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Canada's Development Program at a Glance 2013–2014

At the heart of Canada's efforts for a better world

Canada's Engagement in the World

In the 2013–2014 fiscal year, Canada invested a total of $4.6 billion in official development assistance. Canada's whole-of-government approach to development, which encompasses 13 federal departments and agencies, ensures that our engagement is multifaceted, wide-reaching and delivers concrete results.

Canada is also supporting innovation and considering all options to break down the last persistent barriers to eliminating global poverty.

Canada's five priority areas for action:

Canada is also a leader in:

  • Improving maternal, newborn and child heath
  • Responding quickly and effectively to international humanitarian crises

Canada's international assistance is focused in 25  countries:

Canada's support has yielded important results in all parts of the world

Key Results from Development Programming

Through its development assistance program, Canada contributes to:

  • alleviating poverty;
  • creating a favourable environment for long-term prosperity and security;
  • providing relief in humanitarian crises; and
  • providing a tangible expression of Canadian values and principles, such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Current countries of focus

Distribution of Canadian Official Development Assistance

Canadian ODA* by Continent, 2013–2014

  • Africa 44%
  • Asia 22%
  • Americas 12%
  • Middle East 9%
  • Eastern Europe 2%
  • Unallocated 11%

Source: DFATD
* as per definition in ODA Accountability Act


  • The modern Commonwealth is an association of 53 countries. It is the world's oldest political association of sovereign states. The Commonwealth contributes to international efforts to promote democracy and prevent conflict.
  • Canada's support for the Commonwealth of Learning contributes to helping member governments provide increased access to affordable, quality education and training opportunities for those who need it most, particularly women and girls, using open, distance and technology-based approaches.

La Francophonie   

  • Canada also plays an important role toward advancing democracy through organizations such as La Francophonie, where it can exercise its influence in the areas of language and culture, economics and new technologies, and international development.
  • Canada is the second biggest donor to La Francophonie, after France.


  • Five years after the earthquake in Haiti, progress has been made:
    • 20,000 families (more than 70,000 people) displaced by the 2010 earthquake have been resettled in better housing.
    • More than 975,00 girls and boys have had access to basic education since 2010.


  • 6,000 smallholder farmers in drought-prone regions have been trained in sustainable agricultural practices and technologies.


  • With Canada's support, more than 20 dialogue spaces were created to bring together various stakeholder groups to encourage the peaceful resolution of conflicts related to natural resources. Almost 14,500 individuals—the majority of them public officials— were also trained on conflict early warning, resolution and mediation.


  • Canada has supported dialogue among community leaders and MPs throughout the country to raise awareness of the harmful effects of child, early and forced marriage, and to identify practical and sustainable solutions.
  • These community dialogues were rolled out in all 10 regions of Ghana and attracted an average of 500 members per community.


  • Canada supported the electoral process by funding the deployment of 26 Canadian election observers for the repeat parliamentary elections held in five districts in December 2013. The observers assessed the conduct of the elections and provided recommendations aimed at improving the process for the May 2014 presidential election.

Syria / Iraq 

  • Canada is supporting religious minorities in Syria and Iraq
  • The No Lost Generation initiative is ensuring that more than 600,000 conflict-affected children and their families in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt receive education, psychological support and monetary assistance.
  • In June 2014, Iraq was added to the list of Canada's development-country partners.
  • Canada is providing protection and assistance to more than 2 million internally displaced Iraqis, 7.6 million internally displaced Syrians in Syria, and an additional 3.2 million conflict-affected Syrians in neighbouring countries.


  • 21,525 children were vaccinated against polio.
  • More than 18,000 men, women and children received training in water and sanitation, hygiene and nutrition.


  • Canada's support for “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector” will provide technical support to Bangladesh's National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire and Building Safety, while ensuring a coordinated approach to addressing the complex and serious challenges facing Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry, and to securing lasting improvements in working conditions in the country, in line with international labour standards.


  • Canada has been supporting humanitarian organizations in the provision of assistance to people affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. Results include:
    • 3.7 million people reached with food assistance;
    • 2.3 million children vaccinated; and
    • 1.4 million people received financial assistance to procure essential household items, rebuild their homes and restore their livelihoods.


  • With Canada's support, access to quality early education has increased from 8.5% in 2012 to 29% in 2013, and the number of children entering Grade 1 has increased from 7.7% in 2012 to 19.4% in 2013.
  • Some 53 facilitators have been trained in child care and education, while 8,000 parents, village leaders and teachers have been engaged in community conversations to promote access to quality education.


  • Canada contributed to an increase in the number of women giving birth at health facilities instead of at home, from an average of 50% in 2013 to 72% in 2014.
  • Tanzania has already reached its Millennium Development Goal target of reducing child mortality to 54 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Canada has improved the health of women and children by working with Canadian and global partners

Canada supports women and children

Canada is a world leader in promoting maternal, newborn and child health, and it remains our top development priority. Thanks to the Muskoka Initiative, and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining, and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday. To build on these successes, Prime Minister Harper reaffirmed Canada's leadership in May 2014 by hosting the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm's Reach summit and committing an additional $3.5 billion over the next five years.

Canada has also been a leading advocate for the ending of child, early, and forced marriage of girls—a harmful practice, still prevalent in some parts of the world, which not only jeopardizes the health of girls, but also denies them their right to a childhood and disrupts their access to education.

More than 300 million people receive iodized salt each year to improve brain function and health.

More than 180 million children under five years old receive two doses of vitamin A each year.


Increasing access to quality basic education is a key priority for Canada and is in line with the government's commitments to Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals. Work in this area also aims to increase access to relevant learning opportunities for youth, with special attention to gender equality.

Child, early and forced marriage

Canada has played an important role in bringing global attention and action to ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). In 2013, Canada and Zambia co-led the first-ever stand-alone resolution on CEFM at the United Nations General Assembly, with the resolution being adopted by a consensus of 109 co-sponsors. Canada has intensified programming efforts to tackle the causes and consequences of the practice in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

Nearly 2 million pregnant women receive iron and folic acid supplements for  healthier pregnancies each year.

Canada has provided an unprecedented amount of humanitarian assistance

Disbursed $262 million in 2013–2014 in response to the crisis in Syria—for conflict-affected Syrian in Syria and in neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Responded to 25 natural disasters, including heavy flooding in Laos, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica.

Allocated $90 million in response to Typhoon Haiyan through the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

Contributed to efforts in 54 countries experiencing complex emergencies, from Pakistan to South Sudan, including leading contribution efforts to combatting the Ebola outbreak.

Working with the private sector as partners in development

The private sector is the driving force behind economic growth and is an essential partner in our efforts to achieve meaningful development outcomes that raise people out of poverty and put them on the road to prosperity. The private sector is the primary source of economic growth, job creation, government revenue to finance essential public services, and the goods and services required to improve quality of life.

Some examples of how the Government of Canada is strengthening the role of the private sector as a partner in development include:

  • Funding for 480 projects under the Sustainable Economic Growth priority
  • Funding for over 220 initiatives involving private sector organizations
    (Foreign and Canadian)


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