government of Canada staff in Ottawa and in our missions around the world, as well as the invaluable contributions of our many Canadian partners, with whom we are strengthening our ties.

In 2016-2017, Canada provided $5 billion in official development assistance. This report summarizes the contributions of 19 government departments and agencies, and collaboration with over 500 Canadian partners and various international and local organizations, to support sustainable development around the world.

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, I believe that all Canadians can take pride in the contributions we have made to making the world a better place, and being leaders in pushing the boundaries of change. The Canadian spirit of generosity and compassion is apparent in the continued work of Canada to do its part, helping the poorest and most vulnerable by implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring that no one is left behind. This report showcases stories and results of Canada’s efforts in 2016-2017 to help end poverty and build a better world.

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

Introduction

This report has been prepared in accordance with the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA). The report summarizes the Government of Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) spending and activities in fiscal year 2016-2017 (April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017). It highlights the efforts of 19 Canadian federal departments and agencies that have provided ODA in accordance with the ODAAA and with overarching policy objectives to:

During 2016-2017, the Government of Canada disbursed $5 billion of ODA in over 100 countries.

In a world that faces evolving and significant development challenges, it is vital that Canada continues to innovate and adapt. Doing so ensures that Canada’s international assistance is strategically targeted and employed to maximum effect. During the international assistance review, Canada heard from more than 15,000 people from over 65 countries. People repeatedly said that helping women and girls is the key to solving many of the world’s development challenges. This review explored innovative and effective international assistance delivery, based on evidence and best practices. Canada formulated its new Feminist International Assistance Policy, which was launched on June 9, 2017.

The Feminist International Assistance Policy provides the guiding framework for Canada’s international assistance until 2030. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will be the core area of work. But this feminist approach does not limit the focus of our efforts to women and girls. Rather, Canada believes it is the most effective way to target the root causes of poverty that can affect everyone: inequality and exclusion.

To ensure that Canada achieves significant results in sectors where it has a comparative advantage, it is concentrating its international assistance in six new interrelated action areas. The core area of focus is gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The other action areas are human dignity, growth that works for everyone, environment and climate action, inclusive governance, and peace and security. The action area of human dignity supports access to quality health care, nutrition and education, and needs-based humanitarian assistance. Canada will concentrate international assistance in parts of the world where poverty and vulnerability are most acute and where Canada’s support can make the biggest difference. 

The new Feminist International Assistance Policy marks a major shift in how Canada targets and delivers its international assistance. It will take time to fully implement this policy. But Canada has already begun making substantial progress in key aspects of the six action areas. This is occurring both through new projects that started in 2016-2017 and through ongoing projects that have been refocused. This report provides an early window on the type of results we expect to achieve under the new Feminist International Assistance Policy.

This report presents Canada’s ODA spending in 2016-2017. It illustrates the tangible results that the Government of Canada has achieved around the world under the new action areas in collaboration with Canadian, local and international partners.

In order to improve accessibility and transparency, this year’s report is delivered via a dynamic online platform. Canadians will be able to use the visuals and clickable media on this platform to get information more easily on the work of Canada around the world.

Country: Afghanistan ©Aga Khan Foundation Canada / Leslie Knott

Official development assistance at a glance

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Contributions by department or agency (millions $)

  • Global Affairs Canada: 3,893.02
  • Department of Finance Canada: 492.82
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: 397.90
  • International Development Research Centre: 146.37
  • Other departments and agencies: 54.50

Official development assistance disbursements by department for 2016-2017

The Government of Canada disbursed $5 billion in official development assistance (ODA) in 2016-2017 through 19 federal departments and agencies. This report contains preliminary figures. Final and more detailed financial information for 2016-2017, including for bilateral and multilateral assistance, will appear in the Statistical Report on International Assistance (Fiscal Year 2016-2017). The statistical report will be available on the Global Affairs Canada website by the end of March 2018.

Table 1 describes the amount disbursed by each of the 19 federal departments and agencies.

Table 1: Official development assistance disbursements by department and agency for 2016-2017
Compiled by Global Affairs Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada
Department/agencyDisbursementsFootnote 4 (Can$ millions)
Global Affairs Canada$3,893.02
Department of Finance Canada$492.82
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada$397.90
International Development Research Centre$146.37
Royal Canadian Mounted Police$26.03
Environment and Climate Change Canada$16.63
Department of National Defence$4.45
Canada Revenue Agency$1.82
Public Health Agency of Canada$1.04
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada$1.01
Employment and Social Development Canada$0.98
Natural Resources Canada$0.76
Parks Canada$0.68
Canada Post$0.40
Canadian Food Inspection Agency$0.39
Statistics Canada$0.20
Royal Canadian Mint$0.07
Canadian Intellectual Property Office$0.03
Health Canada$0.01
Subtotal$4,984.60
Services supporting Global Affairs Canada activities$18.06
TOTAL$5,002.66

Official Development Assistance Accountability Act

The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA) came into force in 2008. The Act ensures that Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) focuses mainly on poverty reduction, in a manner consistent with Canadian values and aid effectiveness principles. For precise details, read the full text of the ODAAA.

The ODAAA identifies three conditions that must be satisfied for international assistance to be reported to Parliament as ODA. It must:

Canadian ODA can also be directed toward humanitarian assistance.

The ODAAA requires that an annual report summarizing Canada’s ODA spending and activities be tabled in Parliament by the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie on behalf of the Government of Canada.

This is the ninth report on Canadian ODA since the ODAAA came into force on June 28, 2008.

This report meets the reporting requirements of subsections 5(1) and 5(3) of the Act.

Also, in accordance with the Act, an annual statistical report on international assistance is produced for all Canadian ODA disbursements. The next statistical report will be available on the Global Affairs Canada website in March 2018.

Canada’s ODA reporting is consistent with international reporting standards agreed upon by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This committee ensures that ODA is used to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. Unlike the OECD definition, reporting under the ODAAA does not cover assistance from provincial or municipal sources.

The ODAAA criteria also apply to Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Taking into consideration the conditions of the Act

The central objective of Canada’s ODA is poverty reduction. Canada’s ODA promotes the economic development and welfare of developing countries, with particular focus on helping the poorest and most vulnerable.

Going forward, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy will target the root causes of poverty that can affect everyone: inequality and exclusion. The policy’s core emphasis is on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This is the best way to address poverty’s many dimensions and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world.

Taking into account the perspectives of the poor is also critical to Canada’s ODA programming. To ensure that local needs are being effectively met, Canada engages with partner governments, civil society organizations and project beneficiaries throughout the project cycle. It also regularly consults with a wide range of international experts, academics and other stakeholders to inform Canada’s approach. Stakeholder perspectives that were shared during the International Assistance Review in 2016-2017 played an important role in shaping the new Feminist International Assistance Policy.

For Canada’s programming to be consistent with international human rights standards, initiatives must demonstrate, at a minimum, that they reasonably expect to "do no harm." This means exercising due diligence to avoid undermining human rights in the country or community. Many projects specifically target human rights issues as key objectives.

As part of its feminist approach to international assistance, Canada is committed to providing international assistance that is human rights-based and inclusive. Canada recognizes that all people should enjoy the same fundamental human rights and be given the same opportunities to succeed. This is regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, migrant or refugee status, or any other aspect of identity. Adopting a human rights-based approach will mean that Canada contributes to advancing human rights through all its international assistance. Canada will do so guided by the key human rights principles of:

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, world leaders agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—a global action plan to eradicate poverty and build peace around the world. The 2030 Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets are integrated and indivisible. They balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals that focused on helping the world’s poorest countries, this is a universal agenda that applies to, and requires action by, all countries.

Canada places significant emphasis on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls—the objective of the 2030 Agenda’s Goal 5. Support for Goal 5 will be a key entry point for Canada’s international assistance and will drive progress in the other SDGs. The Government of Canada believes that a feminist approach is the best way to reduce poverty and ensure that no one is left behind. This is the core of Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy.

The 2030 Agenda is a challenge to the international community that will require the building of new multi-stakeholder partnerships. This agenda is not just about the goals but about how governments and other actors work together. Canada recognizes the need to work with a robust ecosystem of organizations to find innovative and integrated ideas that create a more sustainable world. Canada is doing this through effective and productive partnerships with a wide range of partners, including:

It is estimated that achieving the SDGs will require a combined global investment of as much as US$5 trillion to US$7 trillion a year by 2030. Reaching this level of investment requires new ideas and initiatives that can leverage additional financing beyond ODA. To help unlock new sources of development finance, Canada will increase and diversify its mechanisms for working with the private sector and other stakeholders. These efforts will help create the growth necessary to realize the SDGs and ensure that no one is left behind.

Canada has stepped up its efforts on key financing for development challenges and for pursuing new and innovative approaches. These are pivotal to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Here are some examples.

Seventeen SDGs are underpinned by 169 targets and 232 indicators. These indicators were developed by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), a group established by the UN Statistical Commission. To help track progress, this group has been developing an indicator framework to monitor the 2030 Agenda’s goals and targets globally, and support the agenda’s implementation. 

Statistics Canada is playing a key role in this. It is collaborating with the UN and other national statistical offices to develop the indicator framework. In March 2017, Statistics Canada hosted a meeting of the IAEG-SDGs in Ottawa that included sessions on data disaggregation and the role of custodian agencies. Statistics Canada also attended technical events on data collection at the July 2017 High-Level Political Forum. This event included key presentations by Canada’s chief statistician.

A UN working group proposed indicators for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’s global targets. The Sendai Framework was created following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. It has seven targets and four priorities for action. Public Safety Canada and Global Affairs Canada were members of the UN working group. These indicators were integrated into the global indicator framework for the SDGs.

The 2030 Agenda Indicator Framework built on the work of the IAEG-SDGs and national statistical offices such as Statistics Canada. The UN Economic and Social Council later adopted this framework by consensus. Subsequently, the UN General Assembly approved the framework in the summer of 2017.

The 2030 Agenda is a universal agenda. The Government of Canada supports this global effort and is also committed to realizing this ambitious agenda domestically and internationally.  

Country: Egypt © International Development Research Centre / Eman Helal

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

On June 9, 2017, the Government of Canada launched Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. The policy adopts an integrated approach to development, humanitarian, and peace and security assistance centred on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This is the most effective way to reduce poverty and build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.

That commitment will be put into action through six action areas:

The action areas are based on clear evidence and take into account Canada’s experience and comparative advantage. The policy itself is aligned with key global frameworks. One such framework is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Another important framework is the Paris Agreement of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Feminist International Assistance Policy equips Canada to lead and engage on the most important challenges all countries face. Indeed, not everyone has benefited equally from the dramatic reductions in global poverty over the last three decades. Hundreds of millions of people, especially women and girls, still live in poverty with limited access to resources and opportunities. They face major risks of violent conflict, climate and environmental hazards, and economic and political insecurity.

The policy is the result an extensive review led by Global Affairs Canada. This review included broad and inclusive consultations with more than 15,000 people in more than 65 countries. It explored how Canada could deliver more innovative and effective international assistance, based on evidence and best practices. As a result, the policy strives to maximize the effectiveness of its international assistance in a variety of ways. This includes:

In December 2016, Global Affairs Canada published an online summary of feedback from the consultations. For more details, visit the What We Heard Report.

Updates on the implementation of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy will appear in next year’s Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance.

For more information, see the Feminist International Assistance Policy.

© Mike Goldwater / Alamy Stock Photo

Areas of action

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

While Canada has long championed women’s rights and empowerment issues, 2016-2017 saw intensified efforts to make this a central focus of its international assistance.

Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy makes gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls the core driver for all of Canada’s development assistance efforts. The new policy also establishes this as a stand-alone action area. It focuses on specific multi-sectoral issues required to build the foundation for gender equality and achieve progress across all other areas.

Canada’s leadership on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls also extends to its multilateral engagement. For example, in 2016-2017, Canada led two resolutions aimed at ending child, early and forced marriage. One resolution was put forward in partnership with Benin at the 16th Summit of La Francophonie in November 2016. The second resolution was initiated with co-lead Zambia at the UN General Assembly in December 2016.

Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau supported Canada’s efforts at the General Assembly, hosting an event in September 2016. This event brought together civil society organizations, human rights organizations and activist groups all representing women, men, boys and girls. They discussed the important role they all play in the collective realization of the 2030 Agenda—in particular, Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality.

Canada's support of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls were also central themes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first visit to Africa in November 2016. The Prime Minister highlighted Canada’s efforts to protect women’s rights, and combat sexual and gender-based violence and child, early and forced marriage. Canada’s investments in appropriate sanitation facilities in schools to support girls’ increased attendance in high school were also profiled.

This section provides examples of results achieved in 2016-2017 within the following sub-themes of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls:

Country: Bangladesh © Wendell Phillips

Eliminating sexual and gender-based violence

Canada recognizes that sexual and gender-based violence as well as harmful practices must be prevented and eliminated. Doing so allows women and girls to equally participate in economic, social and political spheres.

The Government of Canada has worked with Plan International Canada on a $3-million project to end child, early and forced marriage. This project contributed to the adoption of a Southern African Development Community Model Law on ending child marriage and protecting girls already married. The model law has provisions for imprisonment and enables child marriages to be annulled at the discretion of the child. This law also addresses the lack of birth registration, which makes determining age difficult when it comes to enforcing child marriage laws.

The project with Plan International Canada has convened stakeholder meetings at the national level in Zimbabwe, including with government officials and civil society organizations. At these meetings, project proponents shared the provisions of the model law and lobbied for its enactment into law. As a result, a marriage bill currently in development will incorporate the provisions of the model law.

The Government of Canada has also partnered with CARE Canada on a $3-million project to prevent child, early and forced marriage in Mali and Benin. This has resulted in positive behavioural changes regarding certain socio-cultural norms related to child, early and forced marriage in eight of Benin’s ethno-cultural communities. As a result, fewer community elders now defend the practice of child, early and forced marriage. The percentage of traditional authorities, locally elected officials and religious leaders who defended the practice has decreased from 41.7% to 15.5%.

In 2016-2017, Oxfam Canada undertook a baseline study on violence against women and girls and child, early and forced marriage. This study, part of a new empowerment and protection initiative, focused on Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines. Among other achievements, the study created 109 youth groups and 17 community groups in three countries to raise awareness of women’s and girls’ rights. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, mass media campaigns were launched on International Women’s Day. These campaigns shared information about violence against women and the role of community members in stopping it.

In El Salvador and Nicaragua, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is supporting a project that aims to prevent violence against women, children and youth. The project focuses on encouraging young men to adopt non-violent attitudes and practices, rejecting the belief that it is natural for males to be violent. The project also focuses on the conditions under which these beliefs can emerge. The 2015-2017 project is examining how better approaches to promoting non-violence among young men can prevent and reduce violence in public and private spheres. The project is also producing findings to feed policy debates and improve policy interventions.

Supporting women’s rights organizations

Women’s rights organizations are at the forefront of advocating for the rights of women and girls. They play a critical role in raising social concerns about gender inequalities. Canada supports the efforts of women’s rights organizations. It seeks to strengthen their capacity to foster changes in policies, legislation and services, and to challenge harmful and discriminatory social beliefs and practices.

In Afghanistan, the Women’s Enterprise, Advocacy and Training Program is partnering with Relief International. Together, they protect women and girls from gender-based violence by strengthening Afghan civil society organizations. These organizations, in turn, coordinate, advocate, protect and promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls.

In the African Great Lakes region, Global Affairs Canada supported a partnership that combats violence against girls and young women. The Centre for International Studies and Cooperation has partnered with the Coalition of Collectives of Associations Working for the Advancement of Women in the Great Lakes Region. These groups are working with local women’s rights organizations in three countries in the Great Lakes region: Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal is to increase the protection of girls and young women in this region where gender-based violence is widespread.

In Bolivia, Canada and the Netherlands contributed to efforts to reduce gender-based violence and support the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls. They also supported women’s and girls’ rights to economic and political participation. Canadian support assisted with the adoption of two laws as well. Law 348 aims to eliminate violence against women and a gender identity law lets transgender people change their government identity documents. Since the project began in 2010, 12,878 women have accessed sexual and reproductive health counselling services. As well, 719 women have assumed political leadership positions and 3,291 women have increased their incomes.

In India, the Mahila Samakhya Programme is a national program for women’s empowerment whose strategy enables women to explore the power of the collective. Between 2014 and 2017, the IDRC has supported a project that evaluates this program’s impact. The evaluation sheds light on the role of women’s action groups in catalyzing social and economic change. A goal is to provide empirical evidence that can inform practitioners and policy-makers. The evaluation also aims to further understand how collective action programs can be modified to maximize the benefits to women.

Enabling public sector capacity building for gender equality

Canada supports the capacity and accountability of government institutions and legislatures at all levels to eliminate all discrimination against women and girls. In practical terms, that means Canada supports government institutions and legislatures as they design, budget, implement and measure the policies, laws and programs needed to achieve these goals. Canada also backs efforts to enable women’s and girls’ full participation in society and access to services. This helps reduce poverty and inequality.

One example is Canada’s support for the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania. In December 2016, the Government of Tanzania launched the landmark National Plan of Action to End Violence against Women and Children in Tanzania, for 2017 to 2022. In addition, Canada’s support to the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania has facilitated the reporting of 52 cases of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Canada’s support for numerous African governmentshelped them implement policies that enable gender equality in sectors such as democratic participation. These governments include Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Ghana, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Mozambique and Tanzania. Through Global Affairs Canada’s Pan-African Programme, the governments of Liberia, the Central African Republic and Guinea were also included. In Ethiopia, Canada worked to empower women in their economic activities. Canada helped women access business training and loans that allowed thousands to grow their businesses. This increased employment by 68% and profits by 78%.

In Mongolia, in 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada’s support helped many women take part in elections training workshops. More than 2,000 mostly female potential candidates and campaign managers from nine political parties took part in 46 workshops. These were run by the International Republican Institute’s Campaign Academy for Successful Elections. In the 2016 elections, 13 women were elected to the State Great Hural (parliament), putting female representation at a record high of 17.1%.

Strengthening the evidence base for gender equality

Canada’s international assistance initiatives—and those of its partners—need to be informed by a strong evidence base. This improves responses to the specific needs of women and girls, and men and boys, and advances gender equality. Supporting policy research, better data collection and evaluations for gender equality are several ways to strengthen the evidence base.

In 2016-2017, with Global Affairs Canada’s support, the Inter-Parliamentary Union undertook research and evidence-based analysis on prejudice, harassment and violence against women parliamentarians. Fifty-five women parliamentarians from 39 countries and 42 parliaments provided data. This analysis was done to support the equitable and inclusive participation of women and other marginalized and vulnerable groups in decision-making processes.

IDRC’s Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women program is filling gaps in the evidence base on women’s economic empowerment, gender equality and economic growth in low-income countries. This $17.5-million, five-year program (2013-2018) was jointly funded with the U.K.’s Department for International Development and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It supports 14 research projects in 50 countries aimed at generating knowledge on how best to overcome key challenges. These include deeply rooted restrictive social norms that limit women’s choices and access to opportunities. They also include the lack of recognition and value given to women’s dual roles as caregivers and breadwinners.

Canada successfully advocated for the further integration of gender-equality programming and results in the work of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. Canada’s support enabled the commission to develop studies on human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The commission also studied organized crime and violence against women. Both studies are proving to be key contributions to the policy and programming discussions on these issues.

In 2016-2017, Canada worked to combat gender stereotypes and discrimination by strengthening gender equality standards in journalism in Ukraine. The Strengthening Investigative Reporting in Ukraine project supported the development and implementation of gender equality policies in five partner newsrooms. This resulted in a steady increase in gender-balanced and inclusive media content, reaching a prospective 14 million viewers.

Human dignity

Canada works to protect and preserve the human dignity of the poorest and most vulnerable populations. Among these groups are people who lack access to essential services or face the devastating effects of conflict and natural disasters. Canada’s international assistance investments can help to ensure better access to good health care and nutrition, high-quality education and timely humanitarian assistance. These contributions include ongoing efforts to fight infectious diseases such as polio, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. They also include efforts to empower children and young adults with skills that provide the foundation for lifelong learning.

Country: Nigeria © Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Health and nutrition

Global Affairs Canada supports health and nutrition programming for the poorest and most vulnerable, in partnership with developing country governments, multilateral organizations and non-governmental partners. Initiatives supported by Global Affairs Canada aim to:

These initiatives work to strengthen local capacity to deliver effective health care and services. They also strive to reinforce policy, planning and decision-making capabilities. This could be done by supporting the collection and use of disaggregated data on health and health service utilization, for example.

In 2016-2017, Canada made several important funding commitments and contributions to address health challenges in developing countries.

On March 8, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Development and La Francophonie Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $650 million in funding over three years for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Canada’s support will focus on providing comprehensive sexuality education, strengthening reproductive health services, and investing in family planning and contraceptives.

This funding will help prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation and cutting. The funding will also support the right to choose safe and legal abortions, and to receive post-abortion care.

On September 16 and 17, 2016, Canada brought global health leaders together in Montreal for the Fifth Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Under Canada’s leadership, the Replenishment Conference mobilized nearly US$12.9 billion to support programs that focus on prevention, treatment, care and the strengthening of health systems. At the conference, Prime Minister Trudeau announced $804 million over three years for the Global Fund.

In 2016, Canada contributed $216 million to the Global Fund. Since 2002, the Global Fund has helped save over 20 million lives. This was achieved by placing 9.2 million people on antiretroviral treatment, detecting and treating 15.1 million tuberculosis cases and distributing 659 million bed nets.

In 2016, Global Affairs Canada, through the World Health Organization, provided more than 2.5 million treatments for diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria to children under the age of five in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Nigeria. Canada is contributing $75 million between 2011 and 2018 to the World Health Organization’s Rapid Access Expansion Programme. The aim is to increase access to curative interventions for remote, vulnerable populations. This will be done using networks of community health workers to screen, diagnose and treat the leading killers of under-five child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2016, Global Affairs Canada supported polio eradication efforts through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. This ongoing work has resulted in the lowest number of new polio cases in history—just 37 cases in the final endemic countries of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. This is a drop of over 99% since polio eradication efforts began. Canada was the first bilateral donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 2000 and has since disbursed over $600 million. This has contributed to the immunization of 2.5 billion children.

Canada is contributing $100 million between 2015 and 2020 to the Canadian-based international not-for-profit Nutrition International for its Better Nutrition for Better Lives for Women, Newborns, Children and Girls project. The goal is to improve the health of adolescent girls and mothers, and promote healthy pregnancies and babies. In 2016, the project provided nutritional supplements to prevent anemia to more than 200,000 girls in India. It also provided 44,000 pregnant women in Ethiopia with iron folic acid supplements to prevent birth defects.

In 2015, Canada’s $421-million Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative issued a call for proposals. This past year, the implementation of 36 new projects began. Partners improved access to, and demand for, antenatal and postnatal health services by pregnant women and mothers, and families. Initiatives, in part, trained health providers, birth attendants, community volunteers, pregnant women and their partners. They also built relations with local authorities and communities, including youth and women leaders. Monitoring systems were developed to track initiative results.

In 2016-2017, the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health worked with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Institute for International Programs on a suite of specialized performance tools. This will support evidence-based decision making. (The Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health comprises more than 100 civil society organizations.) These tools will improve accountability and track the effectiveness of government investments regarding the health and rights of women and children.

Global Affairs Canada’s Integrated Health Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean Project, operating from 2016 to 2019, is advancing health care in Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua and Peru. In 2016-2017, this project trained 2,046 primary health-care professionals and improved the delivery of health care to women and children in the six countries. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is the implementing partner for this project.

In Peru, the IDRC funded the Wawared health information system for maternal health, a project that began in 2011 and will run through to September 2017. This system works to ensure that women and their health-care providers have the information they need to make pregnancy and childbirth safer. Women suffer higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in much of the developing world. But most of the causes of sickness or death affecting mothers and infants are easily preventable. The Wawared initiative helps by standardizing, collecting and sharing data using a single electronic health record system.

Further, the Wawared system allowed for the sending of text message reminders of appointments and voice messages in local languages spoken by Indigenous women, which provide accurate, timely and trusted advice. This helps people make the best decisions on care because the right information reaches the most vulnerable groups. The project also improves the integration of health information systems across the country. The IDRC’s initial investment of $422,400 in a pilot study of 15 health centres in Peru is experiencing an unprecedented scale-up by the country’s Ministry of Health. Currently, 18,372 patients are registered in the project, which will be extended to 350 health centres across Peru. This includes areas contending with the Zika virus.

In the rural district of Nouna in Burkina Faso, regular access to health services is crucial for pregnant women and people living with HIV. Reaching these vulnerable populations, however, can pose a major challenge. The IDRC-supported Mos@an project leveraged the widespread use of mobile phones to monitor patients and their use of health care services in 26 villages.

The Mos@an project, which operated from September 2013 to May 2017, engaged with national and district policy-makers and trained midwives. It also created a mobile phone-based system that resulted in near universal access (97.5%) for the district’s 330,000 people. The system provides content in five local languages. The project and its results are being held up as a case study for Burkina Faso’s national eHealth strategy. The country’s Ministry of Health is keen to scale up the project from five to all 19 health centres in the Nouna district. It may potentially expand beyond to neighbouring districts as well.

In Guinea, the Public Health Agency of Canada developed and delivered four-week emergency management training sessions in 2016-2017. Select employees of Guinea’s public health emergency operation centre and the in-country team lead from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attended these sessions. The learning program resulted from collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Organization for Migration and Guinea’s Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire.

Delivered in French, the emergency management training sessions build on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s work in Guinea during the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016. The training helps learners understand and apply public health emergency management principles and practices in their own context. The primary focus is on the core functions and critical infrastructure needed to establish and operate an emergency operations centre for public health. Such a centre must meet basic World Health Organization guidelines.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also contributed $110,000 to strengthen national food safety regulatory capacity in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. This initiative, operating between 2017 and 2019, increases capacity to identify and report food safety issues and risks. It will result in better collaboration and regulatory alignment between Canada and CARICOM countries, and help address food safety and nutrition issues of mutual interest. The project will help ensure that all PAHO member countries are able to mitigate risks to food safety and respond to outbreaks.

In many regions of Tanzania, chronic micronutrient deficiencies caused by a limited diet contribute to growth stunting and increased susceptibility to disease. The consequences of Vitamin A deficiency can be particularly disastrous for children. They are at risk of xerophthalmia, an illness that can ultimately lead to blindness if left untreated. But a new project—the Masava project—has enabled three local processors in northern Tanzania’s remote Manyara and Shinyanga regions to fortify unrefined sunflower oil with Vitamin A. There are particularly high rates of Vitamin A deficiency in children in these regions.

The Masava project, which operated between 2014 and 2017, is supported by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada through the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund. The non-governmental organization (NGO) the Mennonite Economic Development Associates manages the project. So far, 58,978 litres of oil have been fortified and distributed in intervention areas, benefiting more than 350,000 people.

In Honduras, the Promoting Food Security in the Choluteca and Rio Negro Watersheds Project, supported by Global Affairs Canada, has operated between 2010 and 2017. The project, which reached 28,525 people in 10 municipalities in the Dry Corridor of southern Honduras, contributed to a 75% increase in maize productivity. It also contributed to a 121% increase in bean productivity. In terms of health benefits, the project led to a 7.9% reduction in chronic malnutrition among children under two years of age, including 8.5% among young girls. By the end of the project, 85.5% of beneficiaries were consuming at least seven nutritious foods in their daily diet, too. The project also increased daily incomes by 36.7%.

In Haiti, the country’s harsh environment recently destroyed more than 70% of the national sorghum crop. In response to the Haitian government’s needs, Laval University and its local partners developed new types of seeds better adapted to the environment. They did so with support from the IDRC, developing the seeds in close cooperation with Haitian producers. Since January 2017, 823 producers have already received these new seeds. Ultimately, the seeds will be distributed to 150,000 producers who will be able to ensure the food security of their families with dignity.

In Bangladesh, Canada contributed to that government’s overall health sector program between 2013 and 2017, along with other donors. This helped to raise the proportion of deliveries by skilled birth attendants at health facilities from 26% to 42% (631,000 deliveries).

In Guatemala, Canada supported the World Food Programme to ensure that more than 30,000 children between six months and 23 months of age had sufficient, nutritious food. Solola, Chimaltenango and Totonicapan were among the regions that benefited from these efforts. This project began in 2013-2014 and will run through to 2018-2019.

Education

Global Affairs Canada’s education programming aims to help children, youth and adults gain access to quality education and skills training. These provide the foundation for lifelong learning and success. Canada’s objectives are to:

Canada’s programming emphasizes country ownership of education systems in order to promote long-term sustainable results. Canada works in partnership with developing country governments, non-governmental and civil society organizations, and other education stakeholders such as the multilateral Global Partnership for Education. These partnerships help develop and support the implementation of country-led education sector plans.

Furthermore, Global Affairs Canada is committed to supporting gender equality and girls’ and women’s empowerment by addressing barriers to education for girls. These barriers include menstrual hygiene management and sexual and gender-based violence.

In 2016-2017, Canada made several announcements supporting education efforts in developing countries.

Global Affairs Canada is the lead donor to WinS for Girls - Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools for Girls. UNICEF and the UN Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) lead this program. UNGEI aims to increase the number of girls transitioning from primary to secondary school by addressing their water, sanitation and menstrual hygiene management needs.

By the end of 2016, 10 of the 14 participating countries in the WinS for Girls program had developed a basic package of evidence-based menstrual hygiene management interventions. In Bolivia, for example, the package includes an “education by entertainment” radio program advocating for girl-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. The package for girls includes a reusable sanitary pad kit, with pad washing and sewing instructions. To date, the package has been disseminated to 100 schools, reaching an estimated 10,000 girls and boys and their families.

With Canada’s support, the Global Partnership for Education has achieved significant results in its partner countries. The Global Partnership for Education is an international organization, a multi-stakeholder partnership and a funding platform. It met milestones for 16 of 19 results framework targets and indicators in 2016. For example, in 2016, Global Partnership supported the means for 11.3 million children to go to school. Over 90% of these children (10.4 million) were in conflict-affected and fragile states and over 55% (6.3 million) were girls.

In Peru, Canada has helped improve access and quality of education through a long-standing partnership with UNICEF that began in 2010. More than 500,000 primary-level students have benefited via improved teacher training and educational materials.

In Afghanistan, Canada has invested in community-based education, one of the most effective ways to increase access in remote areas of the country. Canada has also supported teacher training, particularly for women. BRAC, a Bangladesh-headquartered NGO, implemented the Community-Based Girls' Education Project. Completed in 2016, this project established more than 4,000 community-based schools and enrolled 122, 979 Afghan students (83% girls).

Canada also provided support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This permitted 515,260 vulnerable Palestinian refugee children to access education during the 2016-2017 school year.

Canada has supported the education of Syrian refugees in several neighbouring countries. In 2016-2017, in Jordan, Canada increased its support to the Ministry of Education and UNICEF through the Scaling Up Access to Formal Education project. This project has helped give 125,000 Syrian students, over half of whom are girls, access to education in host communities and camps. Canada also supported the Education Access and Learning in Lebanon project. This multi-donor initiative resulted in 194,750 Syrian children attending Lebanese schools. Another 54,746 children were able to get non-formal education.

In 2016, the Royal Canadian Mint made two donations to the World Computer Exchange for 102 desktop computers, 10 laptops and other hardware. This equipment was sent to elementary schools in the Philippines as classroom learning tools. The World Computer Exchange, founded in 2000, is supported by donations of volunteer time, computers and money from companies, foundations and individuals. It has helped connect nearly five million young people in schools, youth centres, libraries and universities in 47 countries with the opportunities of the Internet.  

Humanitarian action

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Figure 1: Top 15 Recipients of Canada’s Bilateral Humanitarian Assistance in 2016-2017 (in C$, millions)
SyriaFootnote *$98.85
JordanFootnote *$63.52
IraqFootnote *$59.90
LebanonFootnote *$59.63
South Sudan$50.36
Yemen$30.71
Ethiopia$29.68
Somalia$26.51
Congo, Democratic Republic$25.99
West Bank and Gaza$23.26
Nigeria$20.48
Afghanistan$17.65
Haiti$16.26
Sudan$14.05
Central African Republic$11.93

More than 130 million people needed immediate humanitarian assistance in 2016 as a result of conflict situations, acute food insecurity and natural disasters. Canada supports principled, timely, needs-based humanitarian assistance. This saves lives, alleviates suffering and supports the dignity of those affected.

When humanitarian crises hit, women and girls often shoulder a heavier burden of care for their families and others. They are also at higher risk for abuse, exploitation and violence.

However, women and girls have the potential to be powerful agents of change in crisis situations. They are often well positioned to help shape more effective humanitarian responses and, thus, better humanitarian outcomes for all. Furthermore, including them in planning and implementation often means they will be part of the post-crisis recovery and reconstruction leadership.

What follows are highlights of Canada’s 2016-2017 humanitarian assistance programming for man-made and natural disasters, including protracted conflicts.

Multi-year humanitarian assistance funding

Through its humanitarian assistance, Canada provides timely and appropriate funding for food, water, shelter, protection and other support to communities experiencing humanitarian crises or food insecurity. This helps reduce suffering, support human dignity and save lives.

At the May 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, Canada committed to working differently to reduce the unprecedented level of humanitarian need the world is currently experiencing. A central pillar of the summit was the launch of what is known as the Grand Bargain. The Grand Bargain consists of 51 commitments to make humanitarian financing more efficient and effective.

Together, the summit and Grand Bargain include commitments to:

In 2016-2017, Canada more than quadrupled its multi-year humanitarian assistance funding, recognizing the need for longer-term funding predictability to provide more effective interventions. In 2016-2017, some 56% of Canada’s humanitarian assistance funding was multi-year, compared with 12% in 2015-2016.

Some multi-year commitments are in response to the crises in Syria and Iraq. Others are the result of multi-year funding to protracted crises in Africa and to several new unearmarked, multi-year funding agreements. These include agreements with the World Food Programme, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Multi-year planning and funding lowers administrative costs. It also leads to more responsive programming, notably where humanitarian needs are protracted or recurrent, and where livelihood needs and local markets can be analyzed and monitored.

Iraq and Syria

Canada is making efforts to address humanitarian needs stemming from Daesh’s campaign of violence in Iraq and Syria. Canada also supports partner countries and affected populations through security, stabilization, humanitarian and development activities. Canada’s international humanitarian assistance in the region is helping to meet the basic needs of people affected by the conflicts.

Notably, Canada is providing $100 million in commitments over three years (2016-2019) to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in response to the Syria and Iraq crises. With Canadian support, UNHCR is assisting thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Iraq. It is providing cash assistance, basic needs, and health and education services.

In Syria, through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Canada helped legitimate civilian structures deliver basic services and fill the governance void that extremist organizations exploit. Additionally, in 2016-2017, Canada supported the Syria Civil Defence volunteers—the White Helmets. This was an effort to protect civilians and reduce conflict-related displacements through the development and expansion of early warning air raid systems. 

In Iraq, through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, Canada’s demining contribution cleared 156,000 square metres of land. This let more than 500 displaced persons return to their homes. This meant access to agricultural land and critical infrastructure, such as schools, water treatment plants and business.

Further, Canada supported the UN Development Programme’s Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization in Iraq to help 1.3 million people return to areas liberated from Daesh. Canada’s support has helped enable the integration of gender considerations in all the organization’s activities.

Canada is also providing more than $40 million over three years, 2016-2019, to the UN Population Fund in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. The funding helps provide reproductive health services to women and girls, and assistance to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Estimates suggest that approximately 2.3 million crisis-affected Syrian children are out of school. Close to 25% of these children are in neighbouring host countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Existing schools face challenges such as overcrowded classrooms, lack of qualified teachers, insufficient educational resources, traumatized children, high dropout rates and mismatched curriculum.

To help address this situation, Canada is providing $78 million in multi-year humanitarian assistance funding to UNICEF in support of the No Lost Generation initiatives. With Canada’s support, UNICEF is providing emergency education and protection services. This includes increasing access to formal and informal education as well as providing psychosocial support to crisis-affected children and youth. 

Canada also supports education for Syrian refugee children through the Digital Learning Innovations project for Syrian refugees and host communities. The IDRC operates this project in collaboration with the International Education Association and Birzeit University. The project will develop and test digital educational tools and resources to enhance accessibility and quality of learning in up to 35 schools in Lebanon and Jordan. It will also build the capacities of a pool of educators through a training-of-trainers methodology. Greater accessibility and quality learning combined with the train-the-trainer method will ensure sustainability and efficient scalability. 

West Bank and Gaza

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza face significant governance, economic and humanitarian challenges. Poverty is widespread, food insecurity is a key problem and unemployment is high, especially among women and youth.

In 2016-2017, Canada provided support to vulnerable Palestinian refugees through its contributions to UNRWA. Canada’s contribution helped UNRWA deliver:

Canadian assistance was delivered in partnership with community-based organizations in nine districts in the West Bank and Gaza. This assistance supported 2,332 conflict-affected, food insecure households by teaching new skills and helping improve agricultural production. As a result of the project, the households—many of which were women-led—were able to improve their resiliency and sustain their livelihoods.

Food crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

More than 20 million people face extreme food insecurity due to conflicts in northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, and a devastating drought in Somalia. Famine was declared in parts of South Sudan in February 2017. The UN’s 2017 Humanitarian Appeal called this the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War.

Canada has responded to the crises with $119.25 million in humanitarian funding. This will provide life-saving assistance to affected populations in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Canada’s assistance will address the specific needs of women and children affected by the crises.

In addition, the Government of Canada launched a famine relief fund on May 29, 2017, matching donations made by individual Canadian between March 17 and June 30, 2017.

Natural disaster responses

On April 16, 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Ecuador followed by a series of aftershocks. This caused widespread damage, several hundred deaths and thousands of injuries. Canada deployed the joint Canadian Armed Forces-Global Affairs Canada Canadian Disaster Assessment Team to assess the situation on the ground.

Following their analysis and recommendation, Canada responded to the immediate needs of affected populations in Ecuador. Through humanitarian partners, Canada provided shelter, clean water, and health, sanitation and other basic services. Partners included the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, PAHO and UNICEF.

On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew—a category five storm—hit Haiti as it progressed north through the Caribbean. On October 6, 2016, the Government of Canada deployed the Canadian Disaster Assessment Team to Haiti to assess in depth the humanitarian needs on the ground. Canada then responded by providing nearly $10 million in financial assistance to help address the basic needs of disaster-affected families.

Through the Canadian Red Cross, the Government of Canada donated relief supplies to meet the immediate needs of up to 2,000 families affected by Hurricane Matthew. Canada also contributed funds to the Red Cross Movement appeal to aid the provision of immediate humanitarian assistance. With the Government of Canada’s support, the Canadian Red Cross’s mobile clinic treated more than 3,500 patients in two months of operation. It also provided psychosocial support to more than 220 people.

In Peru, Canada provided humanitarian assistance in response to floods and the March 2017 mudslides that affected 1.1 million people. Canadian funding was channelled through a variety of partners including UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration and Save the Children. Through Save the Children, Canada sent hygiene, school and household kits to 1,500 families comprising 7,500 people, of whom 5,000 were children. Canada’s assistance also provided psychosocial support to those affected by the crisis.

After cyclone Enawo struck Madagascar in March 2017, the Government of Canada provided $500,000 in humanitarian assistance funding. These funds, channelled through UNICEF and the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, provided immediate assistance to affected people. Through a partnership with CARE Canada, more than 17,000 people received cash transfers to help rebuild homes, minimize losses from destroyed crops and access health care.

Partners for humanitarian action

To enhance the delivery of humanitarian assistance, Canada provides long-term institutional support to key humanitarian assistance partners.

Canada works continuously with partners to promote efficiencies in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. One way to do this is by supporting greater use of multi-year humanitarian financing. This gives partner organizations greater predictability and enables longer-term planning. Much of Canada’s funding is unearmarked or loosely earmarked (assigned, for example, to a specific region but not to a specific program or activity). This allows organizations the flexibility to adapt specific program activities as required. Their choices would be based on consultations with beneficiaries and in line with humanitarian needs.

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $87.4 million in humanitarian assistance funding to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s emergency operations worldwide. Canada also contributed $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Special Appeal on Strengthening the Response to Sexual Violence in 2016-2017. 

In August 2016, with Canadian support, Oxfam-Québec, Oxfam Canada, CARE Canada and Plan International Canada were able to provide humanitarian support to 38,000 people in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Uganda. These people had been affected by smaller-scale emergencies. They received safe drinking water, shelter items like blankets and tarps, and cash transfers.

In 2016, Canada announced $125 million in support over five years for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for the provision of emergency food assistance and nutritional support. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church-based agencies. Together, they provide food assistance to people experiencing humanitarian crises, with most funding and programming flowing through local actors. In 2016-2017, with support from Canada and others, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank provided $41.2 million to support 127 projects in 35 countries, reaching over 900,000 people.

In 2016, Canada provided $203.1 million to the World Food Programme to deliver immediate assistance in emergency situations. The World Food Programme is Canada’s largest humanitarian partner. Support from Canada and other donors allowed the World Food Programme to reach 82.2 million beneficiaries in 82 countries in 2016-2017, the majority of whom were women and children.

Between January and March 2017, Canada’s Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund (EDAF) contributed $645,000 to 13 International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent operations, reaching 1,227,922 beneficiaries. Support provided through the Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund is delivered through national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in response to small- and medium-scale humanitarian situations. This includes natural disasters, non-recurrent health epidemics and conflicts. Learn the full details of  EDAF-funded projects.

Canada is providing $55 million in multi-year humanitarian funding to the International Committee of the Red Cross and NGO partners. This is in response to the multi-year Humanitarian Response Plans included in the 2017 Global Appeals. The funding will help people affected by some of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. It will support the provision of:

Refugee protection and resettlement

Canada works with its international and multilateral partners, most notably the UNHCR, to find solutions to prolonged and emerging refugee situations. It also offers protection to those most in need.

At the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants held in September 2016, Canada pledged to:

The Education Cannot Wait Fund supports the right to education for emergency-affected children around the world. Particular attention is given to addressing the specific needs of girls and young women. 

In Lebanon, Canada has committed $5 million through the Peace and Stablization Operations Program to maintain social stability and improve community security. This will be done by helping reduce tensions between host communities and Syrian refugees.

Canada is recognized around the world for its leadership in offering safe haven to people who need refugee protection. In fact, Canada welcomes one out of every 10 refugees resettled globally. In 2016-2017, Canada resettled:

In addition, Canada’s domestic asylum system provided protection to 11,019 refugees who had come to Canada from all over the world in 2016-2017. Among these are Yazidis, a minority population that has suffered violence at the hands of Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The Government of Canada committed to resettle 1,200 highly vulnerable survivors from the Yazidi community by the end of 2017. As of March 2017, the Government of Canada had resettled 452 individuals.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada supports refugee protection and resettlement. As part of this, it also engages domestic and international stakeholders to develop and implement timely, efficient and effective refugee protection policies and programs.

For more information, please visit Canada’s refugee programs.

Refugee integration and support in Canada

Promoting human rights and protecting refugees has been a cornerstone of Canada’s humanitarian tradition since the Second World War. Canada’s Resettlement Assistance Program supports government-assisted refugees and persons in refugee-like situations admitted to Canada. These people are admitted under public policy considerations or on humanitarian and compassionate grounds when they first arrive in Canada. The program provides immediate and essential services. These services are generally delivered during the first four to six weeks following the client’s arrival in Canada. There is also monthly income support, typically for up to 12 months.

As such, the Resettlement Assistance Program complements the broader range of Settlement Program services available to refugees. Blended Visa Office-Referred refugees are also eligible to receive up to six months of Resettlement Assistance Program income support.

Canada’s Settlement Program helps new Canadians—including refugees—overcome barriers specific to newcomers. Federally funded settlement services provide newcomers with a range of information and support, including:

These services support the full participation of newcomers, including refugees, in the economic, social, cultural and civic life of Canada. Services are available both before and after newcomers arrive.

In 2016-2017, 60,453 refugees (outside Quebec) received at least one settlement service. These services included:

In 2016-2017, 29,780 clients (outside Quebec) received a Resettlement Assistance Program service. These included:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada funds the Interim Federal Health Program. This program provides limited, temporary coverage of health-care costs in Canada for specific groups of people until they are eligible for provincial or territorial health coverage. These groups include:

The Interim Federal Health Program also covers the costs of certain pre-departure medical services for refugees who have been identified for resettlement before coming to Canada. The program helps improve the health outcomes of refugees and asylum claimants, and protects the public health of all Canadians.

On April 1, 2016, the Interim Federal Health Program was fully restored to provide health-care coverage for all eligible beneficiaries—including basic, supplemental and prescription drug coverage. Like provincial and territorial health-care insurance, the coverage includes hospital and physician services. Coverage for supplemental health-care services is similar to what the provinces and territories provide to Canadians who receive social assistance. Supplemental health-care services include vision and urgent dental care, and prescription drugs.

Growth that works for everyone

Sustainable and inclusive economic growth is fundamental for reducing poverty and achieving broad-based prosperity, peace and security. Canada focuses on empowering the poorest and most vulnerable—including women and youth—to share in the benefits of growth. This helps to reduce poverty, inequality and marginalization,

Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) investments to promote growth that works for everyone focus on three main areas:

Country: Egypt © International Development Research Centre / Eman Helal

Governance, economic rights and enabling environments

Canada works to improve governance and institutional capacity in developing countries, and to support enabling environments for economic and social development.

An example is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s active membership in the Global Food Safety Partnership, a public-private partnership facilitated by the World Bank. This partnership helps improve the national food safety regulatory systems in developing and middle-income countries. This, in turn, can expand opportunities for international trade. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also provides in-kind technical assistance to developing countries to build capacity and improve food safety, animal health and plant protection.

Another example is the technical assistance given to partner countries through Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Program. It funds capacity-building projects that help modernize labour policy and administration. These projects foster better enforcement of national labour laws and greater respect for internationally recognized labour rights.

In 2016-2017, Employment and Social Development Canada supported an International Labour Organization project to improve conditions for workers in Ukraine. The project seeks to reduce work accidents and occupational diseases in the mining industry through the development of modern occupational health and safety policies.

Employment and Social Development Canada also provided support to an NGO called Maquila Solidarity Network. The support aided a project that will promote social dialogue on freedom of association in key industrial sectors in Mexico. Canada also supports the International Labour Organization’s work to improve the safety conditions of employees in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry, 70% of whom are women. 

Canada’s funding to five regional development banks supports the provision of financial and technical assistance for development-related investments. These banks are:

In 2016, Canada’s contributions to these banks helped connect 1,288,000 new households to electricity and helped build or upgrade 9,800 kilometres of roads.  

Performance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and farmers

Canada works to strengthen the support available to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, farmers and other smallholders. This will help them to:

A key focus of Canada’s efforts is to increase access to formal financial services for the poorest and most vulnerable. These services increase opportunities and reduce vulnerability. They help people save money and get funds to grow their businesses, invest in their families and educational opportunities, and respond to emergencies.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and financial inclusion

The adoption of innovative financing approaches can help improve access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those owned by women.

Through the New Partnership for Sustainable Impact Investing in Frontier Markets project, Canada used its ODA as first loss protection in a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) investment fund. This project began in 2013 and is to run until 2028. First-loss protection is a guarantee or promise of partial insurance if the investor loses financing up to a certain amount.

In reducing risk for other investors, this leveraged funds from both private and public investors, and helped the fund accumulate US$150 million. The fund supports services in countries in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. The fund has invested in more than 93 SMEs, resulting in over 13,330 jobs created (6,360 of which are held by women). Alongside its first loss protection, Canada also supported SMEs to adopt responsible business practices, such as integrating gender considerations into staffing policies.

Since 2014, the support of Développement international Desjardins has helped over 11,600 women entrepreneurs secure credit at five entrepreneur financial centres in Africa and Latin America. These entrepreneurs received an average credit of $8,700. For example, in 2016-2017, the number of female clients quadrupled at the Tunisian centre. Of 756 clients, 233 were now women. The total credit issued to both men and women reached $3.1 million by the end of 2016—a four-fold increase from 2015.

Since 2011, Canada’s IDRC has invested in research to support innovative solutions to foster financial inclusion for the most vulnerable. A partnership with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, a global network, aims to enhance policies and regulations to scale solutions for financial inclusion for the most vulnerable—especially women. The alliance is owned and driven by policy-making and regulatory institutions from almost 100 developing countries. This is where 85% of the world’s unbanked live.

In November 2016, with support from the IDRC, the alliance launched the Financial Inclusion Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean. This initiative promotes inclusive and sustainable growth and poverty reduction through sustainable financial inclusion policies in the region. It will generate new knowledge in policy areas, including gender and financial inclusion, digital financial services and financial literacy. Ultimately, it will enable many alliance member institutions to design, adopt and implement policies to improve the livelihoods of millions of financially underserved people around the world.

Agriculture and rural resilience

In 2016, Canada supported agriculture and rural resilience worldwide. This support has made significant impacts, which include:

Canada’s support also helped train approximately 17,000 research and extension staff. As well, it allowed 2,168,000 people to open a micro-finance loan account. Of these, 1,519,000—or more than two thirds—were women.

In many African countries, the poultry and fish industries are among the fastest growing agri-businesses. Providing protein for these stocks represents 60% to 70% of animal production costs and can exacerbate resource pressures. In 2016-2017, in collaboration with feed companies and an insect-rearing firm, the IDRC supported a project called Insect feed for poultry and fish production in sub-Saharan Africa. This project has demonstrated the feasibility of using insects as feed, rather than soybeans and fish meal. The switch will help reduce costs for small-scale producers and redirect crops currently used as feed toward human consumption. This cost-effective and sustainable model also presents opportunities for job creation and income generation.

In Egypt, smallholder farmers dominate the agricultural sector, but they are hindered by a lack of marketing knowledge, technical skills and access to information. The Knowledge Economy Foundation, an NGO, conducted an analysis into this. It revealed that a major barrier in the agri-food supply chain is the absence of market information and links between supply chain members.

The IDRC-supported Bashaier project seeks to address this issue. It is a project that designed a Web and mobile-based platform to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The project, which operated from 2014 to 2016, adapted to the needs of fruit and vegetable farmers, traders and sellers in the Beheira and Minia governorates.

Through the project, Bashaier became Egypt’s first mobile service linking smallholder farmers to buyers. This opened their access to greater choices and higher incomes. Through the network, approximately 48,000 farmers have directly benefited from deals with various market buyers. On average, these deals are 10% to 20% higher in value than prices received from traders before the Bashaier network emerged.

In Colombia, Canadian cooperative models for agricultural finance and development are contributing to the transformation of post-conflict rural areas. Since 2014, Canada has supported more than 22,100 small-scale farmers to build viable businesses, access credit and crop insurance, and connect to new markets. Canada’s assistance has benefited 172 agricultural cooperatives and associations, and 37 financial institutions. This includes micro-finance organizations, financial cooperatives and agricultural banks.

Canada’s investments in rural development have contributed to the economic empowerment of more than 9,700 rural women. This has enabled their participation as decision-makers in agricultural cooperatives and associations. It has also increased their control over resources such as income, credit, infrastructure and land.

Global Affairs Canada supports many women’s economic empowerment projects in the agricultural sector and in rural areas. One example is a project called Contributing to Sustainable Food Production in Cuban Municipalities. This initiative strengthens the management of sustainable agricultural development and increases sustainable production of diversified food products, especially by women, in five Cuban municipalities.

Building knowledge and skills of workers

Building the knowledge and skills of workers and entrepreneurs helps support employment, productivity and growth. Canada’s support for decent work and labour market access primarily focuses on education, technical and vocational training, market-driven skills for employment and the promotion of female entrepreneurship. Canada achieved significant progress in this area in 2016-2017.

With Canada’s support, the Kashf Foundation in Pakistan is implementing the Financial Literacy and Business Development Services for Women project. Since 2011, this project has reached 41 districts in the country. It has trained over one million women in basic financial literacy (124,284 in 2016-2017 alone). More than 25,000 women have graduated from its business incubation lab (5,300 in 2016-2017 alone). The average monthly income of these women has also increased 33%, and 85% feel their decision-making power regarding household budgets has strengthened. In addition, the project's social media campaign has spread awareness about the detrimental effects of child marriage and child sexual abuse.

The Canadian Co-operative Association has continued its long-standing work to empower women managers of financial cooperatives in Africa and Asia. This initiative involves over 200 volunteer Canadian credit unions providing career training and job shadowing in Canada to participants in the Women’s Mentorship Program. Since its inception in 2002, the program has trained 217 women from 19 developing countries, positioning them to become key contributors and leaders in their respective communities.

Since 2014, Global Affairs Canada has provided support to the World University Service of Canada to strengthen the vocational skills of 2,835 youth in Sri Lanka. To date, this has resulted in over 1,500 private sector job placements in trades such as hospitality and construction.

In the Caribbean, Canada’s support is helping the University of the West Indies implement innovative distance education. Since 2013, it has helped the university to deliver 54 academic courses and develop 44 new courses. This is giving underserved populations in the region more access to post-secondary education and has positively impacted job and business opportunities. 

In Jordan, Canada’s Youth Employment and Empowerment project has given over 3,500 students at vocational schools and community colleges employability training and labour market skills in high-demand areas since 2015. This has resulted in more young people securing permanent employment in the private sector, and more young entrepreneurs starting new businesses.

In Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Tanzania, Canadian partner CODE helped 482,200 children improve their literacy skills at the elementary level between 2012 and 2017. CODE did this through a train-the-trainer approach, increasing the capacity and skills of 138 trainers, 1,742 teachers and 793 librarians to assist children. Relevant, high-quality reading materials supplemented the training—1,065,239 items, to be precise, including locally published books distributed in 245 schools and libraries.

In Burkina Faso, Plan International Canada established a partnership between government, the private sector and an NGO to prepare youth for the job market. The project allowed girls and boys aged 13 to 18 to develop professional skills that meet local labour market needs. Since 2011, 8,265 young people, including 3,517 girls, have enrolled in non-formal basic education centres and vocational training centres supported by Plan International Canada. Among those, 931 youth, including 239 girls, have found work.

Since 2015, Global Affairs Canada has also supported the Grow Asiaproject, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Its objective is to increase the income, productivity and sustainability of small producers in five Southeast Asian countries. Through this initiative, 523,000 small producers received information and training. An estimated 130,000 of them have adopted new production or management methods, have access to new modes of financing or have obtained certification leading to more income.

Environment and climate action

Ensuring environmental sustainability is foundational for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Supporting access to clean water and addressing climate change are key elements of this effort. Throughout the world, environmental degradation is increasingly affecting economies and the security and well-being of people. This particularly affects the poorest and most vulnerable in developing countries.

Climate change is no longer a threat for the future; it is here now. Impacts such as sea-level rise and more frequent droughts and floods are already having devastating effects on communities and individuals. Water security has regularly topped the list of key global risks as monitored by the World Economic Forum. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas experiencing water scarcity, and two thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed regions.

In developing countries, vulnerable communities are particularly at risk from environmental changes caused by over-exploitation of natural resources, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change. Many community members depend on ecosystem goods and services for their livelihoods.

Conversely, efforts to preserve and improve the environment in developing countries lead to the enhanced fulfilment of basic needs. These efforts also result in improved living standards and safer, more resilient and prosperous communities.

The evidence is clear that women and girls often bear the brunt of environmental challenges. Women comprise up to 80% of the food-producing workforce in certain countries, and are therefore more vulnerable to climate impacts such as land degradation and flooding. Because of desertification and deforestation, women and girls in the poorest countries have to walk increasingly long distances to fetch water and wood. This also increases their risks of becoming victims of violence.

Meeting global environmental challenges requires ambitious global action on many fronts. Canada is committed to stepping up to help lead the way.

Country: Rwanda © African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience building

Canada continues to support effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. Canada is also working hard with international partners to deliver on its pledge to contribute $2.65 billion in climate finance to help developing countries transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. This funding is flowing through bilateral and multilateral channels. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase capacity, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable, to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Canada is also supporting developing countries' efforts to transition to cleaner, more sustainable economies. Of the $2.65 billion Canada has pledged to fight climate change, $1.8 billion will be used to leverage private sector investments. This money will be directed to areas such as clean technology, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry and climate-resilient infrastructure.

The following key contributions illustrate the types of investments that Canada has made to date.

In August 2016, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced a $22.6-million contribution to help train African scientists to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. This project will be delivered through the IDRC over five years. A specialized climate change program will be launched at the Rwanda centre of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. A climate change course option will also be made available at all institute centres across Africa.

In 2016, Canada supported Morocco in organizing the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech. Canada was the second-largest contributor to the common fund of international donors. It was recognized for its efforts and commitment to the success of that major international event. Canada was also recognized for mobilizing all climate action stakeholders, including civil society, to ensure that the voices of women and the very poor are heard.

Canada also works through multilateral channels to support global climate action. For instance, Canada contributes to various mechanisms of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to help build developing countries’ capacity to participate in the convention. Annual contributions are also made to the World Meteorological Organization. This organization helps developing countries strengthen their national meteorological and hydrological services, ensuring citizens receive important climate related information. Additionally, Canada contributes to the international Group on Earth Observations. This group helps build national capacity in developing countries by enabling human, technical and institutional capacity. Canada also contributes to the Climate Risk Early Warning Systems initiative. This initiative aims to reduce human and economic losses associated with meteorological and climate-related hazards.

Environmental sustainability

Global Affairs Canada considers environmental sustainability in all development assistance programming and works with partners to address environmental sustainability.

A key environmental investment is the $233 million Canada provided to the World Bank Group’s Global Environment Facility. This is the main financial mechanism to help World Bank member countries meet their global environment commitments. As of 2016, initiatives funded by the facility have:

Canada also channels funding through various multilateral organizations to assist developing countries in environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation. This helps to safeguard the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in these countries.

For example, Canada provides an annual core contribution to the UN Environment Programme. This program serves as the environmental authority within the UN system. It:

Canada also contributes funds to the UN Development Programme for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. This supports developing countries by implementing initiatives that reduce the emissions of short-lived climate pollutants in various sectors. In addition, Canada provides annual support to the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It works to ensure that the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances does not adversely affect the economies of developing countries.

Through the Global Environment Facility, Canada has contributed funds for the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency fund. This helps developing countries enhance their institutional capacity and strengthen national institutions for transparency-related activities. This is in line with national priorities to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and address climate change.

Canada also contributes to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, as well as the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. As the only developed country member of this network, Canada supports the implementation of innovative projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These projects target poverty reduction and environmental sustainability through the use of bamboo and rattan.

In Indonesia, Canada’s support to the World Agroforestry Centre and the Center for International Forestry Research since 2011 had resulted in 73 communities sustainably managing more than 780,273 hectares of forest, as of the end of 2016. These efforts also helped improve incomes for 636,922 people, more than half women, with additional improvements in women’s participation and sustainable resource management.

In Afghanistan, through a partnership with France and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Canada funded 76% of the construction of the new 140-bed Bamyan Provincial Hospital. This project, which operated between 2012 and 2017, included a strong environmental sustainability focus.

Efforts were made to reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint and reliance on diesel-generated electricity. A 400-kilowatt photovoltaic solar power installation provides more than 60% of the hospital’s energy supply. The hospital uses low-emitting diode (LED) lights and energy-efficient boilers. As part of the same project, Canada also contributed to the construction of 71 water supply points. This will give more than 6,400 people access to clean water.

Canada has also helped developing country governments in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region to develop sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects. Canada has done this in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and International Enterprise Singapore. These projects use approaches such as public-private partnerships.

In 2016-2017, Canada helped support critical scoping and investment studies for a planned LED road lighting conversion public-private partnership in the Malaysian state of Melaka. This could reduce the state government’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 30,000 tonnes per year.

Canada also supported a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves initiative to drive long-term progress in Haiti toward clean, low-emission cooking solutions. This initiative has a central role for women. It helps reduce chronic and acute diseases resulting from exposure to toxic fumes, particularly among women, while also supporting a more sustainable energy future. The alliance also empowers women by engaging them throughout the process, and helping them to reduce time spent on collecting fuel. This lets women spend more time tending to other responsibilities and pursuing income-generating and educational activities.

In 2016, Canada announced the $15-million Small and Medium Enterprise Challenge Fund for Climate Change to help Vietnamese SMEs develop innovative, gender-sensitive approaches to help fight climate change. The project will also build an enabling environment for businesses to adopt climate-smart practices.

Water

Canada supports efforts to ensure that water resources are sustainably managed and that women and girls are front and centre in decisions around water, sanitation and hygiene.

In 2016-2017, Canada continued to support the development of African water projects through the African Water Facility. This facility has leveraged more than $1.5 billion over 10 years in project finance to help:

Canada also supports the African Risk Capacity Agency. Canada’s financial commitment helped provide up to 400 million more poor people with insurance against the risks of natural disasters caused by climate change.

In Jordan, Canada partnered with Oxfam-Québec to support efforts to improve water security, with a focus on the role of women in water management. This 2015-2017 project included 12 community engagement workshops that 478 women attended.

Through the Building Resilience in Most-affected Communities in Iraq project, Canada helped to improve water services and train municipal authorities. This 2015-2016 project brought safe water to 285,000 internally displaced persons and host community residents. These actions helped reduce tensions caused by population displacements in northern Iraq.

Canada also helped 28,500 families in 160 of Honduras’ most at-risk communities between 2010 and 2016. Canada contributed to 19 watershed action plans and supported the creation of watershed communities, where women occupy 62% of decision-making positions.

Alongside freshwater issues, Canada recognizes the importance of ocean systems to food security and poverty reduction. Canada provided $185,000 to support the participation of small island developing states and least developed countries at the June 2017 UN Oceans Conference. This landmark forum addressed global oceans-related challenges of critical importance to these countries’ futures.

Canada’s support for conservation efforts

Canada, via Parks Canada, contributes to three organizations working on conservation efforts: the UN 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, for example, seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. Parks Canada provides funding to UNESCO’s World Heritage Fund. This funding supplements national efforts to conserve and manage world heritage in developing countries when adequate resources cannot be secured at the national level. UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, meanwhile, recognizes cultural and natural heritage places that:

Canada’s engagement on disaster risk reduction

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) refers to the policies and programs that strengthen a community’s ability to withstand and overcome disasters. DRR is an important concern for Canada as the severity, occurrence and cost of natural disasters is trending upward.

The UN’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 guides Canada and other countries in DRR decisions. Global Affairs Canada seeks to ensure that Canada’s international assistance reduces disaster risk and builds disaster resilience while increasing preparedness to respond to disaster impacts.

Public Safety Canada leads efforts to strengthen disaster resilience within Canada. Led by Public Safety, Canada hosted the Fifth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, held in Montreal in March 2017. This successful ministerial and high-level event adopted the first regional action plan for DRR in the Americas.

Both Global Affairs and Public Safety strive to put people at the centre of DRR decision making. This saves more lives, protects more livelihoods and moves the world closer to inclusive prosperity and good health and well-being.

Further, DRR is an effective economic approach to lessening the impacts of natural disasters and is aligned with Canada’s approach to aid effectiveness. Though DRR is not a core area of engagement, DRR and resilience building inform Global Affairs Canada’s international assistance efforts. This is particularly true in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia. 

Canada was an active member of the UN’s Open-ended Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on Indicators and Terminology Relating to Disaster Risk Reduction (November 2015 to November 2016). Represented by Public Safety and Global Affairs, Canada helped create the working group’s recommendations on indicators for the Sendai Framework’s seven global targets. The UN General Assembly later adopted these targets.

Key Sendai Framework indicators were also integrated into the SDG 1, 11 and 13 portions of the global indicator framework for the SDGs and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These actions recognize the links between DRR and sustainable development, and facilitate the monitoring and reporting of disaster-related efforts.

Inclusive governance

Democratic values and institutions, the respect and promotion of diversity, inclusion, human rights and the rule of law are all hallmarks of life in Canada. So, too, are inclusive and accountable governance, and a dynamic and engaged civil society.

Canada brings these same values and high standards to its international assistance. It aims to encourage democratic values and support inclusive and accountable governance in partner countries. This is foundational for leaving no one behind in pursuit of the SDGs.

Inclusive and accountable governance includes the protection and promotion of human rights. This allows people to live without fear, voice their opinions, and have access to jobs, food, education and health services. It allows women, the poorest and most marginalized, to benefit from political, social and economic gains, thereby reducing poverty and inequality.

When everyone has access to, and can participate fully in, the democratic life of their society, social unity and constructive engagement follow. This also gives voice to the marginalized, helping to prevent conflict, sectarianism and violent extremism.

Region: South America © UN Women / Daniel Hogson

Human rights

All people must enjoy civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. This is regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability or any other aspect of identity. The enjoyment of human rights is the cornerstone of a free and fair society. Canada actively promotes human rights as a key objective of its international assistance.

With Canada’s support, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) focused on strengthening women’s rights in Southeast Asia. It also achieved stronger accountability and monitoring of women’s rights through the reporting process for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Since 2011, approximately 1,140 gender equality champions in eight ASEAN countries improved their knowledge and skills related to the Convention. As well, 25 laws or strategies were enacted to strengthen gender equality in nine Southeast Asian countries.

Canada also provides institutional support to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. This helps the commission fulfill its mandate to investigate alleged human rights violations and promote laws that protect vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. In 2016, the commission received 7,865 complaints of violent acts, including violence against women (5,575 cases, up 8% from the previous year). Of the complaints, 2,800 were identified as human rights violations. About 840 cases were resolved during the year (up 24% from the previous year). 

Legal development and access to justice

An effective legal system is essential to support human rights, peacefully resolve disputes and facilitate economic growth. The law provides the framework for a pluralist society, defines the structure of government and provides the tools needed to promote accountability. Citizens also need to have access to legal institutions to ensure proper redress and justice.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada provided support to Transparency International and its local partner chapters in 12 countries to operate advocacy and legal advice centres. Transparency International is a global civil society organization that fights corruption. Action was taken on 473 complaints of corruption affecting over 20,000 people. This included providing advice, referring issues to other organizations or advocating directly for their resolution. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, Transparency International successfully advocated for payment of pensions, which had been withheld for a year, to 450 widows and orphans. 

In 2016-2017, Equitas, with support from Global Affairs Canada, enhanced access to justice and torture prevention by training 126 human rights defenders from 50 countries. Equitas is an NGO that advances equality, social justice and respect for human dignity through education. It also:

Since December 2016, Canada has contributed to the Organization of American States’ Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras. The mission works with key government and civil society actors to help create the legal framework and strengthen institutions to fight corruption. It has taken part in key investigative work to identify and dismantle corruption networks. The mission is considered by many to be a game-changer in Honduras as it strives for improved rule of law and governance.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported the expansion of Ukraine’s legal aid system to include over 500 local legal offices across the country. They offer free legal aid services, including to the most marginalized and vulnerable citizens. This thereby increases the protection of their rights and improves their access to justice. During 2016-2017, more than 387,000 clients received legal assistance on civil and administrative matters.

In the West Bank and Gaza, Canada assisted in the construction and equipping of a new courthouse. This helps improve Palestinians’ access to justice. Full court proceedings and activities began in November 2016.

Participation and inclusion

All people must be able to participate, and be included, in formal and informal institutions, processes, public policy choices, decision making, resource allocation and service delivery. This also means including the voices and interests of the most marginalized. Such participation and inclusion is essential for sustainable development. Canada supports electoral processes and institutions, as well as civic education and engagement throughout the electoral cycle.

Canada also supports women’s participation in the public sphere. Having women and girls as full participants in public life, the business world, civil society and government leads to better decision making. This improves the quality of life for all citizens.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Canada has provided strong support for the consolidation of democracy and the values of inclusive and accountable governance. Canada has also strongly supported peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity and human rights. For example, Canada is providing $5 million to support the African Union Commission’s capacity-building efforts and key mutual priorities. These priorities include gender equality and inclusive governance.

In Pakistan, Canada has, since 2013, supported the International Foundation for Electoral Systems to strengthen the Election Commission of Pakistan. As a result, over 1,800 permanent staff have been trained. This enabled the commission to:

In 2015-2016 in Haiti, Canada supported the electoral observation mission for the presidential and legislative elections through the Organization of American States. The mission saw the deployment of 130 observers in 10 departments to ensure an ongoing presence during the elections. This improved the electoral process’s transparency and increased Haitians’ confidence in the democratic system.

In Indonesia, Global Affairs Canada completed a successful six-year project, Supporting Islamic Leadership in Indonesia. The project increased the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs’ leadership in support of this work to create a more tolerant and peaceful society. Cowater International Inc., a Canadian international development project management firm, and World University Service of Canada carried out the project. It created a sustainable model of strengthened community engagement by Muslim religious state universities in South Sulawesi and East Java.

In Myanmar, the IDRC and Global Affairs Canada partnered in 2017 to launch the Knowledge for Democracy Myanmarprogram. This $10.7-million initiative will build on previous programming in the country to support democratic transition in Myanmar through policy research. As Myanmar transitions to a democratic government, it is crucial to nurture meaningful dialogue about the process. It is also essential to promote economic growth that benefits women and men of all ethnicities. Theprogram will use several approaches to strengthen analytical thinking and research capacity among civil society, business leaders, and government at organizational and individual levels. Those involved will include legislators and policy-makers.

Inclusive service delivery

Empowering all citizens, particularly women and marginalized people, to actively participate in their communities requires the delivery of a wide range of public services. These services advance citizens’ access to health, education, shelter, clean water and more. Effective local public service delivery represents the final link in a very long governance chain that must be established from the national level. This includes:

Canada engages both multilaterally and bilaterally to support strengthened and more inclusive governance institutions and service delivery in developing countries.

Global Affairs Canada and Statistics Canada support the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21). This initiative helps develop statistical capacity to enable national statistical offices to produce and disseminate data, including SDG indicators. PARIS21 is now working with UN Women to improve the quality and dissemination of gender statistics.

Statistics Canada is also an active member of the UN’s Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). Through IAEG-SDGs, Statistics Canada provides Canadian statistical expertise toward the development of sound global indicators for measuring the SDGs.

To highlight this commitment, Statistics Canada hosted the fifth meeting of the IAEG-SDG in Ottawa in March 2017. Canada brings crucial statistical expertise to the development of a robust global indicator framework for the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Statistics Canada also helps develop accountable public institutions by working with national statistical offices in developing countries. In 2016-2017, Statistics Canada held study visits on statistical methods and practices for several countries: Kazakhstan, Senegal, Bangladesh, Jamaica and China. Statistics Canada also held a study visit for the Commission de la Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale. As well, Statistics Canada engaged with Colombian government counterparts to help share knowledge and build capacity related to gender violence statistics.

Since 2012, 28 auditors from Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Vietnam have completed nine-month fellowships in Canadian federal and provincial audit offices. These fellowships took place through the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation. This endeavour enhances the competency and capacity of these countries’ national audit offices. More than 750 auditors have completed training to conduct performance audits. As well, more than 75 members of oversight committees have been trained on the importance and effective use of audit reports to effect changes in policy and practice.

In Ethiopia, Canada has supported the Civil Society Support Programme, managed by the British Council, since 2011. This program has given 514 civil society organizations a total of 772 grants to improve the implementation of government policies aimed at reducing poverty. These grants also permit civil society organizations to deliver more inclusive public services for vulnerable and hard-to-reach people.

The program has built civil society organizations’ technical capacities in financial management, project cycle management, leadership and networking. In doing so, it reached more than 3.1 million people. This includes people with disabilities, the mentally ill, prisoners, juvenile offenders, innocent children incarcerated with their parents, and marginalized women and girls.

In Iraq, Canada, through project partner Institute on Governance, helped senior officials in the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdish regional government to continue dialogue on governance reform. This took place through the Fiscal Decentralisation and Resiliency-Building for Iraq project. This effort is helping to build a common understanding of fiscal framework concepts, address entrenched tensions and enhance communications between the two levels of government.

In Myanmar, Canadian NGO Forum of Federations is, with Canada’s support, improving the knowledge and understanding of federalism among key stakeholders. This is making an important contribution to the Myanmar government’s focus on federalism in the context of ongoing historic peace negotiations. In 2016-2017, the forum supported training, in 65 townships, for 274 subnational parliamentarians from five states and 279 representatives of civil society and the media.

Canada emphasizes multilateral engagement and collaboration when channelling support to partner countries on matters related to international tax and domestic resource mobilization. It delivers such assistance via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As an example, CRA partnered with the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations, the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators, the OECD and the World Bank Group to deliver a workshop in 2016. This workshop helped tax administrations in the Caribbean region strengthen their audit risk assessment approaches and techniques.

With increasing demands for assistance drawing on scarce tax administration resources, the CRA continually looks for opportunities to innovate and work smarter. Improved use of technology, for example, has the potential to bridge gaps and extend the reach of assistance. Recognizing this, the CRA has developed a global online prototype called Knowledge Sharing Platform for Tax Administrations. This platform is designed to foster the practical sharing of tax knowledge and expertise in a cost-effective and sustainable way. It has been endorsed by the global tax administration community and is currently being tested by early adopters. Some 1,586 officials from over 123 developing and emerging economies are already using this platform. Many tax administrations and tax organizations have signaled their intention to leverage the tool to complement current programs and future efforts.

Peace and security

Approximately half of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable live in fragile and conflict-affected states. Fragility and conflict can be exacerbated by many factors, including climate change, competition for resources, corruption and weak governance, and crime and terrorism. Both low- and middle-income countries face these challenges.

In 2016-2017, Canada promoted global security and stability through a combination of diplomacy, deployments and targeted projects with a host of partners. These included foreign governments, international organizations and civil society. Canada’s development programming also indirectly supported improved stability and security in many countries by addressing key root causes and risk factors.

Most notably in terms of peace and security programming, Canada launched the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program in August 2016. This program builds on more than a decade of experience and achievements by its predecessor, the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force. Through the program, Canada works with allies and partners to help stop violence, provide security and create space for dialogue and conflict resolution.

Canada also helped shape global policy norms on how ODA can best be used to promote security and stability in fragile and conflict-affected states. Through its engagement with other donors, civil society, the G7 and the OECD, Canada has promoted the principles of the global policy agreement, New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. Canada believes this is the best framework for addressing the causes of conflict, fragility and violence, and for advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The following are examples of results achieved in 2016-2017 on the objectives of:

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo © Global Affairs Canada

Building and sustaining peace

Around the world, violent conflict and terrorism persists—resulting in ongoing and complex security challenges for all nations. Continued international support is essential to establish and maintain peace and security, both for the safety of citizens and as a pre-condition for sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda recognizes that there can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development. This is reflected in Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. Building and sustaining peace in fragile and conflict-affected contexts requires rapid and flexible interventions. It also requires longer-term efforts to address the root causes of instability.

In Iraq, Canada has supported, since 2015, the UN Development Programme’s Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization, which helped facilitate the return of 1.3 million people to areas liberated from Daesh. Canada’s support enabled the integration of a gender perspective in all of the organization’s activities. Canada also contributed to mine clearance in Iraq, with 156,000 square metres of land being cleared. This let more than 500 displaced persons return to their homes, and access agricultural land and critical infrastructure like schools, water treatment plants and businesses.

Additionally, in 2016-2017 Canada contributed to an information, counselling and legal assistance project run by the Norwegian Refugee Council, a humanitarian organization. This project has facilitated peaceful conflict resolution and helped 2,400 returning refugees to address housing and land ownership issues.

In Syria, Canada contributed $16.7 million to support legitimate civilian structures to deliver basic services and fill the governance void that extremist organizations exploit. This initiative has helped local councils to operate schools, administer basic services and resist the encroachment of armed actors.

Canada’s funding through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program also helped amplify the voices of local Syrians in the peace process. Canada supported the Syria Civil Defence volunteers (the White Helmets) in Syria. This was an effort to protect civilians and reduce conflict-related displacement through the development and expansion of early warning air raid systems.

In 2016-2017, Canada committed $5 million to maintain social stability and improve community security in Lebanon by helping reduce tensions between host communities and Syrian refugees.

In 2016, the Government of Colombia concluded a historic peace agreement with Colombia’s largest guerrilla group (FARC), ending a 50-year internal armed conflict. In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $6 million to fund the transition to peace in areas aligned with the Government of Colombia’s priorities of:

The funding included financial support for the international electoral observation mission for the October 2016  peace accord plebiscite. Canada also provided $1.3 million to strengthen the capacity of Colombian security forces. This has supported their efforts to coordinate, direct and conduct humanitarian demining activities in areas most affected by the threat of landmines.

In 2016-2017, Canada announced $78.4 million in new international assistance initiatives to support Colombia’s peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts. This includes new projects in demining, education, rural credit, transitional justice, human rights protection and reparations for victims. This programming will make a difference in the lives of thousands of conflict-affected women, men and children.

In Haiti, Canada has provided $3 million in training and equipment to the Haitian National Border Police since 2017. This funding helps to enhance border control functions, and improve security and training on the rights and needs of migrants. Canada also provided $1 million to improve violence prevention and trust between youth, local communities and the Haitian National Police.

In Mali, a peace and reconciliation agreement was signed in June 2015. Canada has supported UN-led efforts to advance implementation of the peace process, and professionalize and reform Malian security services in 2016-2017. These efforts also helped extend state authority and stabilize conflict-affected regions of the country. Canadian initiatives in Mali are helping to:

In Myanmar, Canada joined international efforts in 2016 to facilitate the implementation of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. This included a $4-million contribution to the Joint Peace Fund, announced on June 7, 2017. The Joint Peace Fund is a multi-donor fund designed to support national efforts to achieve lasting settlement of ethnic armed conflict in Myanmar. It also strives to build broad-based participation and support for the implementation of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. The fund lets donors better coordinate and align their efforts to negotiate and implement a fully inclusive peace process. Donors work jointly with the government and ethnic armed organizations. 

In Ukraine, Canada supported the efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. This organization:

Through targeted bilateral interventions, Canada also helped to advance security sector reform, including through the modernization and professionalization of police services. Targeted bilateral inventions also allowed Canada to foster dialogue between communities within countries.

Canadian Police Arrangement

The Canadian Police Arrangement guides the Government of Canada’s response to requests for police contributions to international peace support operations and other stabilization efforts. Like the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, it aims to prevent and respond to conflict and fragility, particularly through the establishment of effective policing institutions.

The Canadian Police Arrangement is a partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Global Affairs Canada and Public Safety Canada. The ministers of Foreign Affairs, International Development and Public Safety authorize deployments. Funding for deployments is provided through the:

In 2016-2017, there was an average of 86 Canadian police officers deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti to help enhance the capacity of the Haitian National Police. Two police officers were deployed to the UN Mission in Colombia to help the mission monitor the implementation of the peace process.

To assist the UN in its goal of increasing female police participation in UN missions, Canadian police officers and UN counterparts travelled to Guinea and Togo. There, they oversaw training for men and women in communications, firearms and other practical skills. Canadian police also provided this training to senior female and male officers in Colombia.

Two police officers were deployed to support police development in the West Bank. One police adviser was assigned to the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support. A senior police adviser was assigned to the Canadian Armed Forces’ Operation PROTEUS in the West Bank.

Two police officers were also deployed to the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine. There, they provided strategic advice on the development of effective and accountable security services in Ukraine. These deployments began in 2015-2016. Fourteen police were deployed to Ukraine under a bilateral policing initiative to support police reforms in Ukraine. The focus was on training, community policing and police accountability.

One police officer was deployed to Iraq as part of the Global Coalition Against Daesh. The officer provided strategic advice to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior and within the coalition on rebuilding Iraqi police forces.

Lastly, one police officer was deployed to the Philippines under a bilateral policing initiative. The officer provided strategic advice on the future approach to policing in the Bangsamoro region as part of the peace process. In aid of the peace process in the southern Philippines, Canada supported the six-month deployment of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner to serve as Chair of the Independent Commission on Policing for the new Bangsamoro.

Advancing women, peace and security

Canada adopted its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in 2010. Canada will continue to take a whole-of-government approach to ensure that women are fully included in the development of sustainable interventions in fragile and conflict-affected states. It will include targets and activities for development assistance, humanitarian action, and peace and security initiatives.

In 2016-2017, Canada provided $1.5 million to the Global Acceleration Instrument for Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action. The UN Development Programme and UN Women administer this instrument. Canada’s support funded initiatives to help ensure that the specific needs of women and girls are met in conflict and post-conflict situations. Funding also helped ensure that women have the capacity and opportunity to meaningfully participate in peacebuilding and recovery. 

Canada supported efforts to bolster women’s participation in peacebuilding and the UN-led Syrian peace talks, and the effective participation of the Syrian opposition in negotiations. Canada:

In sub-Saharan Africa, Canada sought to address the needs of women and girls affected by conflict. It also sought to take steps to increase the effectiveness of UN peace operations and reduce the threat that terrorist organizations pose in the region. For example, in 2016, Canada funded efforts to strengthen the judiciary and legal system in targeted areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This allowed survivors of sexual and gender-based violence—primarily women and girls—to access justice and hold perpetrators accountable.

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $2 million to projects aimed at building effective justice mechanisms that address the root causes of conflict and human rights violations. These efforts included a project to strengthen the capacity of gender-based violence survivors in Syria, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. The project helped the survivors to advance gendered approaches to transitional justice mechanisms.

In Haiti, Canada funded a $2-million UN Women project in 2016-2017 that aimed to improve the representation of women in that country’s parliament. This was being done by reducing the risk of violence toward women candidates and voters during the 2016 election. The initiative developed a framework on violence against women. It also provided support to Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, police and political parties.

In Colombia, Canada provided $500,000 to empower Indigenous women in monitoring the peace process in 2016-2017. This helped to ensure that the voices and perspectives of Indigenous women as key stakeholders were taken into account.

Reducing threats globally

In 2016-2017, Canada continued its long-standing support to international efforts to remediate the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. Canada provided an additional $3.6 million to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to complete the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility. This facility will ensure safe and secure storage of spent nuclear fuel.

Non-Official development assistance security spending

Canada provides valuable peace and security-related support to country partners. Global Affairs Canada manages several programs in this area: the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program, the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat Reduction Program. While the activities of these programs are not reported as ODA, they contribute to an integrated Canadian approach to improving peace, security and stability around the world. They do this by:

For example, in 2016-2017, Canada continued to provide non-lethal security assistance to law enforcement and security forces. Among the countries Canada assisted were Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Niger, Cameroon, Belize and Jamaica.

Canada helped these countries’ law enforcement and security forces build their capacity to counter instability resulting from transnational organized crime and terrorism. Canada also helped them to prevent, detect and respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. This support included vehicles, equipment and training. Canada’s assistance ensured that more women received training and acquired specific skills and abilities to more effectively deal with such threats.

Canada also provided focused support to Central America and Caribbean governments. This helped them in preventing and responding to:

These efforts contribute to greater rule of law and security, with positive impacts in particular on women and children.

Canada also supported international efforts to investigate and verify chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Engaging with 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 pressing global development challenges. Canada works to ensure that these institutions and the multilateral system (the overall network of international organizations) function effectively, deliver strong results and build consensus on important global issues.

The following are highlights of Canada’s contributions to multilateral development institutions in 2016-2017.

Country: Haïti © Roger LeMoyne

Canada’s contribution to the United Nations system

Canada has been active at the United Nations (UN) since it was founded in 1945. Today, Canada continues to uphold and support the bodies and organizations of the UN system by:

A portion of this financial support is considered as official development assistance (ODA).

In 2016, the World Food Programme addressed global hunger and the urgent food needs of vulnerable populations. It reached an estimated 80 million people in 75 countries, including 16.4 million children who received school meals or take-home meals. In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $187 million to support World Food Programme operations worldwide. This included $25 million in long-term institutional support.

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $94.7 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2016, UNHCR assisted 12.9 million refugees and 48 million internally displaced persons by providing protection and critical emergency assistance. This included clean water, sanitation and health care, and shelter, blankets and household goods. The UNHCR also provided transportation and assistance for people who voluntarily returned home and assistance to those who resettled in another country.

The UN Population Fund expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. In 2016, Canada contributed $15.6 million in institutional support, in addition to targeting programming for the UN Population Fund. Canada, along with other international donors, supported the following results in 2016:

In 2016, Canada provided $6.5 million to the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for institutional support, in addition to targeted programming. Through the support of Canada and other international donors, UN Women contributed to the following results in 2016:

In 2016, Canada contributed $16.2 million to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in institutional support, in addition to targeted programming. Through the assistance provided by Canada and other international donors, UNICEF supported the following outcomes:

In 2016, Canada contributed $40 million to the UN Development Programme for institutional support, in addition to support for targeted programming. Results achieved by the UN Development Programme, through the support of Canada and other donors from 2014 to 2016, include the following:

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $13.6 million in official development assistance as part of assessed contributions to the World Health Organization. In 2016, Global Affairs Canada, through the World Health Organization contributed to:

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $10.5 million to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), including $2 million in long-term institutional support. Through the support of Canada and other international donors, OCHA contributed to the following results in 2016:

In 2016-2017, Canada, through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, contributed $1 million to the International Telecommunication Union. This organization supported numerous countries experiencing natural and man-made disasters:

Canada’s contribution to international financial institutions

In 2016-2017, Canada provided $492.82 million in grant support to the World Bank Group via the Department of Finance. Canada is a founding member of the World Bank Group and provides significant funding for joint donor programs, making the World Bank Group one of Canada’s most important international development partners. Canada’s continued support to the World Bank Group is an integral part of its commitment to enhance the country’s aid efficiency and accountability.

The bulk of Canada’s contribution, $441.62 million, was provided as core support to the International Development Association (IDA). The IDA is the division of the World Bank Group that helps the world’s poorest countries. The IDA offers grants and concessional loans to low-income countries, and provides grants to fragile and conflict-affected states and other countries at risk of debt distress. All IDA funding goes to governments with environmental, financial and human rights safeguards to ensure that funds are well spent.

Canada’s contributions have helped IDA countries in a wide variety of areas that align with Canadian priorities. For example, between 2014 and 2016, IDA assistance resulted in the following:

The Department of Finance also provided $51.2 million to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative through the World Bank Group. Bilateral debt relief under this initiative contributes to poverty reduction. It frees up resources that would otherwise be used to service sovereign debts and applies them to social expenditures. This initiative helped decrease debt-service payments in recipient countries, enabling them to increase their budget flexibility.

In 2016, Canada committed to replenish the concessional funds of several multilateral development bank partners. This helps ensure that these partners make continued progress going forward. Most notably, Canada pledged:

For more information, please see Canada at the IMF and World Bank Group (PDF).

Canada’s contribution to the Commonwealth

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $8.1 million in assessed contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Secretariat is the Commonwealth of Nations’ main intergovernmental agency and central institution. The Commonwealth Foundation aims to strengthen civic voices and enhance participatory governance.

This supported a wide range of activities, which included:

Canada provides institutional support to the Commonwealth of Learning, an organization that promotes open learning and distance education in Commonwealth member states. Canada’s support of $2.6 million in 2016-2017 is part of a broader commitment of $7.8 million over three years (2015-2018).

By the end of 2016-2017, the Commonwealth of Learning’s education resources and models had reached 372,600 learners, more than 50% of whom were women and girls. A total of 102 institutions had implemented open, distance and technology-based learning models. Thirty-one governments and institutions had developed and adopted these learning policies for quality learning in Commonwealth countries.

Canada also contributed $2.4 million in additional support to the Commonwealth of Learning over three years (2015-2018) to prevent child, early and forced marriage through open-distance and technology-based education and training in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Tanzania and Pakistan. By the end of 2016-2017, close to 5,000 women and girls had increased their knowledge about their health, their social rights, and the consequences of child, early and forced marriage.

Canada’s contribution to La Francophonie

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed $34.8 million to the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), its operating agencies and the permanent ministerial conferences. This includes assessed as well as voluntary contributions, which helped support programming.

This also included a special $5.04-million contribution to the IOF’s employment program. This program promoted employment through entrepreneurship among women and youth in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa. 

Canada, through the IOF and the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, supported the IOF Youth Vocational Training and Integrationprogram. This program lets states develop and implement public policies for vocational and technical training.

As of June 30, 2016, the program had enabled 10,000 young people to follow competency-approach programs developed by eight countries. These countries are Haiti, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Madagascar, Senegal, Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam. Six other countries have developed and implemented action plans to deliver on their vocational training. Those countries are Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal.

Canada’s contribution to the Pan American Health Organization

Canada works with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to improve and protect people’s health in the Americas. This engagement is managed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In 2016-2017, Canada undertook a number of initiatives to support PAHO. For example, Canada contributed $164,895 to support the implementation of a next-generation sequencing testing platform. This aims to improve PAHO’s HIV drug resistance surveillance in the Latin America and Caribbean region. A next-generation sequencing testing platform is a platform that produces a much greater amount of information compared with other sequencing testing. This allows for more robust detection of a disease—in this case, HIV.

The initiative builds on research from Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory. It has developed a next-generation sequencing-based HIV drug resistance testing technology. This technology offers much improved detection sensitivity, data and a reduced cost compared to conventional approaches.

In the Caribbean, Canada provided training through PAHO in mass casualty management and emergency care and treatment to better prepare authorities to respond to emergencies.

Engaging with Canadian partners

Canadian civil society organizations continue to play an integral role in Canada’s efforts to deliver strong international assistance results.

Through the Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada is focusing on eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing human dignity. Leveraging the comparative advantage of partners is paramount to achieving Canada’s objectives. The Feminist International Assistance Policy puts emphasis on several key areas of strength for Canadian organizations. These include:

Global Affairs Canada supported many Canadian partners with official development assistance (ODA) funding in 2016-2017. These partners include:

This has allowed the Government of Canada to capitalize on the wide-ranging expertise, networks and resources of partners in Canada and abroad to support international assistance priorities. Partners have been especially adept in three key areas:

On May 9, 2017, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $100 million in funding for small and medium-sized Canadian organizations. This funding will offer financing over five years to support innovative programs related to key government priorities—notably the empowerment of women and girls.

Country: Canada © Aga Khan Foundation Canada

Partners support innovation in development

In addition to delivering concrete development results in 2016-2017, Canadian partners actively contributed to the design of Canada’s new strategic orientations to international assistance. This engagement helped to position a unique Canadian approach in full support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Government of Canada conducted an international assistance review between May and July 2016. In December 2016, Global Affairs Canada published a summary of feedback from the consultations in its What We Heard Report.

The review represents the most comprehensive public engagement in international assistance in at least two decades. It featured over 35 events in five Canadian cities and the participation of more than 15,000 individuals and partners in Canada and 65 other countries. Of the submissions made, more than 1,000 underscored the importance of innovation to development. This included the importance of advancing gender equality.

Stakeholders agreed that all parties needed to step up their game to meet the complex and multifaceted challenge of eradicating extreme poverty. They would also have to effectively position Canada and Canadian civil society organizations to take advantage of new breakthroughs in policy, technology and partnerships. The 2030 Agenda requires bold and innovative thinking if Canada is to ensure that no one is left behind.

Internally, the Government of Canada has taken steps to foster approaches that are more conducive to innovation, experimentation and informed risk-taking. This includes having dedicated resources to help measure the impact of initiatives, and staff and fund promising solutions that need to be scaled up.

Canada has helped create communities of practice to share knowledge, lessons and best practices on innovation, both across government and with external stakeholders. Global Affairs Canada actively champions development innovation domestically and internationally. It works with cutting-edge development innovation funders bilaterally and participates in the International Development Innovation Alliance. The alliance is an informal platform that was established in 2015 for knowledge exchange and collaboration around development innovation.

For their part, Canadian partners have been leaders in pushing the boundaries of change through applied research and testing new approaches. They have done so with a view to scaling innovative solutions to development challenges.

Some examples can be seen in innovations created for Grand Challenges Canada. Grand Challenges Canada is a Canadian organization that funds bold ideas with big impact in global health. In Zimbabwe, The Friendship Bench project sees lay health workers (known locally as community “grandmothers”) deliver brief psychological interventions to address common mental health issues. Since 2012, 72 clinics in three cities have been scaled up, covering a population of 1.8 million. Depression rates have been reduced to less than 10% for those who obtained therapy. This is a dramatic achievement for these community-led interventions.

Another example comes from Canadian partner earAccess Inc. It has implemented a successful market-driven model with private sector and foundation partners to treat hearing loss in low- and middle-income countries. Since 2015, Grand Challenges Canada has enabled earAccess to provide screening services and specialist referrals for about 6,000 poor women, men and children in Guatemala. Global Affairs Canada and the IDRC provided support and earAccess carried out the project in partnership with local communities. Founder and CEO of earAccess and co-founder of World Wide Hearing Audra Renyi was among the recipients of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards in 2017.

During 2015-2017, the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund - Phase II supported a participatory research project involving poor and vulnerable women and men in Andean Indigenous communities in Colombia. Global Affairs Canada and the IDRC jointly funded this research project.

Work by McGill University, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and other partners has led to positive results. Three new native, nutritious, disease-resistant potato varieties have been developed in the province of Nariño, Colombia’s second-most food insecure region. This has increased farmer income by as much as 18%. Certified seeds are being introduced to the rest of Colombia.

Continued engagement with Canadians, including youth

The universal nature of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals and their transformative potential for societies requires the engagement of a full range of Canadian civil society organizations. The goals also require individual Canadians to act as global citizens in the effort to end poverty, protect the planet and achieve prosperity for all. This includes engaging Canadian youth and volunteers.

In 2016-2017, 1,445 Canadian volunteers (835 women, 610 men) in professional fields were deployed to support capacity building in, and build ties with, the developing world. The Volunteer Cooperation Program headed this endeavour. Volunteers were sent to 42 countries by 15 Canadian volunteer-sending organizations

Global Affairs Canada youth initiatives such as the International Youth Internship Program and the International Aboriginal Youth Internships provide eligible Canadian youth with valuable international experience. They also provide the means to contribute concretely to global challenges.

In 2016-2017, these programs supported 362 internships (272 women, 90 men). The internships contributed to reducing poverty in 37 developing countries through 22 Canadian organizations. Among these youth, 47 were Indigenous.

For instance, International Youth Internship Program interns collaborated with Marine Conservation Cambodia to create a scholarship program for marine conservation research in the country. For the first time in Cambodia, this allows students to do their senior thesis research in marine ecosystem conservation and environmental awareness.

Indigenous youth interns in Uganda were involved in various activities to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. One activity involved initiating a sports league for girls and boys that addresses gender equality, coached entirely by women and older female students. Another activity taught women in a transition home how to speak English and use a computer. These initiatives fostered self-confidence in the women participants and created positive female role models in the communities.

This past year, Global Affairs Canada launched two new calls for proposals to extend the International Youth Internship Program and the International Aboriginal Youth Internships initiative.

In terms of promoting interest in development, International Development Week in February is a key public engagement platform for provincial and regional councils for international cooperation and other partners to promote interest in development. In 2017, the councils reached more Canadians than ever—4.2 million, mostly youth—through a range of partner activities across the country.

The Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s mobile exhibit, Together: An Exhibition on Global Development,has also helped raise awareness of international development efforts. Since April 2015, the exhibit has travelled 30,000 kilometres, welcoming close to 40,000 visitors across 10 provinces. In fact, the Canadian Museums Association gave the exhibit an award for outstanding achievement in exhibitions. The exhibit was recognized for its national reach and innovative ways of engaging Canadians on the work Canada is doing to improve life in communities around the world.

For further information, please see Partners@International.

Engaging with local partners

Local partners play a critical role in supporting their communities. Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy emphasizes working with local governments and civil society organizations to respond to local needs and priorities.

Canada collaborates directly with in-country partners via the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). The CFLI is a grants and contributions program delivered through Canadian embassies and high commissions in developing countries around the world. The CFLI provides modest funding for small-scale but high-impact projects that are developed and implemented by local organizations, academic institutions and governments. This makes these projects highly responsive to locally identified needs.

The fund is also used to provide a modest, first response to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies through local organizations. The average CFLI contribution to projects is $24,000. In 2016-2017, CFLI funded 591 projects in 121 countries and the West Bank. A total of $14.5 million was disbursed to implementing partners.

Engagement largely focused on increasing the capacity, knowledge and skills of beneficiaries through workshops, training and advocacy campaigns for local communities. Other project activities included building or restoring small-scale infrastructure, providing legal and psychosocial services, and doing research and reports.

Projects supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girlsaccounted for the largest number of CFLI projects and funding disbursed. These initiatives focused on a diverse range of issues, such as:

For example, in Pakistan, the CFLI funded a project for $50,000 that provided girls with bicycles to travel to school. It also held workshops for parents and local communities on the importance of education for girls.

In Mexico, the CFLI funded a project for $21,000 that promoted access to reproductive health services to prevent early pregnancies and reduce school dropouts. This project was delivered in marginalized areas of Morelos, an area within Mexico that ranks poorly for maternal mortality. The project included:

In addition, the CFLI provided funding totalling $500,000 for 11 humanitarian projects in Bangladesh, Cuba, Chile, Haiti, Ecuador and Mexico. This funding helped increase local capacity in responding to sudden-onset natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In Haiti, $50,000 was provided to restore a main road damaged by Hurricane Matthew that was normally used by 60,000 residents from surrounding villages. In Ecuador, $50,000 was provided to secure mattresses, medicine, food and water for individuals affected by an April 2016 earthquake.

Results around the world

Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) targets long-term development as well as peace and security and humanitarian assistance. It aims to respond to areas of particular need where Canadian experience, expertise and skills can add value.

In line with aid effectiveness principles, Canada provides assistance in collaboration with host country governments and in support of national poverty reduction strategies.

In 2016-2017, Canada delivered ODA to over 100 countries, both through multilateral and bilateral mechanisms, by working with Canadian, international and local partners.

The following map provides an illustrative overview of Canada’s ODA programming and the results that have been achieved in 2016-2017. For the most part, the countries featured on the map are those with which Canada had established country and regional programs. However, the map also includes major recipients of Canadian humanitarian and peace and security assistance.

Global Affairs Canada provides more extensive information about its development and humanitarian assistance projects on its Project Browser. The Project Browser is part of Canada’s continued commitment to open government and the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a deeply fragile and conflict-affected state. Ongoing conflict for over 35 years has had a destabilizing effect on social cohesion, exacerbating ethnic divisions and weakening government institutions and rule of law. Poverty is deep and widespread, and social indicators are still at very low levels.

Afghan women face huge challenges and violence against women is pervasive. For the vast majority of Afghan women, life is controlled under a strictly patriarchal society. This results in restricted freedom of movement and limited access to education, health care, justice and employment.

The overarching focus on women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment is integrated into all Canadian programming in Afghanistan. Canada supports programming that:

Further, Canada supports the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to eliminate all known landmines and other explosive remnants of war from Afghanistan by 2023. This is in line with its commitments under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

Key results

In the education sector, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of girls and boys enrolled in schools across the country. Reports from the Afghan Ministry of Education state that 8.4 million Afghan children, 39% of whom are girls, are currently enrolled in formal and community-based schools. In 2001, there were fewer than one million children in school and most were boys.

With support from Canada and other key donors to the Education Quality Improvement Project, more than 212,000 Afghan teachers, principals and school administrators have received training. Of these, 7,162 received training in 2016. To date, over 11,000 scholarships have been awarded to women enrolled in teacher training colleges.

Canada’s support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Afghanistan contributed to the vaccination of more than eight million girls and boys annually. In Afghanistan, the number of polio cases has declined from 80 in 2011 to 13 in 2016. Afghanistan and Pakistan accounted for 90% of all cases found worldwide in 2016.

Canada, in collaboration with other donors, has contributed to the removal of approximately 80% of known landmines, unexploded ordnance and explosive remnants of war across Afghanistan.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations Program

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region comprises 10 nations and is home to more than 625 million people. Despite ASEAN’s growing economic importance, it faces significant development challenges with more than 160 million people still living in poverty.

Various factors in the ASEAN region pose real threats to continued progress on poverty reduction and realization of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These factors include:

Canada’s development assistance in the ASEAN region is focused on inclusive growth that works for everyone. It does this by:

Key results

The Improving Women’s Human Rights in Southeast Asia project was carried out with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). This project focused on strengthening women’s rights. It achieved stronger accountability and monitoring of women’s rights through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women reporting process.

Since 2011, approximately 1,140 gender equality champions in eight ASEAN countries improved their knowledge and skills related to the Convention. These champions included government officials, parliamentarians, supreme court officials and representatives from civil society organizations. As well, 25 laws or strategies that strengthen gender equality were enacted in nine Southeast Asian countries. 

The Tripartite Action for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the ASEAN Region project was carried out with the International Labour Organization. It strengthened the regional migration policy and governance mechanisms protecting the high number of women and men migrant workers in the ASEAN region. The project’s tripartite-plus approach brings together governments, employers and employees, and representatives from civil society organizations. This inclusive approach has enhanced dialogue and knowledge sharing on migrant labour rights.

The project also developed useful and practical tools for policy-makers implementing programs to protect migrant workers. This included tools on:

Another project was the Strengthening Community Resilience to Natural Disasters in Southeast Asia project, implemented by the Canadian Red Cross. It made progress in increasing community resilience to natural disasters by supporting a pool of 174 trained staff and volunteers. These staff members and volunteers now champion climate change at the national level. They are also better equipped to voice community disaster risk reduction issues at national and regional levels.

A key achievement of the project centres on the importance of integrating gender considerations in response to natural disasters. This project has been able to create awareness and understanding about this critical issue among governments and other key players. As a result, a number of draft disaster laws and strategies in the ASEAN region now include gender considerations.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh lies along the world’s most densely populated delta and is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Of the 161 million people in Bangladesh, an estimated 30 million live on less than US$1.90 a day. Gender-based violence is widespread, and Bangladesh has the second-highest rate of child marriage in the world.

Still, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in poverty reduction, achieving many development goals, such as:

Canada’s ODA in Bangladesh aims to improve human development through investments in health, education and skills, with a focus on the poorest, specifically women and children. Canada’s development program is helping to strengthen the capacity of both national and local governments to plan, manage, and monitor health and education delivery systems. Canadian assistance is also helping to strengthen the quality of market-responsive technical and vocational education training programs. These programs are accessible to the poorest and most vulnerable, including women, youth and persons with disabilities. 

Key results

From 2012-2017, the Human Resources for Health project in Bangladesh helped improve all 43 public sector nursing institutes, serving 16,400 students. The project did this by providing the institutes with libraries, laboratories and lab equipment for practical skills training. It also renovated 15 derelict institutes to ensure a stimulating learning environment. The result is improved quality of nursing training in Bangladesh.

From 2013-2017, Canada contributed to the Government of Bangladesh’s overall health sector program, along with other donors. This helped to raise the proportion of deliveries by skilled birth attendants at health facilities from 26% to 42% (631,000 deliveries).

In 2016, Canada also contributed to the Government of Bangladesh’s Third Primary Education Development Program, along with other donors. The program:

In 2016-2017, Canada contributed to skills for employment programming with other donors. As a result, 41,669 people received technical and vocational training, including 12,370 women and persons with disabilities. Among those who received training, 51% became employed.

Benin

Benin is one of the least developed countries in the world. Poverty reduction is hampered by high population growth. The country ranks 167th out of 188 countries, according to the 2016 Human Development Index published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Almost half of the population lives on less than US$1.25 a day.

Significant progress has been made in education, the struggle against HIV/AIDS, reducing under‑five mortality and increasing access to safe drinking water. Benin's economy has enjoyed steady growth rates in recent years. Still, it remains largely dependent on cotton production, the foreign goods re-export sector and subsistence agriculture.

Canada’s development programming in Benin is aimed at supporting the Government of Benin’s 2016-2021 action plan.

Canada’s development priorities are well aligned with this program. One of the program’s three pillars is improving the living conditions of the population. That pillar is consistent with Canada’s programming. It aims to create growth that works for everyone by promoting micro-finance and improving agricultural resilience in the face of climate change. Particular attention is paid to strengthening women’s empowerment so that women become equal participants in the economic lives of their families and communities. 

Key results

Global Affairs Canada, through Développement international Desjardins, has helped to increase the number of members of the Faîtière des caisses d’épargne et de crédit agricole mutuel du Bénin, a cooperative banking network, by 6.7% in a year. The 2015 membership of more than 931,000 rose to more than 994,000 in 2016; 43% of all members were women. This achievement supports the improvement of the economic situation of vulnerable populations.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada, through Oxfam-Québec, contributed to improving good hygiene and prevention practices related to the Ebola virus in Benin. It did this through advocacy and by training almost 1,200 people (51% women) in at-risk areas on the identification and prevention of the disease.

Since 2015, Canada has helped the Benin government in its fiscal policy management and tax administration through the project Support for the Increase of Internal Revenues in Benin. Thanks to this project, tax structures have begun to be computerized. This makes it possible to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of tax administration activities. That gives the Government of Benin more funding for programs and services for its most vulnerable citizens, including women.    

A high proportion of women in Benin die during childbirth: 405 women for every 100,000 live births. To address this, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is supporting research through Laboratoire d’étude et de recherches sur les dynamiques sociales et le développement local (LASDEL). The IDRC is supporting this research project from 2016 to 2021.

The project aims to find a lasting solution to reduce the number of women and adolescent girls who die unnecessarily. LASDEL is drawing on the experiences of local health care users and workers, identifying and testing low-cost, innovative reforms that have emerged locally. LASDEL is strengthening the capacity and leadership of innovators and young researchers to continue advocating for and implementing reforms.

Bolivia

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. Although classified as middle income, it is at the very low end of the scale. Indigenous people represent approximately 65% of the country’s 10 million people. Bolivia’s diverse and fragile ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to climate change.

Since 2006, the Government of Bolivia has introduced economic and social reforms designed to meet the basic needs of the poorest people. As a result, the rate of poverty has dropped from 59% to 39%, and extreme poverty has dropped from 39% to 17%. Women and girls have not, however, benefited equally from economic growth. They are often marginalized, suffer violence and have limited access to, and control over, productive resources.

Canada’s development program focuses on:

Global Affairs Canada’s programming in Bolivia targets vulnerable populations—Indigenous populations in particular. Programming is anchored in the needs of communities. It integrates the perspectives of the poor, promoting participation in decision making, notably through cooperatives and the development of municipal health plans. In 2016-2017, in addition to International Assistance Review consultations, Canada held scores of meetings with organizations and associations. It did so to gather information on the needs and perspectives of communities.

Key results

With Canada’s support, over 2,600 vulnerable and mostly Indigenous families have increased their incomes since 2011 through training on new production techniques for economic diversification. They were also able to improve their access to markets in the spice, organic quinoa and dairy sectors. This support increased the value of local production by introducing small-scale processing facilities. This allowed for scaled-up commercialization and increased value for local farmers.  

Between 2011 and 2017, Canada, through Plan International Canada, helped over 11,500 community health actors improve their knowledge and capacities for service delivery. More than 50% were women. This also meant child health outcomes improved. Close to 500 early child development centres were established to reduce child malnutrition rates. Approximately 500 clubs were created to promote stronger families and improve gender equality in households.

Canada contributed to efforts to reduce gender-based violence, and support the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls.

Canada also supported their rights to economic and political participation. Canadian support assisted with the adoption of two laws. One was Law 348, a law to eliminate violence against women. The other was a gender identity law that enables transgender people to change their government identity documents. During the 2010-2017 project:

Since 2011, over 2,200 vulnerable households in the economically depressed region of Chuquisaqua have more than doubled their incomes through oregano production. This project took place through SOCODEVI.

Furthermore, the largely Indigenous households have increased their resilience to climate change. They have also provided young people with a viable income source, better enabling them to remain in the region where they grew up. Women’s economic empowerment has led to more women in business, technical and management positions, and to greater levels of decision making and control of resources in households.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso remains one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2015, more than 55% of its 18 million people lived below the national poverty line, and the country ranks 185th out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Burkina Faso’s ranking on the UNDP Gender Development Index has deteriorated in recent years, placing the country 146th out of 159 countries assessed in 2015.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) considers Burkina Faso to be in the group of fragile countries. Burkina Faso achieved only modest results with respect to the UN Millennium Development Goals. However, it has made significant progress in basic education, access to safe drinking water and the struggle against HIV/AIDS.

For Canada, Burkina Faso is an important country for international development. Canada’s development priorities in Burkina Faso are to support the Burkina Faso National Plan for Social and Economic Development 2016-2020. This plan’s goal is to:

These pillars are consistent with Canada’s programming. It aims to help protect and maintain human dignity, among other things, through better access to quality education for girls and by strengthening governance of the education sector. Canadian investments are also helping to create growth that works for everyone. As well, investments are supporting income-generating activities for the most vulnerable populations, including women, and improving their access to energy and water.  

Key results

Support from Global Affairs Canada in 2016-2017, through the Government of Burkina Faso, contributed to improved access to basic education. These efforts saw an increase of more than 166,000 students in primary education and more than 64,500 students in post-primary education between 2015 and 2016.

From 2015 to 2017, Canada supported a project that aimed to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus disease in Burkina Faso. Canada did this in response to a lack of individual and collective practices in prevention and identification of the Ebola virus disease and other infectious diseases. Prevention and community engagement campaigns were needed for populations in at-risk areas, among other things. Thanks to that initiative, 131 elementary schools—representing over 39,000 students and 600 teachers—benefited from prevention and disease-awareness activities.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada helped to improve the quality of rice produced by the members of professional organizations of women rice steamers in Burkina Faso. The Centre for International Studies and Cooperation carried out this project. The project also increased the quantity of rice produced from more than 758,000 tonnes in 2014 to more than 996,000 tonnes in 2016. This production leap was thanks to training provided on new steaming technologies and the acquisition of equipment.

This project makes it possible to improve the lives of women in Burkina Faso by supporting professional organizations of women rice parboilers to improve their productivity and effectiveness.

Caribbean Regional Program

The countries that make up the Caribbean are disproportionately affected by global economic, financial and environmental crises. Their small island economies are often unable to cope with global economic downturns or extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

High debt levels and sluggish growth have resulted in increasing poverty and inequality, and have negatively impacted social development. Marked gender disparities exist in education, health and income. There is weak representation of women in leadership, and high rates of gender-based violence.

Canada has long-standing and strongly anchored links with the Caribbean, based on shared values, cultures and personal ties. Through international assistance, Canada contributes to human dignity, growth that works for everyone, environment and climate action, and inclusive governance in the region.

To address the Caribbean’s development needs, Canada is working with government institutions and civil society organizations to create a more competitive, productive and gender-equitable workforce and private sector. It is doing this by providing technical assistance to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and to increase access to training opportunities.

Canada is committed to inclusive governance in the region by strengthening the management of public finances, institutions and official statistics. Canada also works to improve the administration of, and access to, justice in the Caribbean region. Canada supports efforts to build regional capacity in climate change adaptation and mitigation. It also supports capacity-building efforts toward the response to, and management of, natural disasters. In addition, Canada is working to increase access to clean and renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.

Key results

Through the International Monetary Fund’s Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, Canada helped foster sustainable economic growth in the region. Eight countries have implemented strategic budget reforms to strengthen fiscal discipline in the budget process. Their reforms also assist decision making by providing better information on priorities, results and value for money.

Through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Canada provided training in mass casualty management and emergency care, and treatment to better prepare authorities to respond to emergencies.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada, through World University Service of Canada, supported access to smarter farming techniques and improved seed varieties that lead to better yields and revenue. For example, plant density for plantains in Guyana increased from an average of 525 to 596 plants per acre. This yielded an additional 2,485 pounds of plantains per acre.

Since 2010, Canada has helped create over 11,595 jobs in the Caribbean region through work with the Inter-American Development Bank (5,595 jobs were direct results of Canada’s efforts while 6,000 were indirect results). Of the new jobs, 80% were filled by women. Canada was able to achieve these results by supporting export-led private sector development in the Caribbean region.

Colombia

Colombia is a growing middle-income country, and an important political, development and commercial partner for Canada.

In 2016, the Government of Colombia concluded a historic peace agreement with the country’s largest guerrilla group (FARC). This ended a 50-year internal armed conflict that displaced over six million people internally. The conflict also resulted in one of the highest numbers of landmine casualties in the world. Despite promising progress toward peace and stability, challenges remain. These relate to poverty, violence, trafficking of illegal drugs and human rights abuses, which continue to be pervasive in some rural areas with limited state presence.

Canada has supported development, humanitarian assistance, peace and security initiatives in Colombia for more than 40 years. It has worked to ensure respect for human rights and respond to the challenges faced by Colombia’s most vulnerable populations. These vulnerable populations include:

Canada’s development assistance focuses on three areas:

All initiatives address gender equality and promote the empowerment of women and girls.

In 2016-2017, Canada announced $78.4 million in new international assistance funding to support Colombia’s peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts. This includes new projects in:

This programming will make a difference in the lives of thousands of conflict-affected women, men and children.

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada invested in rural development and contributed to the economic empowerment of more than 9,700 rural women. This allowed them to participate as decision makers in agricultural cooperatives and associations. This also gave the women control over resources such as income, credit, infrastructure and land.

Canadian cooperative models for agricultural finance and development are contributing to the transformation of post-conflict rural areas. Canada has supported more than 22,100 small-scale farmers to build viable businesses, access credit and crop insurance, and connect to new markets. Canada’s assistance has benefited 172 agricultural cooperatives and associations. It has also benefited 37 financial institutions, including micro-finance organizations, financial cooperatives and agricultural banks.

Canada’s assistance enabled the training of 1,426 new teachers in gender-sensitive curriculum, school improvement planning and flexible learning models. This gave young mothers and other vulnerable populations education that schooling does not traditionally reach. Canada improved access to quality education for 17,978 children and youth (53% women and girls) living in some of Colombia’s most conflict-affected rural areas.

Canada contributed $6 million to fund the peace transition in areas aligned with the Government of Colombia’s priorities:

This included financial support for the international electoral observation mission for the October 2016 peace accord plebiscite.

Cuba

Cuba leads the Caribbean region in life expectancy, gender equality, education, health, social spending and disaster preparedness. Nevertheless, Cuba faces many development challenges.

At least 70% of its food is imported, wages are low, shortages of basic goods are chronic, and a dual-currency economy results in unequal access to goods and services. Cuba is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In recent years, it has experienced a greater frequency and severity of drought and hurricanes.

Cuba initiated broad reforms in 2007 and 2011 in an effort to modernize, diversify and decentralize its economy. Canadian development programming in Cuba aims to bolster agricultural production, strengthen food value chains and improve agricultural sector management. It will focus on supporting small farmers in particular, both women and men. Projects in sustainable economic growth include:

Canada is training and equipping Cuba’s auditors, improving economic governance through stronger public financial management. These initiatives support the implementation of Cuba’s economic and social reforms aimed at protecting social development. Reforms are also helping to lay the foundations for decentralization, modernization, diversification and improved productivity in the Cuban economy.

Key results

Between 2015 and 2017, Canada worked with the World Food Programme and Cuba’s Ministry of Agriculture to increase food security for vulnerable groups. This helped 2,224 small farmers in the provinces of Guantanamo and Matanzas to increase bean production by 20%. This food contributes to national food distribution systems that supply nutritious food to vulnerable populations, including young children and the elderly.

In 2016-2017, Canada established the first renewable energy laboratory in a Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mines training centre. The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology spearheaded this project. Over five years, this project trained 5,525 workers in areas such as:

Gender equality training was delivered to 1,612 employees of the Ministry of Energy and Mines. As well, six ministry learning centres implemented gender equality action plans and 72 women graduated in non-conventional trades and technology professions.

In 2016-2017, a partnership between Global Affairs Canada and Cowater International Inc. led to the design and delivery of seven new one-week training programs for Cuban auditors within the national audit system. The training featured courses in gender audit, compliance, performance and procurement. This helped to strengthen Cuba’s public financial management system and build transparency. The initiative delivered the software and hardware needed to assist Cuba to strengthen and modernize its audit function.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo ranks 176th out of 188 countries in the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Of a total population of 76.9 million, 87.7% live on less than US$1.25 a day. The under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality rate are among the highest in the world. One in seven children dies before the age of five and 13 out of every 1,000 women die in childbirth.

Early marriages are common. According to a World Bank report on child marriage, 40% of adult women are married before the age of majority—11% of them before the age of 15. A significant proportion of births are by adolescent mothers, with 4% bearing children before the age of 15 and 23% between the ages of 15 and 19.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is recovering from decades of dictatorship and civil war that led to the deaths of up to five million people. The country remains a fragile state and existing government structures are unable to meet the needs of the population.

Despite the national elections of 2006 and 2011, inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for human rights, including women’s rights, are precarious. The country continues to face an uncertain democratic transition. The humanitarian emergency is ongoing and sexual violence remains high.

The four focal areas of Canada’s country programming in the Democratic Republic of Congo are gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, human dignity, inclusive governance, and peace and security.

Key results

In 2016, a total of 1,729 people, including 1,560 women and 169 men, were trained in managing income-generating activities linked to the agriculture sector. This was part of the project Fight Against Impunity and Support to Survivors of Sexual Violence.    

In 2016, Canada provided support to Development and Peace as part of a project to increase public participation in the electoral process and in democratic life. This organization reached out to more than four million Congolese, with women making up 53% of the participants. Nearly 170,000 local brainstorming sessions were held to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These sessions also addressed non‑violent engagement in opposition to violence and passivity and holding peaceful elections.       

Through a health system support project in the province of Kinshasa, Canada provided funding to health structures that then benefited from training, staffing, construction and rehabilitation. In four years, the rate of prenatal consultations has increased by nearly 8%. This will reduce the number of deaths of infants and mothers during delivery.        

Egypt

Egypt is a lower middle-income country that has been undergoing significant political changes since 2011. The country’s economic growth rate fell sharply following the Arab Spring protests that year. The state of the Egyptian economy is of ongoing concern.

Approximately 28% of the population lives below the poverty line, with poverty rates as high as 60% in rural Upper Egypt. Unemployment was at 12.5% in mid-2016, with higher rates among youth and women. A high population growth rate is placing additional pressure on infrastructure and services. Egypt has also been affected by the crisis in Syria. An estimated 120,154 Syrian refugees registered in Egypt in February 2017, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Canada’s current development programming in Egypt supports the country’s efforts to create employment through economic reforms, stimulate investment and promote private sector participation in the economy. In doing so, Canada is emphasizing the employment of youth and women and is supporting the growth of SMEs. Canadian assistance is also helping to strengthen the quality and range of Egypt’s market-responsive vocational, technical and professional training programs.

In addition, Canada is helping to improve the ability of the Government of Egypt and the country’s host communities to mitigate the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. It is working with the Ministry of Education to provide quality education opportunities and services to vulnerable Egyptian and Syrian children. It is also strengthening social cohesion within host communities.

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada supported Egypt in addressing acute youth unemployment. The Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People project held job fairs, through which 1,438 youth found fair and productive jobs. As well, approximately 300 women in need who received entrepreneurship training through this project started income-generating activities. The project reached an agreement with Egypt’s National Council for Women to have this entrepreneurship training rolled out across the country.

In 2016-2017, through the School Feeding for Host Communities project, Canada helped improve children's nutrition and learning capacity. It supplied fortified date bars to 295,822 Egyptian and Syrian refugee children in 321 schools in Egypt. Canada's investment also lessened, to a degree, the strain on resources that Egypt has faced as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, with a population of approximately 100 million, is one of the world’s poorest nations. It ranks 174th out of 188 countries in the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Despite this, Ethiopia has made major development strides. Poverty rates have fallen by one third since 2000 and Ethiopia met seven of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals.

Food security and malnutrition remain Ethiopia’s largest development challenges. Over 80% of Ethiopians rely on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods and more than 10 million people require emergency or developmental food assistance annually. While development results have been strong overall, important challenges remain. This includes challenges in terms of civic and democratic space and women’s and girls’ empowerment.

Canada has supported development and humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia for over 30 years, working to address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable Ethiopians. Canada’s development assistance in the country is focused on:

Canada has been supporting flagship national programs that build resilience, improve agricultural productivity and enhance sustainable, climate-smart land management. 

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada’s ongoing support to Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme contributed to food or cash transfers to 7,997,218 food-insecure beneficiaries in 330 regions across Ethiopia. This included 4,078,853 women. The transfers are given in exchange for labour on community works. That increased household and community resilience, and improved household food security, nutrition and economic well-being.

Between 2012 and 2016, Canada’s support to the Sustainable Land Management Programhelped 43,839 households to rehabilitate 68,175 hectares of land. The German Society for International Cooperation operates this program with the Government of Ethiopia. The program’s efforts also increase resilience to climate change impacts.

Through the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurship Development Program, more than $57 million in loans have been issued since 2014. This allows thousands of women to grow their businesses, increasing employment by 68% and profits by 78%.

From 2011 to 2016, Canada’s support to the Civil Society Support Programme organization contributed to 772 grants to 514 civil society organizations across all regions of Ethiopia. This support helped deliver more inclusive services for vulnerable women, men, girls and boys.

Ghana

Despite achieving lower middle-income country status in 2010, Ghana ranks 139th out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Pockets of vulnerability and poverty remain in many parts of the country, including northern Ghana, where 54% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Gender equality remains a concern. Ghana ranks in the “worst performing” category of countries in the UNDP’s 2016 Gender Development Index. Agriculture is Ghana’s largest employer, yet 80% of farmers live below the poverty line. More than 2.2 million Ghanaians cannot afford to feed themselves an adequate number of caloriesper day.

Similarly, only 15% of Ghanaians have access to adequate sanitation services. This factor significantly contributes to poor health outcomes and child mortality due to diarrhea-related illnesses. Unsustainable natural resource management practices, partly in response to climate-related stress, are affecting water availability and land productivity.

To address these needs, Canada focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable communities and seeks to address growing inequalities. Programming supports agriculture as an engine for inclusive growth, as well as an important area of investment to address the needs of Ghana’s poorest families. It supports climate-smart, resilient agriculture, specifically targeting women farmers.

Canada also supports improved access to water in underserved areas, as well as sanitation and hygiene services as a means of advancing the dignity of the poorest and vulnerable. Canada also contributes to improved health and nutrition indicators. Programming across all sectors targets women and aims to address the key barriers to the attainment of their full rights.

Key results

Canada helped 93,000 farmers, including 65,000 women farmers, from across northern Ghana to increase their agricultural production and more than double their incomes. These achievements included a 700% increase in groundnut yields per acre, a 250% increase in maize yields and a 380% increase in soy production.

Canada also helped 226,000 people living in dry and underserved communities gain access to safe drinking water. In the area of hygiene, Canada worked to help over 89,000 students, including 58,000 girls, receive information and training on menstrual hygiene management. These programs target both girls and boys to address socio-cultural beliefs and taboos surrounding menstruation, and also provide basic education on sexual and reproductive health. Canada's investment ensured that 23,000 girls had increased access to appropriate gender-divided sanitation facilities at school. This allows them to attend school during their menstrual cycle.

Guatemala

Although Guatemala's economy is relatively strong, 59% of the population lives below the poverty line and 24% live in extreme poverty. Poverty is particularly prevalent in rural areas with large Indigenous populations, and it disproportionately affects women and youth. Guatemala has one of the highest levels of income inequality in Latin America.

It also has one of the highest levels of chronic malnutrition in the world and is negatively affected by climate change. Further, inequality, insecurity and impunity are pervasive. This limits the country’s potential.

Canada’s development efforts in Guatemala support gender equality and inclusive governance. It does this through work on food security, climate change and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. Canada is engaged in programming that builds capacity and supports women leaders. This programming also ensures that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are integrated into all programming initiatives.

Key results

Through the World Food Programme, Canada has helped 2,500 farmers and over 6,000 rural families increase their food security and resilience to climate change. This has been accomplished through improved water irrigation and collection systems, agroforestry and soil conservation techniques.

Between September 2015 and March 2017, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala investigated 52 criminal cases. It identified and worked to dismantle 26 criminal structures, filing 165 formal accusations against members of criminal networks. Through this initiative, 85% of public prosecutors in the Guatemala Public Ministry’s investigation unit against impunity have strengthened their capacities in:

Haiti

One of the world’s poorest countries, Haiti faces serious challenges around political governance, the rule of law, and social and economic development. Despite significant contributions in international assistance over recent years, its socio-economic indicators remain the lowest in the Americas.

The country has a population of 10.4 million and is ranked 163rd out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Nearly 60% of the population still lives below the poverty line. The government’s limited institutional capacities and corruption add to the country’s difficulties and negatively impact Haiti’s long‑term development.

Haiti is particularly vulnerable to climate change, given its geographic location and limited level of development. It also has to contend with the additional challenges that arose in the wake of Hurricane Matthew on October 4, 2016. These challenges relate to food insecurity and the spread of cholera.

The February 7, 2017, inauguration of Jovenel Moïse as president of Haiti marked the country’s return to constitutional order following a period of interim governance. It represents a major step in strengthening the democratic process. With this in mind, extensive sectoral consultations were held in 2016-2017 with Canada’s support for the Haiti Consensus Roadmap project. This helped mobilize more than 500 people from the government as well as NGOs, businesses, multilateral organizations, and donors and scholars. Together, they worked to identify specific solutions to Haiti’s development challenges.

A list of development priorities in Haiti has been prepared, and among the 10 interventions with the greatest impact, three are directly related to Canadian cooperation in Haiti (maternal and newborn health, access to contraception and skilled birth attendance).

In Haiti, 2016-2017 was a year of prolonged political uncertainty and transition. After the presidential elections were postponed, an interim government was in place from February 2016 until February 2017, when President Moïse took office. While the interim government was in place, Canada limited the development of new initiatives supporting the Haitian government.

Canada nonetheless continued its commitment to vulnerable populations in the following priority areas:

Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and faces significant challenges in all areas. It continues to be a priority country for Canada. Global Affairs Canada is pursuing its dialogue with the new Haitian authorities to determine how best to address the country’s priorities.

Key results

Canada provided aid for school feeding through the World Food Programme and Nutrition International. Canada helped to provide food support to 240,000 children at 1,800 schools; this, in turn, helped to improve attendance and learning outcomes.

Canada also helped to provide health services for women and girls through the UN Office for Project Services. Canada supported the construction of the national midwife training institute. The institute will accommodate 160 students (an average of 60 graduates per year) and a clinic. The clinic will provide women with access to care before, during and after giving birth.

Canada provided initial training and professional development for the Haitian National Police managerial staff. These services were provided by CRC Sogema, Université de Sherbrooke, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Collège de Maisonneuve. Canada helped the National Police Academy build its capacity to provide quality training and have an independent team of managers to run the academy. This support contributed to stability in the country.

Canada has supported the International Organization for Migration to deliver and equip three border hubs that will provide services to vulnerable people. Support has specifically aided vulnerable women and children in Haiti’s border areas. Canada has also developed six training modules in Creole for stakeholders on topics such as sexual and reproductive health and child protection. The modules helped train 295 people, including 144 women.

In Haiti, Canada funded a $2-million UN Women project to reduce violence toward women during the 2016 election and to improve the representation of women in parliament. The initiative developed a framework on violence against women and provided support to Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, Department of Justice and Public Security, police and political parties.

Honduras

Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in the region, with over 60% poverty rates. There are high levels of inequality and social exclusion, plus high levels of violence, corruption and impunity. These factors make Hondurans—and especially women, youth and other minorities—highly vulnerable to poverty, crime and human rights violations. The lack of economic opportunities, violence and internal displacement have led to significant levels of irregular migration toward North America. 

Canada’s development program in Honduras now focuses on growth that works for everyone, environment and climate action, human dignity and inclusive governance. It works to reduce poverty by targeting communities and beneficiaries in the vulnerable and remote Dry Corridor in southern Honduras. In addition, the program works to address human rights issues, including corruption and impunity, faced by the poorest and most vulnerable in Honduras.

Key results

Through the Municipal Services for Adolescent Health and HIV/AIDS project, Canada’s support, via UNICEF, helped to strengthen 272 youth organizations and 64 municipal youth programs. These efforts reached 6,000 urban and rural education centres and about 475,000 adolescents. Outreach spoke to topics such as sexual reproductive rights, gender equality, and the prevention of peer and community-based violence. In municipalities where the project is active, HIV rates decreased by 34% between 2009 and 2014.

Through the Agriculture Value Chain Initiative, Canada supported efforts that:

The daily income of 849 small-scale producers directly affected by the project increased from US$1.25 in 2007 to US$7.87 in 2016. Eight of the 23 coffee organizations supported by the project were able to access international markets in Australia, Austria, Japan, Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. As well, 12 producer organizations received organic and environmental coffee farm certifications. This has enabled them to negotiate higher prices for their coffee.

The Promoting High-Value Cacao Agroforestry Systems project supported the planting and renewal of 3,827 hectares of cacao. This represented 75% of Honduras’s total cacao surface. The Honduran Foundation of Agricultural Research implemented this project. It provided 3,508 families with support and created 2,818 full-time equivalent jobs. Income generation increased 522% to US$2,192.74 per hectare per year. 

The Promoting Food Security in the Choluteca and Rio Negro WatershedsProject focuses on agricultural productivity, diversity and the promotion of sustainable natural resources management practices. The project, which operated between 2010 and 2017, reached 28,525 people in 10 municipalities in the Dry Corridor in southern Honduras, increasing daily income by 36.7%.

Indonesia

With a population of 258 million, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country. It is one of Asia’s most stable democracies and economies, and a voice for moderate Islam, pluralism and diversity.

Despite strong economic growth, an estimated 100 million Indonesians (or 40%) live on less than US$2 per day and the growth of one in three children is stunted. Income inequality here is the highest in Asia—Indonesia’s four richest men own more than the poorest 100 million.

Gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights are also significant challenges in Indonesia:

Women continue to be concentrated in low-wage, low-value segments of the economy. With the rise of religious conservatism, women and religious minorities are further marginalized.

While Indonesia is one of the world’s top biodiversity nations, it also has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. Indonesia is among the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases, largely due to dependence on fossil fuels and the mismanagement of forests and land, including carbon-rich peatlands.

Canada is a long-standing development partner to Indonesia, having provided nearly $2 billion in assistance since 1954. Canada’s ODA in Indonesia aims to achieve sustainable and gender-equitable economic growth. It is doing this through investments in economic development, skills for employment and sustainable natural resource management. Canada’s ODA also aims to promote inclusive governance, human rights and pluralism.

Key results

From 2011 to 2017, the Agroforestry and Forestry in Sulawesiproject helped more than 635,000 people improve their incomes by adopting environmentally sustainable agricultural technologies. Of these individuals, 52% were women. More than 780,000 hectares of land are now under improved, community-based natural resources management. This includes lands dedicated to agroforestry, agriculture and forest systems.

From 2011 to 2017, Canada helped strengthen the knowledge of 630 faculty members (38% women) and the curriculum of two Muslim religious state universities in Sulawesi and Java. This was done through the Local Leadership for Development Project, operated by Cowater International Inc.  The curriculum focused on community engagement on a number of key Islamic values. These values include:

This project targeted 16 communities engaged with the universities. As a result of this project, these communities have seen democratic values strengthened and conflicts mitigated through community-based mediation. Youth and women have also increased their engagement and leadership in the communities. As well, women and marginalized groups, including religious minorities, now have greater equity in, and greater access to, community resources. The project’s innovative and inclusive approach has been disseminated to more than 50 universities across the country.

Through the Canada-Indonesia Trade and Private SectorAssistance project, Canada is helping Indonesian SMEs in the coffee, apparel and footwear sectors export to Canada. They are exporting in specialty niche markets, which should help increase incomes in poor rural communities in Indonesia’s Aceh, Sulawesi and Java regions. This will also enhance women’s roles and access to productive resources in the supply chain.

The Inter-American Program

The Inter-American Program supports regional development activities in most of the countries that make up Latin America and the Caribbean. This region has the highest levels of inequality in the world—both in terms of wealth distribution and access to basic services and opportunities. Ten of the 15 most unequal countries in the world can be found in Latin America.

Persistent economic and social inequality disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable, including Indigenous populations, Afro-descendants, women, children and youth. Violence and organized crime are increasing in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite the fact that this region has less than one tenth of the world’s population, one third of the world’s annual 450,000 murders take place here. Crime and violence are serious impediments to inclusive economic growth, and contribute to regional instability and irregular migration flows.

The Inter-American Program aims to tackle inequalities in the region with a specific focus on vulnerable populations, such as women, Indigenous people and children. The areas of focus are:

The program focuses on issues best addressed at the regional or multi-country level, where economies of scale can be achieved. These issues include the strengthening of institutions, the creation of legal frameworks and the alignment of sectoral standards with international practices.

The program provides a mechanism to engage and create partnerships with multilateral, regional, and Canadian organizations and institutions. The program has, for example, worked to strengthen the capacity of key regional institutions to become more efficient and results-oriented. These include institutions such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Pan American Health Organization.

Key results

With support from Canada, 10,406 newborns and children under the age of five benefited from increased integrated health interventions, including vaccinations and early childhood development.

Canada also provided funding to the Sustainable Energy Access for the Latin American and Caribbean Regionproject, run by the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE in Spanish). This project improved the region’s capacity to develop energy plans and regulations. This was achieved, in part, when 317 executive-level practitioners took training programs on energy policy and social inclusion.

The Inter-American Program, through the Integrated Health Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean Project, trained 2,046 primary health-care professionals. This project was implemented by PAHO. The project also improved health-care delivery to women and children in Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua and Peru.

Iraq

Iraq faces vast challenges: the ongoing conflict with Daesh, weak and divided state institutions, and a UN Level 3 humanitarian emergency, which has displaced some 4.5 million people. Level 3 is the highest level on this UN scale.

Canada has a three-year strategy from 2016-2019 for comprehensive security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact on Jordan and Lebanon. As part of this, Canada is working with Iraqi authorities to support a stable and more prosperous country.

In pursuing this goal, Canada’s main development programming priorities are in the areas of:

Iraq’s decentralization efforts make Canada’s experience with federal-provincial relations particularly relevant. Canada is one of the few donors with a longer-term development assistance program for Iraq.

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada supported increased access to safe water supplies for 285,000 internally displaced persons and host community residents. It did this through the Building Resilience in Conflict-Affected Communities in Iraq project. This project helped to reduce tensions caused by population displacements in northern Iraq.

In 2016-2017, Canada’s Promoting Social Cohesion through Community Support project aided 700 Iraqi women from different cultural backgrounds. The project helped the women better understand their rights. They then participated in decision-making processes in their communities.

In 2016-2017, Canada, through project partner Institute on Governance, helped senior officials in the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdish regional government to continue dialogue on the issues of fiscal federalism and decentralization. This took place through the Fiscal Decentralisation and Resiliency-Building for Iraq project. This initiative is helping build a common understanding of fiscal framework concepts, address entrenched tensions and enhance communications between the two levels of government.

In 2016-2017, Canada’s contribution to mine clearance cleared 156,000 square metres of land in Iraq. This allowed more than 500 displaced persons to return to their homes. Doing so gave them access to agricultural land and critical infrastructure, such as schools, water treatment plants and businesses.

In 2016-2017, Canadian humanitarian assistance to Iraq provided food assistance to more than 1.9 million people. Canada directed funding to UNICEF, which provided access to water, sanitation and hygiene for 1.2 million people, including 567,203 children. In 2016, 379,748 internally displaced children were enrolled in formal education across the country.

Jordan

Since the onset of the Syrian conflict, Jordan has provided refuge to over 1.2 million Syrians, 655,000 of whom are registered as refugees. Of these, approximately 15% reside in camps while the vast majority live in rural and urban communities. This influx of people is straining the Government of Jordan’s ability to meet the needs of its citizens in critical sectors. This includes health, education, water and municipal service delivery.

Canada has a three-year strategy for comprehensive security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact on Jordan and Lebanon. In line with Jordan’s national plans, Canada’s programming in Jordan is strengthening the resilience and capacity of government, communities and people in:

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada’s Support to Jordan’s Education Sector project trained over 1,622 supervisors and principals to fulfill new leadership roles. These new skills were used in training and mentoring 3,396 newly appointed teachers through in-class practicums.

In 2016-2017, Canada increased its support to the Ministry of Education in Jordan and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through the Scaling Up Access to Formal Education project. The project has helped give 125,000 Syrian students, over half of whom are girls, access to education in host communities and camps.

In 2016-2017, Canada’s Youth Employment and Empowerment project gave over 3,500 students at vocational schools and community colleges employability training and labour market skills in high-demand areas. This resulted in more young people securing permanent employment, and more young entrepreneurs starting new businesses.

In 2016-2017, Canada’s Improving Solid Waste Management project helped rehabilitate Jordan’s second-largest landfill. The project provided the landfill with new facilities and machinery. It also improved working conditions for landfill staff and the waste-pickers who depend on the landfill for their livelihood. Overall, this initiative is benefiting more than 1.8 million people in 33 surrounding municipalities.

In 2016-2017, Canadian humanitarian assistance to Jordan provided monthly food assistance to some 530,000 Syrian refugees. Along with other donors, Canada gave funding in 2016 to UNICEF, which provided 125,000 Syrian students with access to formal education.

Kenya

Despite an impressive recent economic growth record, Kenya ranks 146th out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Two out of five Kenyans still live on less than US$1.25 a day.

Significant obstacles to sustainable social, environmental and economic development remain in Kenya. These include:

Barriers to women’s empowerment continue to exist. Women have fewer opportunities for employment in both the public and private sectors. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth remain one of the main causes of death for women. Sexual and gender-based violence is a serious problem for women and girls in Kenya and transcends social and economic boundaries.

Canada’s development assistance in Kenya is addressing these issues by focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable groups. In particular, it is focusing on women, children and youth living in marginalized, drought-prone regions. Funding supports the following three areas:

Key results

Canada, through UNICEF, has promoted a child-friendly, quality learning environment in the most remote and marginalized regions of Kenya. It has done so by providing grants to 200 schools to support community priorities in education. These include building latrines and distributing 2,000 hygiene kits, 400 science teaching kits, 400 math kits and 200 recreational kits. The materials benefited more than 97,000 children and this initiative helped improve school retention, especially among girls.

In 2016-2017, Canada partnered with the Canadian Organization for Development through Education on the Reading Kenya project. This project developed and published 13 children’s books in the Maasai language. Some of the books were the first written materials to be created in this language in Kenya.

In 2016-2017, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, working with Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, developed a school-based voter education curriculum. This project was called theKenya Electoral System Supportproject. The curriculum it createdmirrored Elections Canada’s Civic Education Program.

Lebanon

Lebanon now hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world as a result of the ongoing Syrian conflict. This dramatic population influx, concentrated in the country’s poorest municipalities, has severely affected Lebanon’s capacity to deliver and maintain basic public services. 

In order to address these challenges, the Government of Lebanon is working closely with the international community to shift the focus from a humanitarian response to a different approach. This new approach builds the resilience of individuals, communities and systems, and fosters longer-term sustainable development.

Canada has a three-year strategy from 2016-2019 for comprehensive security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact on Jordan and Lebanon. As part of that strategy, Canada has recently re-established its development programming in Lebanon. It focuses on efforts to provide inclusive, quality education as well as training and employment opportunities that benefit the most vulnerable.

Key results

In April 2016, the IDRC and the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies jointly organized and hosted a meeting in Beirut to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis. The aim was to enhance the crisis’s management in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Government officials, academics and civil society representatives discussed various themes. This included tapping into the economic potential of refugees, and promoting social integration and social cohesion.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported the Education Access and Learning in Lebanon project. This multi-donor initiative resulted in 194,750 Syrian children attending Lebanese schools and an additional 54,746 accessing non-formal education.

In 2016-2017, Canada committed $5 million to maintain social stability in Lebanon and improve community security by helping reduce tensions between host communities and Syrian refugees.

In 2016-2017, Canadian humanitarian assistance to Lebanon provided food assistance to more than 829,430 Syrian refugees. Along with other donors, Canada gave funding in 2016 to UNICEF, which provided 113,328 non-Lebanese children with pre-primary and basic education.

Mali

Mali remains one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 179th out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. An estimated half of Mali's population (15.8 million) lives on less than US$1.25 per day and half of the population is under the age of 15.

The country has an illiteracy rate of about 66% among adults. Infant and maternal mortality rates, as well as malnutrition rates, are among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2012, Mali was plunged into an unprecedented multidimensional crisis following a coup d’état. The depth of the crisis has since exposed the fragility of the Malian state and the country’s socio-political challenges.

A peace and reconciliation agreement was signed in Mali in June 2015. But the country is still faced with spreading insecurity and major development challenges. These relate to health and education, economic growth, climate change, human rights and inclusive governance.

In 2016-2017, Canada was the second-largest bilateral donor to Mali. Canada’s ODA in Mali supports:

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada continued to support Mali’s national health policies and implementation plans to improve access to quality health services. For example, Canada contributed to improvements in maternal health indicators such as the rate of births attended by qualified personnel. The rate has increased from 26% in 2012 to 53% in 2015.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported immunization programs that increased immunization coverage rates against tetanus and diphtheria (Penta 3). The programs were targeted to children under the age of one in Mali’s Sikasso, Ségou and Kayes regions. Immunization coverage rates resulting from these programs increased from 87% in 2012 to 90% in 2015.

Canada contributed to economic growth in Mali by supporting agricultural production and the processing and marketing of agricultural products. Through various projects in 2016-2017, Canada helped develop an additional 4,500 hectares of irrigated land and produce 23,800 metric tonnes of cereals, including 16,000 metric tonnes of rice. These projects helped produce 15,000 metric tonnes of market garden crops as well. In 2016-2017, Canada also contributed to the more than 457,000 women receiving microcredit services in rural Mali.

In 2016-2017, Canada continued to support the quality of, and access to, primary and preschool education and vocational training in Mali. Between 2014 and 2017, Canada’s contribution to education helped to increase enrolment by nearly 289,000 students (46.6% of whom were girls and women). This increased the number of first‑cycle primary schools by 3.8% and the gross enrolment ratio from 60.5% to 66.7%. During the same period, the completion rate for girls at the first-cycle primary level increased from 64.8% to 82.4%. This indicated that more girls are enrolled in school and stay longer than before.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported UN-led efforts to advance implementation of the peace process, and professionalize and reform Malian security services. These efforts also helped extend state authority and stabilize conflict-affected regions of the country. Canadian initiatives in Mali are helping to:

Mongolia

Landlocked Mongolia has made significant progress since its shift to a market-based open economy in 1990. Half of Mongolia’s three million people live in or around Ulaanbaatar, the capital city. More than one in five Mongolians still struggles to live on less than US$1.25 per day, and the country ranks 92nd out of 188 countries on the UNDP's 2016 Human Development Index.

Despite progress made over the last decade, there are persistent inequalities in social development and economic opportunities, particularly for women. In addition, the mining-driven economic growth has a significant environmental footprint that is unsustainable. Mongolia is also highly vulnerable to climate risks because of its geographic location, extreme weather and fragile ecosystems.

Canada's international development country program in Mongolia is closely aligned with Mongolia's development priorities, which focus on ensuring human development, improving economic competitiveness and decreasing rural-urban disparities. The goal of Canada's assistance is to help the country meet its human dignity and poverty reduction targets. Canada aims to do this by:

Key results

The Women’s Participation in Election Project contributes to improving women’s participation and representation at the national and local levels through an inclusive and representative electoral environment. The International Republican Institute implemented this project.

In 2016-2017, over 2,000 mostly female potential candidates and campaign managers took part in 46 elections training workshops. The workshops were run by the International Republican Institute’s Campaign Academy for Successful Elections. Workshop participants hailed from nine political parties and came from across the country to participate. In Mongolia’s 2016 elections, 13 women were elected to the State Great Hural (parliament). This put female representation at a record high of 17.1%.

The Strengthening Democratic Participation and Transparency in the Public Sector Project promotes more effective, accountable and transparent management of public services and resources. The Asia Foundation implemented this project. In 2016-2017, the project helped build public sector capacity for good governance by giving public sector institutions technical assistance to develop and implement key anti-corruption strategies and action plans. This included Mongolia’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy, passed on November 30, 2016.

The project also conducted the 2016 Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption and made the survey’s findings public. The 2016 survey, which placed a strong emphasis on capturing women’s perspectives, explored the gendered aspects of corruption in its effects on men and women.

Morocco

Morocco is currently one of the most stable countries in North Africa and an emerging country as well. It is implementing numerous sectoral strategies, a number of infrastructure programs and an aggressive trade policy with sub-Saharan African countries.

Although it has, so far, not been touched by the turmoil seen elsewhere in the region, Morocco continues to face major economic, political, social and security challenges. The main challenge will be to address social, economic and geographic inequalities. This is necessary to answer numerous citizen expectations regarding youth unemployment, poverty and education.

The ultimate objective of Canada’s programming in Morocco is to help foster greater prosperity and a better future for young Moroccans, especially the most disadvantaged. The current programming focuses on human dignity and growth that works for everyone. Canada’s projects help to:

Gender equality is a major theme, and all projects must directly address women’s rights issues.

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada supported the She Acts project, which is part of a women’s economic empowerment movement in connection with climate change. Through Canada’s support, 15 women from a number of African countries involved in climate change projects received training. This helped them assemble their business model and interact with investors and the We Act for Africa African women entrepreneurs’ network.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported the implementation of Morocco’s new vocational training strategy for 2021. During the year, 43 Canadian expert field missions were conducted, corresponding to over 1,500 expert days (man hours). Canada became a key contributor in structuring vocational training reforms in Morocco. This included a skills-based approach and training for employment suitability.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported the International Labour Organization’s project to institutionalize entrepreneurial education by training 420 university professors and trainers from the Office de la Formation professionnelle et de la promotion du travail, including 209 women. The OFPPT and universities trained 13,070 youth. A total of 19,329 vulnerable youth received instruction.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported Morocco in organizing the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech. Canada was the second-largest contributor to the common fund of international donors. It was recognized for its efforts and commitment to the success of that major international event. Canada was also recognized for mobilizing all climate action stakeholders, including civil society, to ensure that the voices of women and the very poor are heard.

Mozambique

Despite years of solid progress and growth, Mozambique continues to rank near the bottom of the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index, ranking 181st out of 188 countries. In Africa, Mozambique is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and it remains dependent on international assistance.

Gender inequalities are entrenched and hamper progress. Maternal mortality remains stubbornly high, compounded by gender-based violence, child marriage, a shortage of sexual reproductive health services and social inequalities. There is, however, a commitment by the Government of Mozambique to improve gender equality. The government plans to do this by addressing important drivers of child, early and forced marriage. It also plans to assure the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, including access to safe abortion.

To help address these challenges, Canada continued to seek lasting, systemic change and improvement of the delivery of services to Mozambicans. Canada continued to have a strong presence in the health sector. It helped promote excellence in maternity hospitals, update civil registration and vital statistic systems, and improve water and sanitation services in the province of Inhambane.

Canada was also a trusted partner in supporting Mozambique’s priorities, outlined in its five-year plan. This was especially the case in human and social development, addressed through a contribution to the health and education sector pooled funds. In order to support inclusive economic opportunities for Mozambicans, Canada has promoted skills training, especially for women. It has also promoted access to finance and business know-how for small businesses.

Key results

In 2016-2017, via the Better Education through Teacher Training and Empowerment for Results project operated by partner CODE, Canada helped improve the quality of teaching and school management in Mozambique. It trained more than 875 teacher-trainers, school directors and school council members (including 330 women) on gender equality, school management and the functions of school councils.

The Skills Training for Employment in Mozambique project, operated by partner Colleges and Institutes Canada, helped Canada reach 3,000 young women and men through a gender-sensitive outreach campaign. This campaign included raising awareness on issues such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, family planning, and drug and alcohol abuse in the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Tete.

With the support and leadership of Canada, Mozambique has made positive strides in improving the health and education of Mozambicans, including women and girls. As a major contributor to health and education sector pooled funds, Canada has helped to improve the following indicators, among others.

Myanmar

Though rich in natural resources, Myanmar continues to be a fragile new democracy that has only recently opened up to the world after decades of isolation and military rule. It has one of the highest levels of poverty in southeast Asia and suffers from ongoing human rights issues, high levels of corruption and macroeconomic instability.

Myanmar is also vulnerable to climate change and is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the region. Its long history of ethnic conflict has also seriously undermined the country’s institutions in all areas, including governance, the economy and social service delivery.

In recent years, Canada’s bilateral development relationship with Myanmar has grown significantly. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Effective Development Cooperation in February 2017. The goal of Canada’s development program has been to:

Canada’s development program is well aligned with both Canada’s and Myanamar’s priorities on projects that:

Key results

A project with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates, which has operated since 2015, focused on women’s economic empowerment. It conducted capacity-building activities with 257 female lead farmers and women producers, savings groups and village leaders in 69 villages. Training in gender equality for men and women through local partner organizations was also successfully delivered in 63 villages, drawing almost 2,000 participants. As well, an innovative call for matching grants with agri-businesses strengthened the project’s private sector partnership approach.

The Canadian-based international organization Forum of Federations, with Canada’s support, is improving the knowledge and understanding of federalism among primary stakeholders. This is making a key contribution to the Myanmar government’s focus on federalism in the context of ongoing historic peace negotiations. In 2016-2017, the forum supported training, in 65 townships, to 274 subnational parliamentarians from five states and to 279 representatives from civil society and the media. 

With Canada's support, Inter Pares is assisting traditionally marginalized communities through 40 local partners to strengthen participation in governance. At the same time, it is building the capacity of people to address their own needs, such as health needs and livelihoods.

Inter Pares developed research materials to inform communities and public policy about key topics, including domestic and sexual violence, customary land tenure, natural resource management and revenue transparency. The project trained 1,752 health workers. Over 2,400 women and men in refugee camps in Thailand took part in livelihoods programs to increase their self-sufficiency skills in preparation for potential repatriation.

Nicaragua

In spite of significant reductions in poverty in recent years, Nicaragua remains one of the poorest countries in the Americas. It has the second-lowest gross domestic product per capita in the western hemisphere, and 30% of the population lives below the national poverty line. Poverty is concentrated in rural areas, with half of rural residents living below the poverty line.

Agriculture employs a third of the workforce, of which over 60% are subsistence farmers with some of the lowest productivity rates in the region. Productivity is hindered by low levels of basic economic infrastructure—particularly access to electricity and irrigation—and very low use of technology in production and post-production processes. In addition, Nicaragua is highly vulnerable to adverse climate events. This disproportionately affects small-scale subsistence farmers.

Sixty-five percent of the country’s population is under the age of 30. They face significant challenges due to limited job opportunities, low levels of education and skills, and pressure to migrate, particularly for those in rural areas.

Canada’s development program in Nicaragua focuses on inclusive growth and poverty reduction. It targets communities and beneficiaries located in the vulnerable and remote Dry Corridor region of the country. Synergies are built into various projects to support subsistence farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs in the area. By supporting the extension of Nicaragua’s electrical grid, Canada is also helping to bring electricity to poor rural and remote communities. Electricity is a key input for both economic and social development.

Key results

Since 2013, support to the World Food Programme’s Purchase for Progress project has seen maize and bean production among participating small-scale farmers most recently increase by 5% and 6% respectively over 2015 yields. Moreover, 47% of farmers obtained higher prices for their products.

Through support to the Rural Electrification in Nicaragua – Phase II project, operated by partner ENATREL - Empresa Nacional de Transmisión Eléctrica, Canada helped Nicaragua's electrical grid expand by 119.6 kilometres. This allowed it to reach some of the country’s poorest and most remote rural communities. This expansion resulted in 34 communities, including 2,592 households and 15,552 rural residents, having access to electricity for the first time.

Another project Canada supported was Service universitaire canadien outre-mer’s Strengthening of Agricultural Production and Farm Management Capacities of Young Farmers project. Between 2011 and 2016, 324 men and 282 women graduated from the Integrated and Ecological Farm Management program run by Nicaragua’s National Technical Institute. During that period, agricultural productivity among participants increased by 34% and incomes rose by 29%.

An encouraging sign of greater economic empowerment among women is the fact that, with Canada’s support, more women are part of the World Food Programme’s Purchase for Progress program in Nicaragua.

They actively participate in the farmers organizations that form part of this program. Women now hold:

Nigeria

Nigeria is a lower income country and ranks 152nd out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. Of a population of 182 million people, about 56 million live in extreme poverty.

Nigerian women, girls and children bear the brunt of poverty. Every single day, Nigeria loses approximately 2,300 children under the age of five and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second-largest contributor to under-five and maternal mortality in the world. One in nine Nigerian children never reach the age of five.

Early pregnancy of malnourished adolescent girls is one of the many factors contributing to the country’s high maternal mortality rates. UNICEF reported the maternal morality rate in 2015 as 814 per 100,000 live births. Sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls are a neglected area in Nigeria. Fewer than 20% of health facilities offer emergency obstetric care. UNICEF reported that in 2014, only 35% of deliveries were attended by skilled birth attendants.

Unemployment resulting from lack of livelihoods also fuels violence and makes youth vulnerable to radicalization by terrorist movements such as Boko Haram.

To address these gaps, Canada’s programming focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable, notably in the north of the country. Programming supports community-level health issues, including sexual and reproductive health. Programming also helps reduce the burden of diseases—for example, by supporting polio eradication. Canada supports agriculture as an engine for inclusive growth for unemployed or underemployed youth. Programming across all sectors targets women and aims to address key barriers preventing women from attaining their full rights.

Key results

The Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development project in Nigeria, which began in 2014, partnered with financial service providers. Together, they developed and adapted nine financial products to meet the needs of young women and men entrepreneurs. Now, 568 entrepreneurs have been able to open bank accounts and receive loans for business start-ups.

Under the World Health Organization’s Polio and Routine Immunization project, which began in 2016, there has been a 17% decrease in non-immunized girls and boys (down from 58,568 to 48,468). This project is active in 78 local government areas in seven targeted Nigerian states,

UNICEF’s 2015-2017 Polio and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services in Hard to Reach Areasproject carried out polio vaccination activities in 1,500 hard-to-reach communities. Targeting four Nigerian states, this vaccination program led to over 180,000 girls and boys receiving the oral polio vaccine. Communities received primary health-care services and, as a result, more than 170,000 girls and boys were screened for malnutrition and over 240,000 girls and boys received Vitamin A supplements.

Pakistan

Pakistan, the world's seventh most populous country, faces numerous challenges in poverty, governance, climate change and human rights. A history of military rule and weak civilian management has eroded democratic institutions and limited the provision of quality social services.

Significant human rights challenges exist, and women and girls suffer disproportionally in this regard. Pakistan ranks 147th out of 188 countries in the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index, and 143rd out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2016 Global Gender Gap Index. 

Canada's development assistance in Pakistan addresses one of the country's main challenges. That is gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and the protection and promotion of their rights, including sexual and reproductive rights. There are significant ongoing opportunities for Canada to promote women's economic empowerment and political participation. Canada can also help strengthen women's organizations and address the high prevalence of gender-based violence.

In addition, Canada supports polio eradication efforts, a key priority from a global health perspective. Most of the world’s remaining polio cases are found in Pakistan. Despite significant progress, continued transmission in Pakistan and Afghanistan highlights the importance of a concerted effort to ensure:

Key results

With Canada’s support, the Kashf Foundation in Pakistan is implementing the Financial Literacy and Business Development Services for Women project. Since 2011, this project has reached 41 districts in the country.

It has trained over one million women in basic financial literacy (124,284 in 2016-2017 alone). More than 25,000 women have graduated from its business incubation lab (5,300 in 2016-2017 alone). The average monthly income of these women has increased 33%, and 85% of them feel their decision-making power regarding household budgets has increased. As well, the project's social media campaign has spread awareness about the detrimental effects of child marriage and child sexual abuse.

Plan International Canada and Plan International are implementing a project, supported by Global Affairs Canada, entitled Increasing Women's Participation in the Dairy Sector in Southern Punjab. It works to empower women by increasing their incomes and market access. The project helps women engage in more efficient cooperative-based milk production activities in a network of 350 farmers milk cooperatives.

Despite a highly challenging and often insecure context, the polio eradication program funded by Canada continues to seek out children in the hardest-to-reach parts of Pakistan. The number of polio cases found in Pakistan continues to decline, dropping from 54 in 2015 to 20 in 2016.

Between September 2016 and March 2017, only 0.6% of the children in the districts most at risk for infection were considered "missed" by the campaign. This compares to 4% of children between September 2015 and March 2016. This increase shows positive campaign results. Only two cases of polio were found between January and March 2017, compared to eight cases between January and March 2016.

Pan-Africa Regional Program

Africa, the fastest growing continent in the last decade, has experienced strong economic and social progress. The continent has also made some advances on regional integration and collaboration. This is essential for the development of the continent. Its economies are small, it has a number of landlocked countries and transboundary issues are important, including those exacerbated by climate change.

However, Africa faces huge challenges. African countries often still rank among the lowest in many areas of human development. Africa’s development challenges are worsened by the continent’s vulnerability to climate change. This is due to its high susceptibility to dramatic environmental shifts (drought, storms and temperature), poor infrastructure (including water infrastructure) and low adaptive capacity. This worsens food insecurity and increases poverty.

Women and girls often suffer the most in Africa. There are unacceptably high rates of gender-based violence. Almost one out of every two African women have experienced some kind of sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Women are also often in vulnerable, low-paid jobs, and unable to actively and productively participate in trade at the national and regional level.

Global Affairs Canada’s Pan-Africa Regional Program supports African-wide poverty reduction and development objectives through regional integration and collaboration. As a regional program, the program looks to the priorities of the African Union to help develop programming that is relevant for the continent.

The program has a strong emphasis on inclusive and green economic growth and, in particular, on intra-African trade, infrastructure, natural resources governance and agriculture. More recently, the program has increased its focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and the environment and climate action.

Key results

Canada continued to support the development of African water projects through the African Water Facility. This facility leveraged $162 million in 2016. Cumulatively, it has leveraged $1.5 billion over 10 years in project financing to help:

By improving border management efficiency in East Africa through TradeMark East Africa, Canada has helped reduce the average time to import or export a container to and from East Africa by 15.6%. This reduces trade costs.

Peru

Peru is a middle-income country that has experienced impressive economic growth rates over the last decade. Poverty declined from 56% in 2005 to 21.8% in 2015.

However, many communities in Peru continue to experience poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and social conflict. Extreme poverty (under US$1.90 a day) declined from 27.6% in 2005 to 9% in 2015. It remains largely concentrated in rural areas, particularly in highland and Amazon regions. Inequality is especially high among Indigenous peoples in rural areas, and women and girls.

Canada’s development program focuses on reducing poverty and inequality. The emphasis is on education, economic diversification and governance to help reduce poverty. Canada supports human rights, including the rights of girls and women, in its programming. The Peru program meets frequently with more than 30 partners on the ground regarding community priorities. The program held consultations on the needs and perspectives of the poor with over 150 individuals and organizations during Global Affairs Canada’s 2016 International Assistance Review.

Key results

Canada focuses its efforts on providing basic and vocational education for marginalized groups, including Indigenous peoples and girls.

Since 2010, Canada has improved access to, and quality of basic education for, over 500,000 primary-level Indigenous students. It has achieved this through improved teacher training and educational materials, consistent with the Peruvian intercultural bilingual education policy that Canada and UNICEF helped to create. Since 2012, 389,361 students—especially women and marginalized youth—have received quality vocational training. This increases their opportunities for employment.

Canada supports human rights standards in its development programming in Peru. Working through Peru’s Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, Canada supported the delivery of fair and inclusive services to marginalized Peruvians. It also informed 21,611 people about their constitutional rights. This included the poor, Indigenous people, children, women and members of the LGBTI community.

Canada supports economic diversification for small agricultural producers, cooperatives, and micro and small enterprises. Since 2013, improved agricultural practices have led to a 30% increase in the annual net income of 4,000 family farms. Since 2015, more small agricultural producers have participated in the formal economy. One means of achieving this was through training for 355 small farmers (204 female) to improve their agricultural methods and increase their access to credit via 474 microcredit loans. In addition, the abilities of more than 900 women engaged in agricultural activities and entrepreneurship were strengthened.

Philippines

The Philippines is a lower middle-income county in transition to middle-income status with an important exception—the region of Mindanao. This region is experiencing a high degree of fragility, security challenges and significant poverty.

Despite almost a decade of strong economic growth, there remains a significant issue of inequitable distribution of wealth. In 2016, over 25 million Filipinos were living below the national poverty line (24% of the population). In fact, 12 million people were living in extreme poverty (12.5% of the population).

Canada’s Philippines program is focused on improving opportunities for sustainable and inclusive economic growth for poor women and men in the Philippines. This includes improving the enabling environment for all businesses. There is a specific focus on supporting women micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs with financial literacy and links to markets. The program has also worked to help youth improve their chances of landing their first jobs by assisting in life skills training and a job placement program.

Since 2015, the program has helped those affected by 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan to rebuild their livelihoods. This has included the introduction of climate-smart agriculture, value chain development and other climate adaptation efforts. The Philippines has a well-developed women’s rights and gender equity network that will play a key role in future programming to fight poverty and inequality in the Philippines. Recent programming has also focused on growth that works for everyone.

Key results

Through Canada’s four post-typhoon projects, 20,520 beneficiaries (67% women) received skills training toward community-based enterprise development and 13,251 beneficiaries received financial literacy training (69% women). In addition 1,131 beneficiaries (65% women) received sustainable and resilient farming and fishing technologies and 828 beneficiaries (60% women) received technical assistance in managing savings and loan programs.

Through the Typhoon Haiyan Reconstruction Assistance project with the global humanitarian organization Adventist Development and Relief Agency:

The Fostering Inclusive Growth project, conducted with the Asian Development Bank, provided funds through the Tourism Industry Skills Grant Scheme to four regions. This project benefited 48 enterprises and trained 7,550 tourism personnel (47.3% women). It exceeded its target to train 5,000 personnel by more than 50%.

Senegal

Senegal has acquired a reputation for its vibrant democracy. This follows decades of peaceful political transitions marked by freedom of the press, progress in gender equality and freedom of association. In 2012, the government proposed an ambitious strategy, the Emerging Senegal Plan, which aims to accelerate Senegal’s path to emerging market economy status.

The government has undertaken major reforms and the country is making progress. However, despite recent gains, Senegal still ranks only 162nd out of 188 countries in the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index. The low quality of education results in high failure and dropout rates, especially among girls. The large proportion of youth in the population poses a challenge to training and puts pressure on the labour market.

Practices harmful to the health of women and girls persist and continue to undermine the rights of women and girls. This includes early marriages and pregnancies, and limited access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite a substantial increase in agricultural production, Senegal is struggling with the effects of climate change. These effects are threatening the productivity of the country’s agricultural sector.

To overcome these challenges, Canada’s country program directs its assistance to sectors that meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people. This is based on the vision of the Emerging Senegal Plan. Canada will assist in the areas of:

Key results

In the education sector, Canada’s assistance helped to distribute 1.5 million textbooks in 2016-2017. This improved access to, and the quality of, primary education for students in grades 5 and 6 throughout Senegal.

With regard to governance, Canada plays a key role in supporting the implementation of the Emerging Senegal Plan. It also supports the implementation of major reforms to improve the performance of Senegal’s public institutions and the growth of its economy. The Emerging Senegal Plan has secured general budget support. As a result, Senegal was able to contain inflation and reduce the public deficit to a level close to the West African Economic and Monetary Union target. The country also achieved economic growth of 6.6%.

Canada is also helping the most vulnerable populations in Senegal to increase their income from agricultural activities. More efficient and environmentally friendly food-processing technologies have now been introduced. Thanks to this, Canada-supported farmers in Casamance have increased their annual revenues by more than 25% over the past year.

South Africa

Despite a progressive constitution and 23 years of democratic rule, South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. Key challenges include high levels of poverty, weak public sector capacity and high unemployment. This is coupled with an unskilled labour force and unequal access to basic public services.

The perception of corruption and government inability to provide equitable access to basic public services has eroded public confidence. This perception has worsened in the face of economic challenges. The result has been increasingly violent protests, xenophobia and a fractured social compact.

While South Africa has made strides in establishing a strong legislative and policy environment to support gender equality and empower women, there remain significant challenges. This is particularly true in the area of sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination. South Africa has one of the highest rates of violence against women and children in the world. Few resources are devoted to prevention and prosecution, or support to victims.

Canada’s development assistance in South Africa focuses on inclusive governance. It is helping the Government of South Africa to use its resources transparently and effectively to deliver essential public services to its citizens, particularly vulnerable groups. Current governance programming is supporting improved social housing, local green economic development and enhanced pediatric care services. Ultimately, this helps reduce poverty and inequality.

Key results

In 2016-2017, experts from the Toronto-based SickKids Foundation helped the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Johannesburg enhance the efficiency and safety of its radiology unit. This was done through better equipment management procedures and innovative tools. These two changes will improve processing time and reduce the use of sedation for children requiring magnetic resonance imaging.

In 2016-2017, South Africa’s Government Technical Advisory Centre provided access to training and expertise to 35 partners within all levels of government. This helped improve program and project management, organizational development, strategic planning and performance budgeting.

For South Africa’s burgeoning cities, climate change impacts are expected to impose greater burdens on disadvantaged urban residents and municipal governments. From 2016 to 2019, a team in South Africa, with support from the IDRC, is developing planning and design guidelines known as the Green Book. These will serve public and private sector planners and engineers by addressing the current lack of guidelines for urban settlements.

The team is highlighting climate risks and identifying locally appropriate adaptation options for small and medium-sized urban settlements. They are actively engaging stakeholders and analyzing the costs and benefits of adaptation options, including gender implications.

South Sudan

South Sudan remains one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Protracted armed conflict and ethnic violence, widespread human rights violations and rapid economic decline have continued to increase humanitarian and development needs in recent years. South Sudan ranks 181st out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index.

Health indicators are among the worst in the world and the literacy rate among adults is only 27%. Food production has collapsed and food insecurity and malnutrition have reached unprecedented levels. More than one in three people in South Sudan are now thought to be severely food insecure.

Women and girls face particular challenges, including significant levels of sexual and gender-based violence and an extremely high maternal mortality rate. A woman in South Sudan has an approximately one in seven chance of dying in childbirth.

Global Affairs Canada’s South Sudan development program is focused on meeting the basic needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. This includes support for the delivery of gender-sensitive basic health services, with a focus on the needs and rights of women and girls. It also includes support for efforts to increase local food production, improve livelihoods and strengthen resilience to hunger.

Key results

The multi-donor South Sudan Health Pooled Fund, supported in part by Global Affairs Canada, has played a key role in increasing access to basic health services for vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls. Since 2012-2013, the Health Pooled Fund’s support to over 1,000 health facilities has helped to:

In 2016 alone, over 78,000 children under one year of age were fully vaccinated for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada, through the UN Population Fund, helped 65 midwifery students graduate from national health training institutes. Since the project’s start in 2012-2013, 307 health-care workers, including 238 midwives, have graduated from Global Affairs Canada-supported health training institutes. This has significantly enhanced access to quality, gender-sensitive, health services for vulnerable women of reproductive age.

Since 2015-2016, Global Affairs Canada has worked with partners to address the food needs, protect the livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of over 475,000 vulnerable South Sudanese. Global Affairs Canada carried out these efforts through the World Food Programme, World Vision, CARE Canada and Oxfam.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada, through Journalists for Human Rights, provided support and mentoring to 46 journalists (including 15 female journalists) and 31 female freelancers and bloggers. They also helped produce 166 stories, including 32 radio reports on human rights, with a special focus on gender issues. The print stories reached an estimated audience of 8,000 daily readers while the radio stories reached an estimated audience of one million.

In South Sudan, Canada contributed $950,000 to prevent violence while supporting dialogue, reconciliation and conflict resolution in local communities in 2016-2017.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a lower middle-income country that has made considerable economic progress since the end of the decades-long armed conflict in 2009. Despite relatively good overall health and education standards, though, Sri Lanka's developmental gains are uneven.

There are significant regional disparities with pockets of poverty primarily in the northern, central and eastern provinces. Competitiveness and economic growth prospects remain tenuous. This is due in part to labour issues such as a shortage of skilled labour, low productivity, low female participation in the formal workforce and youth unemployment.

Sri Lanka also faces ongoing and significant challenges for achieving long-term reconciliation, peace and stability. This includes the need to build sound systems of governance and ensure the inclusion of minorities, as well as marginalized and vulnerable groups, in all spheres of life. Women and girls face additional challenges, including the high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence. Women’s rights organizations at the local level also lack the resources to engage effectively in advocacy.

In 2016-2017, Global Affairs Canada’s Sri Lanka development program supported the economic well-being and social integration of the poor and most vulnerable. This includes women and girls and those affected by Sri Lanka’s conflict. Canada’s support helped strengthen:

Key results

Canada continued to support the Agro-economic Development Project in three districts of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. In 2016-2017, the project built the capacities of nine agriculture producer organizations and their 9,281 members, of which 2,347 were women. By providing business development services, technical skills training and agricultural inputs, Canada is helping the organizations and their members to increase production, processing and sales. Most of those receiving help were displaced by the civil war that ended in 2009.

Since 2014, Canada’s ongoing support to the Advancing Specialized Skills for Economic Transformation project in Sri Lanka has strengthened the vocational skills of 2,835 youth (including 743 women). It has also resulted in 1,521 private sector job placements (including 434 for women) in trades such as hospitality and construction. These results have been achieved by supporting the revision of vocational training courses to better reflect business priorities, training instructors and providing training to youth.

Syria

Violence in Syria is ongoing, with little sign of the conflict abating. There are some 6.3 million internally displaced people, and humanitarian needs are increasing. The level of destruction and collapse of social services have impacted the ability of communities to maintain livelihoods, essential services and productive assets.

The conflict has radically reshaped the demographics of a region with an already delicate ethnic and religious balance, and scarce resources. Refugees from Syria and Iraq have poured across the borders of neighbouring states to escape fighting. The majority are being absorbed into local communities in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. As a result, the populations of towns that were already hard-pressed to provide essential services doubled and tripled.

Canada has a three-year strategy for comprehensive security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact on Jordan and Lebanon. As part of that, Canada’s development programming for Syria focuses on:

Given immediate needs inside Syria and the ongoing challenges to delivering long-term development assistance to the people of Syria, Canada’s support is heavily focused on shorter-term, life-saving humanitarian assistance.  

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada committed $100 million for the next three years to the UNHCR in response to the Syria crisis. With Canadian support, the UNHCR is assisting thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons with cash assistance, protection, health and education services in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

In 2016-2017, Canada’s development assistance strengthened the capacities of approximately 150,000 inhabitants (including internally displaced persons) in a district coping with the negative impacts of the ongoing conflict. Health services for these inhabitants were improved through upgrades to:

Food security and economic livelihoods in the district were improved as a result of 1,669 rural farmers receiving vital agriculture inputs. As well, the district’s capacity to deal with mass casualty incidents was improved through emergency preparedness and response training and equipment for 11 community emergency response teams (190 members, of whom 76 were female and 114 were male).

In 2016-2017, Canada, together with Finland, supported preparation of the UNDP report Never Too Early to Plan. The report examined lessons learned and good practices from past reconstruction efforts, which could help strengthen planning for post-conflict Syria.

In 2016-2017, through stabilization programming, Canada supported the Syria Civil Defence volunteers (the White Helmets) in Syria to protect civilians and reduce conflict-related displacement through the development and expansion of early warning air raid systems. The White Helmets are assessed as having saved many thousands of lives through their emergency responses.

In 2016-2017, Canadian humanitarian assistance to Syria provided food assistance to more than 6.6 million people. Along with other donors, Canada provided funding in 2016 to UNICEF, which reached over 1.7 million people with emergency water, and provided over 14 million people with safe water treatment.

Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in Africa. It has enjoyed a decade of high growth and falling poverty rates. Solid gains have been achieved in areas such as health, education, child mortality and water access. That being said, Tanzania still ranks 152nd out of 188 countries on the UNDP’s 2016 Human Development Index.

The number of people living in poverty is persistently high and disparity is increasing between rural and urban areas. Several factors risk undermining sustained and inclusive growth, including:

Tanzania is committed to reaching targeted SDGs by 2030 and middle-income country status by 2025. It intends to do this in part through policies aimed at industrializing the country’s economy.

In 2016-2017, Canada’s assistance to Tanzania sought to reduce poverty and inequality. It did this by promoting healthier, better educated citizens and supporting policies, programs and projects that will generate growth that works for everyone. Canada’s assistance in health is delivered through enhanced health systems and services, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. Canadian help specifically addresses reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.

Through education programming, Canada supports teacher training as a strategy to increase the quality of education. Inclusive growth has been targeted to supporting SMEs, skills development, and accountable and transparent governance of natural resources, and improving the business environment.

Key results

Canada’s support for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health has helped offer surgical repair to 1,012 women suffering from fistula. This liberated them from the stigma associated with fistula, a condition that can leave a woman incontinent. Also, over 11,000 adolescents have received sexual and reproductive health services based on their needs.

Through the strengthening of health systems, 1,296 health care providers were trained, surpassing the target of 1,000 by 30%. The neonatal mortality rate in 22 public facilities, supported by Canadian programming, decreased from 13.6 to 13.18 per 1,000 live births in the 2012-2017 reporting period. Although the maternal mortality rate increased from 88 to 91.99 per 100,000 live births compared to the previous reporting period, it is still far lower than Tanzania’s national average of 556.

Canada supported the Government of Tanzania’s efforts to upgrade teacher training colleges to enhance the quality of teachers graduating into the profession. Efforts focused on assisting in procurement. Seven out of eight contracts were signed, with construction starting at four colleges.

During 2016, Canada’s support helped to improve access to financing services for the poor. As a result, a SME financing portal reached 117,000 SMEs. As well, 1,000 agro-dealers that would not otherwise have been deemed credit-worthy received funding from an agri-finance scheme.

This scheme was developed through the National Microfinance Bank and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. The scheme also launched an innovative mobile banking solution that led to 775,685 new bank accounts being opened. Around half of the new bank accounts were for individuals who previously had no bank account.

In addition, gender equality results saw more women accessing vocational training programs, including in non-traditional programs. In some short programs, women accounted for 48% of graduates.

Support to government institutions working to improve the extractive sector resulted in an increase in tax and non-tax revenue collection by the state. This enabled Tanzania to better deliver on its development agenda.

Ukraine

Following Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukraine faced daunting political and economic challenges. Though Ukraine has achieved significant progress, the country’s democratic and economic reform efforts are being heavily impacted by the protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine. It not only poses a threat to the country’s territorial integrity, but also to its social, economic and political development.

Canada increased its development assistance to Ukraine, aiming to reduce poverty in the country by supporting efforts to stabilize the economy and reduce citizens’ vulnerability. Canada’s assistance also aims to strengthen the country’s democracy through increased citizens’ participation, strengthened independent media and judiciary, and promotion of the rule of law. Through its current development programming, Canada is one of the central supporters of Ukraine’s democratic and economic reform efforts, particularly in critical areas such as governance, fiscal and agricultural reforms.

Key results

In 2016-2017, Canada worked to combat gender stereotypes and discrimination by strengthening gender equality standards in journalism through the Strengthening Investigative Reportingproject. This project supported the development and implementation of gender equality policies in five partner newsrooms. This resulted in a steady increase in gender-balanced and inclusive media content, reaching a prospective 14 million viewers.

In 2016-2017, Canada supported the expansion of Ukraine’s legal aid system to include over 500 local legal offices across the country to provide free legal aid services, including to the most marginalized and vulnerable citizens. This increased protection of their rights and improved their access to justice. During this period, more than 387,000 clients received legal assistance on civil and administrative matters.

In 2016-2017, the Government of Ukraine recognized the success of the juvenile justice model and adopted a national law on probation to expand the model to adults. Canada supported collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice to introduce the first probation system and establish youth attendance centres in six cities across Ukraine. These centres have already provided much-needed rehabilitation and integration services to 400 children.

In 2016-2017, an estimated 16,700 people residing in 5,568 households who lost their agricultural assets during the conflict in eastern Ukraine received critical farming materials. These materials included seeds and food for animals to improve food security and livelihoods of the conflict-affected population.

Vietnam

Vietnam has implemented market reforms and achieved significant economic growth and poverty reduction over the past decade. Nevertheless, as Vietnam remains a one-party state, corruption and excessive regulations and state controls continue to constrain development.

Canada has ongoing concerns regarding rights to freedom of expression and association. Significant pockets of poverty remain, concentrated mainly in the northern border areas and central Vietnam. It is also one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Since Vietnam became eligible for Canadian development assistance in 1990, Canada has contributed over $1.3 billion toward projects. In 2015-2016, total Canadian funding to Vietnam was $73.77 million.

Canada’s development program responds to the Government of Vietnam’s demand for specialized technical assistance, and focuses primarily on programming in support of inclusive green growth. All projects also address gender equality. Current projects aim to:

Key results

In 2016-2017, several projects strengthened agricultural value chains, including support for the formation of cooperatives. For example, the Vietnam Cooperative Enterprise Development Project, operated by partner SOCODEVI, recently established cooperatives in targeted value chains, such as pomelo and dragon fruit. These cooperatives helped to improve the lives of women and men farmers. 

In 2016-2017, Farmer Field School programs helped improve management capacity, and agricultural and environmental practices, for 858 households. Through an agricultural partnership with Ha Tinh province, household earnings per crop among participating farmers have increased dramatically since the beginning of the project.

The Vietnam Women’s Union has been a partner in a number of projects. With Canada’s support, the union has assisted women-owned SMEs in the province of Sóc Trăng. It has also delivered training on financial management, household business training and the gender-sensitive division of labour for coffee farmers in the Central Highlands.

The Vietnam Skills for Employment Project brings best practices of the Canadian community college model to modernize Vietnam’s technical and vocational training system. Two training centres have been established to support college leaders as they develop new types of competency-based programs. This will produce knowledge and skills needed for Vietnam’s rapidly evolving economy.

Canada helped expand the space for civil society to make important and growing contributions to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development. Through the Media Partnerships for Improved Economic Policies project, 2,300 participants (half of them women) benefited from training on policy dialogue. The journalists, civil society organization representatives, government officers and others who attended increased their ability to contribute to policy development.

West Bank and Gaza

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza face significant governance, economic and humanitarian challenges largely related to the unresolved conflict with Israel and internal Palestinian divisions. Poverty is widespread, food insecurity is a key problem and unemployment is high, especially among women and youth. According to the UN, nearly half of the population living in the West Bank and Gaza requires humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. Palestinian refugees are particularly vulnerable, enduring higher unemployment and poverty rates than non-refugees.

To respond to these needs in the West Bank and Gaza, Canada supports efforts to:

This assistance reinforces diplomatic efforts to support the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace achieved through a negotiated two-state solution.

Key results

As a result of Canadian funding, over 100,000 of the most vulnerable Palestinians received distributions of fortified food. Meanwhile, 57,000 people in Gaza and 70,000 in the West Bank received electronic vouchers, allowing them to purchase locally produced nutritious foods from local shops. This created secondary economic benefits.

By supporting Palestinian refugees through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Canada contributed to providing:

As a result of Canadian assistance in the West Bank, a new courthouse was constructed and equipped, and full court proceedings and activities began in November 2016. This contributes to improving Palestinians’ access to justice.

Through a project that rehabilitated and upgraded 14 kilometres of a major roadway in the West Bank, Canada helped enable greater access to markets for Palestinian businesses. Travel time for commercial vehicles has been significantly reduced and more commercial vehicles can be on the road to transport materials and agricultural produce.

Official development assistance by department

Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada is the lead department responsible for providing Canada’s international assistance. The department works with country partners, key multilateral partners, Canadian organizations, private sector partners, other donor countries and other government departments to deliver development and peace and security-related programming. In times of disaster, crises or severe conflict, the department provides humanitarian assistance to save lives and alleviate suffering. Global Affairs Canada undertook an extensive review of its international assistance throughout 2016-2017 and released the new Feminist International Assistance Policy on June 9, 2017.

Department of Finance

The Department of Finance provides funding to the World Bank Group to achieve results in all of the Government of Canada’s development priority areas. This includes core funding to the International Development Association, the part of the World Bank Group focused on offering 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 provides support to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative to help decrease debt-service payments in developing countries.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada plays a significant role in upholding Canada’s international obligations and humanitarian tradition. The department engages both domestic and international stakeholders to develop and implement timely, efficient and effective refugee protection policies and programs. Promoting human rights and protecting refugees has been a cornerstone of Canada’s humanitarian traditions since the Second World War. In 2016-2017, Canada resettled 13,070 government-assisted refugees, 16,600 privately sponsored refugees and 2,562 Blended Visa Office-Referred refugees from refugee populations all over the world. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is continuing to move forward with multi-year commitments to resettle government-assisted refugees. Targeting specific populations over several years allows the department to focus its efforts, maximize resources and maintain the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and emerging crises, when necessary. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s multi-year commitments will help Canada improve refugee outcomes, as the department will provide communities and settlement organizations with group-specific information in advance of refugees’ arrival in Canada.

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. The IDRC’s work focuses on three thematic areas: agriculture and environment, inclusive economies, and technology and innovation.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police deploys 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.

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada supports various multilateral organizations to assist developing countries in improving environmental conditions and aiding climate change adaptation and mitigation. Such actions improve the lives of vulnerable populations in developing countries. In 2016-2017, the department provided $16.63 million of official development assistance (ODA), mainly through the support of multilateral environmental organizations that provide technical cooperation and capacity building to developing countries. Environment and Climate Change Canada also contributes to various channels of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Department of National Defence

The Department of National Defence provides humanitarian and certain capacity-building support to developing countries that qualifies as ODA. In 2016-2017, this included the deployment of the Canadian Disaster Assessment Team as part of Canada’s humanitarian relief efforts for an earthquake in Ecuador and a hurricane in Haiti. Further, the department continued deployment for Operation PROTEUS. Through Operation PROTEUS, the Canadian Armed Forces supported the United States Security Coordinator’s efforts to encourage coordination on security matters between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and to build the security capacity of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.

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. In 2016-2017, this included helping developing countries strengthen their tax capacity to better mobilize domestic resources, and to participate, on an equal footing, in the global tax dialogue to benefit from the implementation of international tax standards.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada represents Canada at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and provides technical expertise to support implementation of international health regulations in the Americas. The agency’s involvement with PAHO helped strengthen the overall capacity of member states to detect, assess, notify and respond to public health events and emergencies. The Public Health Agency of Canada also provided resources to support a variety of capacity-building and knowledge-sharing programs. This included efforts to better manage HIV/AIDS in Africa, enhance laboratory capacity for the Zika virus in the Caribbean region and strengthen national food safety regulatory capacity in the Caribbean Community.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada supports the International Telecommunication Union, a 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 negotiates and implements labour provisions of free trade agreements to protect labour rights and principles and to enforce domestic labour laws. The department, via its Labour Program, provides ODA to help partner countries build their capacity to implement existing labour legislation and modernize labour policy and administration. Financial resources are provided to international organizations and regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to implement projects on behalf of Canada. The assistance provided by Employment and Social Development Canada fosters better enforcement of national labour laws and greater respect for internationally recognized labour rights and principles.

Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada is an established leader in science and technology in the fields of energy, forests, and minerals and metals. The department uses its expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of Canada’s landmass. Natural Resources Canada, through the Building National Geoscience Capacity in Ukraine project, supported the National Geological Survey Organizations of Ukraine to produce, manage and disseminate online geoscience data, information and knowledge of their territory.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada’s ODA activities consist of Canada’s annual core contribution to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Fund, Canada’s membership dues to the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, and Canada’s membership dues to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Canada Post

Canada Post transmits ODA-assessed contributions to the Universal Postal Union. Part of these contributions are used to provide technical assistance to developing countries to reduce the postal divide between industrialized and developing countries and enable the transfer of know-how.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency contributed to the Global Food Safety Partnership at the World Bank to improve food safety through capacity building and public-private partnership in developing countries. The agency also provided technical assistance to various government departments of developing countries to manage food safety risk and increase their knowledge in food safety. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also funded technical assistance to address non-compliance issues in foods exported by developing countries and emerging economies to Canada.

Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada provides technical assistance to strengthen statistical capacity in developing countries by working bilaterally, regionally and through institutions like the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century. In 2016-2017, Statistics Canada organized several study visits, seminars and workshops to strengthen the foundation for more evidence-based policy decisions for improved economic growth and socio-economic living conditions in developing countries and regions. Canada’s active participation in the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), including hosting the fifth meeting of the IAEG-SDGs, provided necessary expertise for the development of global indicators for measuring the Sustainable Development Goals.

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint contributed to Canada’s ODA in 2016-2017 through the donation of computers to elementary schools in the Philippines via the World Computer Exchange.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada. Areas of activity include trademarks, patents, copyright, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies. During 2016-2017, the office responded to 13 technical assistance projects. This assistance was provided in the form of search and examination reports for patent applications. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office responded to several requests from Asia and South America, the largest beneficiary regions, as well as from individual countries, such as Antigua and Barbuda.

Health Canada

Health Canada works with other federal departments and agencies, NGOs, other countries, Indigenous partners and the private sector to collaborate on regulatory efforts. In 2016-2017, Health Canada assisted the World Health Organization and the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum to build their capacity, and improve their harmonization of practices in developing vaccines.

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