Canada’s development assistance for ASEAN

During the past five decades, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has achieved significant results in improving the lives of people in Southeast Asia. Among other things, ASEAN has helped reduce the percentage of people living in extreme poverty and in urban slums, reduce maternal mortality, and increase primary school enrolment and the percentage of women parliamentarians. Nevertheless, as the ASEAN region moves forward with increased integration, challenges remain, including those associated with natural disasters and rising income inequality across the region.

As 1 of 10 ASEAN dialogue partners, Canada has an important role to play in advancing ASEAN’s community-building objectives under each of three themes: economic, socio-cultural and political-security. Canada’s international development assistance to the region helps strengthen the regional policy agenda and reinforces ASEAN institutions, organizations and networks in addressing shared regional development priorities.

ASEAN regional development program    

Funding under the ASEAN Regional Development Program is a key part of the international development assistance that Canada provides to ASEAN and its member states. Program funding focuses on the following Canadian development priorities:

  • supporting inclusive and green growth that works for everyone through initiatives that support small and medium-sized enterprises and reduce the potential impact of natural disasters;
  • promoting and protecting human rights, inclusive governance, and peaceful pluralism, particularly with respect to vulnerable groups such as women and migrant workers.

Canada’s development programs are aligned with the ASEAN community building objectives set out in the 2016-2020 ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action.

Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED)

Quick facts 

  • Canada has provided immediate assistance in response to humanitarian crises across ASEAN and has funded various regional disaster risk reduction initiatives in support of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
  • In 2014-2015, Canada provided $250.69 million in official development assistance to ASEAN and its member states through all channels. 

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