Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada's Official Development Assistance — 2013-2014

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Message from the Minister

Image of Minister ParadisThe Honourable
Christian Paradis

Canada stands tall on the world stage with a strong and principled foreign policy. Our development work and humanitarian assistance play a key role in Canada’s global engagement and the results are a source of pride for all Canadians. Canada’s whole-of-government approach to development, which encompasses 12 federal departments and agencies, in addition to the amalgamated Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, ensures our engagement is multifaceted, wide-reaching and delivers concrete results.

Canada is a world leader in promoting maternal, newborn and child health, and it remains our number one development priority. Before Prime Minister Stephen Harper drew attention to the importance of maternal, newborn and child health, the world was falling short on reducing child mortality and curbing maternal death. Thanks to the Muskoka Initiative, and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday.

Our common goal has not yet been reached, but it is within arm’s reach. That is why the Prime Minister reaffirmed Canada’s leadership this May by hosting the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit in Toronto, and committing an additional $3.5 billion over the next five years. With Canada’s continued leadership, together, we can eliminate preventable deaths among women, children and newborns, and save the millions of lives that hang in the balance.

This past year Canada also leveraged our development programming to help countries move from poverty to prosperity by promoting sustainable, private-sector-led economic growth. In the developing world, economic growth stories are development stories. They are about jobs, better education and training; about greater access to services, especially health care; and about better revenue and wealth distribution.

Our government is supporting innovation and considering all options to break down the last, persistent barriers to eliminating global poverty. We are working with more partners, old and new, to diversify our toolbox, advance sustainable solutions, and create jobs both at home and abroad.

It is these kinds of initiatives that I intend to champion in my role as Chair of the World Economic Forum-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Redesigning Development Finance Initiative Steering Committee. Canada has once again been recognized for its strong fiscal management, and through this committee, I will promote a more systematic approach to testing and scaling up financial innovations. That is the only way we can accelerate progress on our development goals and shape the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Canada has a particularly important role to play in La Francophonie due to our shared history and language. I have hosted Francophonie economic round tables across the country and around the world to promote sustainable economic growth and the importance of an economic strategy for La Francophonie. Canada will continue to champion our strong French heritage and values at the International Organization of La Francophonie and across the globe.

A more prosperous, democratic, equitable and peaceful world is in everyone’s best interests. Canadians can continue to be proud of what their government has done to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

The Honourable Christian Paradis, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie


Canada’s official development assistance (ODA) plays a critical role in improving the lives of those most in need around the world. Through our ODA, we reduce extreme poverty, create environments conducive to long-term prosperity and security, and provide relief in the context of humanitarian crises. Canada’s contributions provide a tangible expression of Canadian values and principles, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

In order to advance its aid effectiveness agenda and to ensure that international assistance resources are delivered with a clear focus, the Government of Canada established five priority areas for action: stimulating sustainable economic growth, increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, advancing democracy and promoting stability and security. 

Canada advances its priorities by working closely with a variety of partners. The government works with Canadian and international non-governmental organizations and private sector partners to leverage their development expertise in support of poverty reduction. Canada also works closely with key multilateral development institutions, global partners and international humanitarian assistance partners to tackle critical humanitarian needs and development challenges that are too large for one country to manage.

We work closely with our developing-country partners, and in 2013–2014, the vast majority of Canada’s bilateral ODA was focused on 20 countriesFootnote 1: Caribbean Region, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ukraine, West Bank and Gaza, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Sudan/South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.  

This report is a requirement of the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, and presents a summary of the Government of Canada’s ODA activities. It describes the collective efforts of 13 federal departments and agencies which—along with our key partners—worked to advance Canada’s ODA priorities in 2013–2014. When available, results specific to 2013–2014 are included. In cases where data for 2013–2014 is not yet available, longer-term development outcomes are referenced. 

This year, following the creation of the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), the report has been restructured to provide a more integrated, whole-of-government approach to ODA, and is organized according to Canada’s international assistance priorities. As in previous years, the report continues to clearly identify ODA disbursements by federal departments and agencies. In addition, a detailed summary of each organization’s activities has been included in an appendix to ensure continuity between last year’s edition and the 2013–2014 report.

In 2013–2014, Canada disbursed a total of $4.56 billion in ODA. The Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance provides highlights of the results generated by that expenditure. A second report, the Statistical Report on International Assistance, presents a detailed financial and statistical report of the Government of Canada’s international assistance expenditures and will be published on the DFATD website in March 2015.

Upholding the principles of Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda, the government is committed to increasing the transparency and accountability of its international assistance. 

In addition to this report, the government regularly communicates its international assistance initiatives and results through departmental Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports available on each organization’s respective website. In addition, an online Project Browser is accessible through the DFATD website. Moreover, Canada reports through a variety of additional mechanisms and agreements, including the Open Data website, the Open Government Partnership and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).

In 2013, Canada improved its rank in aid transparency to 8th among donor countries and organizations, up from 32nd in 2012. The ranking is based on information made available on the Government of Canada’s websites and Canada’s quarterly publication of machine-readable data files compatible with the IATI. The IATI aims to make information about aid spending by donor countries, developing-country governments and non-governmental organizations easier to find, use and compare. Stakeholders who have signed on to IATI commit to publishing more timely, comprehensive, and forward-looking information on international development assistance, allowing those involved in international development assistance to track how aid is being used and what it is achieving.

Official Development Assistance Accountability Act

The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA) came into force in 2008. Its purpose is to ensure that all Canadian ODA is focused on poverty reduction and is consistent with aid effectiveness principles and Canadian values. The Act applies to all federal departments and agencies providing ODA, and it requires the Government of Canada to report annually to Parliament on its development assistance activities.

In the context of the Act, ODA is defined as international assistance that is administered with the principal objective of promoting the economic development and welfare of developing countries, or that is provided for the purpose of alleviating the effects of a natural or artificial disaster, or other emergency, occurring outside Canada.

The Act establishes three conditions that must be satisfied for international assistance to be considered ODA. Assistance must:

  • contribute to poverty reduction;
  • take into account the perspectives of the poor; and
  • be consistent with international human rights standards.

The Act requires that a report containing the total amount spent on ODA and a summary of activities eligible under the Act be tabled in Parliament annually in the fall by the Minister of International Development on behalf of the government.

The terms and definitions related to ODA used in this report are consistent with international reporting standards agreed upon at the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Official Development Assistance Disbursements by Department for 2013–2014

A number of Canadian federal government departments disbursed ODA funds in 2013–2014.

The following section summarizes the disbursements and activities eligible with these funds under the ODAAA. Final financial information and additional details will appear in a statistical report that will be published by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website. 

Official Development Assistance DisbursementsFootnote 2 by Department – 2013–2014Footnote 3
DepartmentDisbursements (C$ millions)
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development3,646.70
of which administrative costs202.53
Department of Finance Canada502.81
International Development Research Centre204.68
Citizenship and Immigration Canada105.54
Department of National Defence30.10
Royal Canadian Mounted Police27.34
Public Health Agency of Canada13.30
Environment Canada7.64
Natural Resources Canada1.84
Parks Canada1.76
Labour Canada1.12
Industry Canada0.87
Transport Canada0.32
Services supporting DFATD activitiesFootnote 423.47
Compiled by DFATD on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Canada’s Leadership: Delivering on Our Commitments

Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Improving the health of mothers and children in the world’s poorest countries is Canada’s top development priority. Canada’s approach recognizes the interlinked causes of maternal, newborn and child mortality and the need to focus on improving maternal and child survival across the full continuum of care, i.e. from pre-pregnancy through to childhood. Proven, effective and high-impact interventions delivered to the most vulnerable populations, and focused on accountability, underpin Canada’s approach.  

To date, significant global progress has been made in addressing maternal and child mortality. The number of deaths in children under the age of five globally has dropped from approximately 12 million in 1990 to roughly 6.6 million in 2012. The number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth fell substantially from an estimated 523,000 deaths in 1990 to around 289,000 deaths in 2013. But despite these improvements, significant gaps remain and require continuous attention as it is unlikely that the global community will reach Millennium Development Goals 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health) by the original target date of 2015.

At the 2010 G-8 Summit, Canada spearheaded the Muskoka Initiative on maternal, newborn and child health, which raised US$7.3 billion from the G-8 and like-minded partners. For its part, Canada committed a total of $2.85 billion to the Muskoka Initiative for the period of 2010–2015, and at the close of 2013–2014, Canada had cumulatively disbursed a total of $2.55 billion.

In May 2014, Canada renewed its leadership and commitment to the critical issue of maternal, newborn and child health by convening the high-level summit Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada will provide $3.5 billion to support maternal, newborn and child health for the period 2015–2020. 

Through the Muskoka Initiative, funding follows three integrated paths: strengthening health systems, improving nutrition and reducing the burden of disease. The following sections provide examples of progress achieved in maternal, newborn and child health in 2013–2014 through Canada’s support.

Strengthening Health Systems

Stronger health systems improve service delivery to maternal, newborn and child health at the local level through, for example, training more health workers and increasing access to adequately equipped local health centres.

In Haiti, more than 1,200 front-line health workers were trained in 2013–2014. In addition, a 200-bed provincial hospital is being built in the city of Gonaives that will include modern obstetrics and pediatrics wards. In the last three years, DFATD provided support to 17 hospitals that provided obstetric care services to 70,000 pregnant women and pediatric care services to 200,000 children under the age of five.

In Tanzania, DFATD’s support, through Plan Canada, contributed to an increase in the number of women delivering their babies at health facilities instead of at home, from an average of 50 percent in September 2013 to 72 percent by March 2014. With Canada’s support, Tanzania has already reached its Millennium Development Goal target of reducing child mortality to 54 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2015.

Through Canada’s support to H4+, a partnership of United Nations agencies working to advance maternal, newborn and child health in Africa and in Asia, 6,629 health care providers were trained in 2013 in quality maternal, neonatal and emergency obstetric care; 141 maternal clinics were provided with equipment and materials in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and six districts in Zimbabwe received emergency obstetrics commodities.

Strengthening Accountability in Women’s and Children’s Health

Canada is helping to strengthen accountability in women’s and children’s health at the global and country levels with particular focus on implementing the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health’s 2011 report Keeping Promises, Measuring Results. Through funding support to the World Health Organization, 70 of the 75 countries with the highest rates of maternal and child mortality have undertaken, or are in the process of completing, assessments of their accountability systems. Of these countries, 40 have completed, or are in the process of completing, assessments of their civil registration and vital statistics systems.

Improving Nutrition

By increasing access to healthy and nutritious food and essential micronutrient supplements, Canada improves the lives of mothers, newborns and children by reducing the risk of illnesses and death, particularly for pregnant women and children under the age of five.

Canada’s support to the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) has helped to provide an average of more than 180 million children under five with two doses of vitamin A each year, an average of more than 300 million people with iodized salt to prevent iodine deficiency each year, nearly 2 million pregnant women with iron and folic acid supplements for healthier pregnancies each year, and more than 60,000 children with improved treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

The MI works with key nutrition partners in-country, such as UNICEF and Helen Keller International, to deliver the vitamin A to children under five through Child Health Days. Child Health Days are outreach events, held twice annually, that are designed to reach children under the age of five with essential health and nutrition interventions such as vitamin A, immunizations and deworming medication. Canada, through DFATD, has been a significant donor to Child Health Days since 2002.

In Afghanistan, through Save the Children Canada, 7,064 children and 9,495 mothers in 2013–2014 benefited from nutrition-related goods and services provided through more than 150 outpatient therapeutic programs and various in-patient stabilization centres in 2013–2014.

In Ethiopia, through UNICEF, 712,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers received iron/folate supplementation and counselling on nutrition during pregnancy, 2,817,936 children received vitamin A supplements and 1,903,643 children received deworming treatment. In addition, a total of 50,546 severely malnourished children were admitted and treated with nutrition services in 100 districts.

Canada’s Alliance with Teck Resources and the Micronutrient Initiative

Canada’s public-private-civil society alliance with Teck Resources and the Micronutrient Initiative develops and scales up zinc treatment programs to improve nutrition and help save children’s lives, making an important contribution to development. In addition, the Micronutrient Initiative is providing support to small-scale salt producers to form cooperatives, utilize simple iodization techniques that improve health outcomes for women and children, and incorporate a cost-recovery scheme for salt iodization. This provides them with an affordable procurement system and contributes to sustainable economic growth for local producers.

Reducing Disease Burden

Canada is supporting the provision of lifesaving medicines, vaccines and actions needed to prevent and treat the prevalent diseases and illnesses that are the main causes of maternal, newborn and child mortality.

In 2013–2014, Canada’s support to the GAVI Alliance contributed to averting an additional 900,000 deathsFootnote 5 through the delivery of vaccines, and immunized an additional 48 million children.

Through the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, 21,525 children in Afghanistan were vaccinated against polio across seven districts in Badakshan and more than 18,000 men, women and schoolchildren received training on water, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition.

In South Sudan, through DFATD’s support, 1,152,376 children received curative and preventive services for diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea.

Responding Quickly and Effectively to International Humanitarian Crises

Humanitarian needs arising from natural disasters, food insecurity and conflict reached record levels in 2013–2014. As a result, the global community is witnessing a growing number of crises that are having a stronger impact on populations. In 2014 the United Nations (UN) launched the largest-ever consolidated appeal for complex humanitarian needs in its request for $12.9 billion in funding to address the needs of 52 million people around the world. 

In 2013–2014 the Government of Canada answered this call with an unprecedented amount of humanitarian assistance, contributing to efforts in 54 countries that were experiencing either complex emergencies or humanitarian needs. This included funding for Syria, the Philippines, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Throughout the same period, Canada responded to 25 natural disasters, including heavy flooding in Laos in October 2013 and in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica in December 2013.

In order to respond quickly and effectively to international crises, Canada works actively with both Canadian civil society organizations, multilateral partners and the Red Cross Movement.

Canada also supports disaster preparedness. For example, through DFATD’s strategic partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, Canada has helped to build resilience in regions of the Americas and Africa by enhancing the emergency response capacity of local National Red Cross Societies.

Top 15 Recipients of Canada’s Humanitarian International AssistanceFootnote 6
Country(C$ millions)
Philippines105.91Footnote 7
West Bank and Gaza49.83
South Sudan31.85
Democratic Republic of Congo28.32
Central African Republic17.50
* Assistance was provided as part the Syrian refugee response.

Typhoon Haiyan

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) made landfall in the Philippines, a densely populated country of 96.7 million citizens. The typhoon killed more than 6,000 people, displaced 4 million from their homes, and severely damaged infrastructure, including homes, roads, schools and health centres. Haiyan was the strongest-ever recorded typhoon to make landfall, and served as a reminder that the frequency, severity and catastrophic nature of natural disasters is increasing.

Canada deployed a rapid and significant humanitarian assistance response in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Within the first two weeks following the typhoon, the Government of Canada led a lifesaving response that included significant contributions to UN agencies, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Canadian non-governmental organizations. This support included the financing of a Canadian Red Cross 12-person medical team and field hospital through DFATD’s Strategic Partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, which provided emergency health support in the typhoon-affected province of Leyte. Canada’s contributions provided assistance to meet urgent food, water and sanitation, emergency shelter, medical and basic household needs.

On April 4, 2014, the Government of Canada announced that individual Canadians contributed more than $85 million in eligible donations through registered Canadian charities between November 9 and December 23, 2013. The Government of Canada fulfilled its commitment to match these individual donations through the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, which continues to support the work of experienced Canadian and international partners working to address the needs of those affected by the typhoon.

In addition, Citizenship and Immigration Canada prioritized the processing of citizenship applications on request from Filipinos who were significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan. At the end of 2013–2014, 1,097 applications for both temporary and permanent residency from Filipinos affected by the typhoon were approved, which includes immigration-related adoptions.

Operation Renaissance: Canadian Armed Forces Support to Canada’s Response in the Philippines in the Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Between November 10 and December 15, 2013, the Canadian Armed Forces’ humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities were deployed to the Philippines in support of Canada’s whole-of-government response following Typhoon Haiyan. Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) operated on Panay Island in order to focus on the hardest-hit northern regions. With more than 315 Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed, DART purified approximately 500,000 litres of water, treated nearly 6,525 medical patients, cleared 131 kilometres of roads, conducted 184 helicopter sorties, delivered approximately 104 metric tonnes of food and 4 metric tonnes of shelter and building materials on behalf of non-governmental organizations, and delivered approximately 27 metric tonnes of humanitarian assistance goods on behalf of local authorities. The rapid deployment of DART, combined with successful civil-military coordination on the ground, had a positive impact on the lives of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan on Panay Island.

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator noted that Canada provided exceptional support to the humanitarian effort to the Philippines and the most effective civil-military coordination ever seen at the field level, recommending that it be used as a model for future disaster response operations. The 21st Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada also highlighted Canada’s response to Typhoon Haiyan as a notable achievement.

Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

The Syrian conflict has led to the most important humanitarian crisis of the 21st century, with significant economic, political, and security consequences for the region. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate and the needs are expected to continue to grow as 10.8 million people inside Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance and 3 million Syrians are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries. The Syrian people have been subject to high levels of violence and brutality, and it is estimated that more than 170,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the crisis in March 2011.

To date, Canada has committed $353.5 million for Syrians affected by the crisis both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. Canada’s contribution to humanitarian appeals enabled the UN World Food Programme to distribute food assistance to as many as 5.2 million conflict-affected Syrians in 2013. In Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, Canadian assistance also helped organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provide protection to almost 3 million refugees and respond to the basic needs of the most vulnerable of them, including emergency shelter and health care. Canada remains committed to providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to those in need, both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries.

In response to an appeal by the UNHCR for assistance with extremely vulnerable cases, Canada has committed to resettling 200 refugees through the Government-Assisted Refugee program and 1,100 privately sponsored refugees by the end of 2014. Canada is currently reviewing an additional request for Syrian resettlement from the UNHCR as part of the government’s broader response to this crisis.

In January 2014, UNICEF, the UNHCR, Save the Children, World Vision and other international humanitarian partners launched the “No Lost Generation” initiative, which calls on us all to ensure that a generation of Syrian children—whether living inside Syria or in neighbouring countries as refugees—are provided with a protective environment and learning opportunities. To date, more than 5.5 million children have been affected by the crisis.

On January 24, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced $50 million in humanitarian funding for education and child-protection activities that support the “No Lost Generation” initiative. By supporting a $35-million project led by UNICEF, DFATD is helping to ensure that more than 613,000 conflict-affected children and their families in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt receive formal and alternative education; schools be constructed or rehabilitated; support and training be provided to teachers and youth; psychological support be given to children and caregivers; and highly vulnerable families receive cash assistance.

Protecting Vulnerable People – Canada’s Leadership Role

Canada is recognized around the world for its leadership in offering safe haven to people who need refugee protection. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plays a significant role in upholding Canada’s international obligations and humanitarian tradition by engaging 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 tradition since the Second World War.

Canada’s refugee protection programs are in the first instance about saving lives and offering protection to the displaced and persecuted. In accordance with the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, Canada provides protection to asylum seekers who have landed in Canada and have been determined to be in need of protection. Canada also protects refugees and vulnerable persons by resettling them to Canada as part of the managed immigration plan. For example, in May 2007, Canada committed to resettling as many as 5,000 Bhutanese refugees, and later expanded that commitment to resettling 6,500 Bhutanese government-assisted refugees by 2015. As of June 30, 2013, more than 5,500 Bhutanese have already arrived in Canada.

The CIC’s ODA for 2013–2014 totalled $105.5 million. This figure represents the federal support provided to refugees and vulnerable persons in their first 12 months in Canada for refugee resettlement and settlement programs, as well as for temporary coverage of health care costs.

Stopping Transmittable Diseases

A window of opportunity now exists to reduce the prevalence of several communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and polio. Canada is committed to safeguarding substantial achievements made to date and engaged in helping find new and innovative ways to prevent and treat these diseases, and provide care to those who have them. 

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Today, it is estimated that a total of 8.7 million lives have been saved by programs supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) since its creation in 2002.

The GFATM’s work aligns with Canada’s priorities by reducing the impact of diseases on mothers and children, and by lessening the economic impact of these diseases in developing countries. Canada’s long-term institutional support to the GFATM also represents an important contribution to the Muskoka Initiative and the Millennium Development Goals.

More than a decade after the fund’s inception, significant progress has been achieved through contributions from Canada and other international donors.

Despite the impressive results achieved to date, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are still today among the world’s leading causes of morbidity and mortality, causing an estimated 3.7 million deaths each year.

To continue the fight against these three diseases, in December 2013, Canada announced a $650-million commitment to the GFATM for the 2014–2016 period, bringing Canada’s total commitment to the organization to more than $2.1 billion since 2002. This most recent pledge is helping to safeguard the substantial achievements already made through GFATM grants, and is expanding prevention, care, and treatment programs for those most vulnerable to AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Key cumulative results as of June 2014Footnote 8 include these:

  • 6 million people are currently receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment
  • 2.5 million HIV-positive pregnant women have received treatment to prevent transmission of the virus to their children
  • 7.1 million orphans and other vulnerable children have received basic care and support services
  • 360 million HIV-testing and counselling sessions have been provided
  • 11.9 million cases of tuberculosis have been detected and treated
  • 140,000 people have been treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (as of mid-2014)
  • 410 million insecticide-treated bed nets have been distributed to families for the prevention of malaria
  • 430 million cases of malaria have been treated (as of mid-2014)

Polio: The Fight Continues

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease affecting mainly children under five years of age. Although there is no cure for polio, it can be easily prevented by safe and effective vaccines that can protect a child for life. Preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops would result in a polio-free world.

Since 1988, polio cases have decreased by more than 99 percent, from an estimated 350,000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries to 406 reported cases in 2013. Today, only three countries in the world—Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria—remain endemic for the disease, the smallest geographic area in history.

Canada continues to be a world leader in the global push to eradicate polio and to save lives through immunization. Through Canada’s partnership with the World Health Organization, other donors and the Government of Nigeria, approximately 4.8 million children received polio vaccination in Nigeria, which contributed to the reduction of cases from 103 in 2012–2013 to 37 in 2013–2014.

In April 2013 world leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the Global Vaccine Summit, declaring the intention to eradicate polio by 2018. During the summit, Canada announced a commitment of $250 million between 2013 and 2018 to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership that implements strategies and programs to eradicate polio and strengthen health systems.

Canada’s Thematic Priorities for International Assistance

Stimulating Sustainable Economic Growth – $762.16 million*

* Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

At a time when as many as 2.4 billion people worldwide are living on less than $2 a day, evidence demonstrates that sustainable economic growth is critical to reducing poverty. In fact, countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have shown repeatedly that growing the economy is the best way to help people permanently lift themselves out of poverty.

Canada supports its developing-country partners by creating the conditions for strong and sustainable private-sector-led growth. The private sector drives sustainable economic growth and is essential to achieving meaningful development results that enable people to emerge from poverty. It creates jobs, generates tax revenues to fund essential public services, and produces the goods and services needed to improve people’s quality of life. Through our efforts, the Government of Canada is helping countries transition from development partners to self-sustaining and prosperous trading partners that are able to provide for their own citizens.

For example, Canada is helping resource-rich countries to sustainably develop their extractive sectors by focusing on improving resource-governance capacity, supporting local economic development and diversification, and enabling communities to maximize benefits from extractive sector development. In doing so, Canada also seeks to advance international standards and guidelines, and promote best practices for improved performance by all actors involved in the extractive sector.

To support sustainable economic growth, Canada focuses its efforts on building economic foundations, growing businesses and investing in people. Together these priority areas establish the conditions for growth and ensure that women and men living in poverty can access new opportunities. The following sections highlight Canada’s work on sustainable economic growth in 2013–2014.

Building Economic Foundations

Canada aims to strengthen the capacity of countries and regions in financial and economic management, improve their investment climate and trading capacity, and strengthen their ability to sustainably manage natural resources. Natural resources, particularly extractives, represent one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in many developing countries. In 2013–2014, as a result of Canadian support for managing natural resources more responsibly, significant progress has been achieved.

The year of this report, 2013–2014, marked the first year of operation for the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development (CIIEID), led by the University of British Columbia in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and École Polytechnique de Montréal. During the year, the CIIEID supported Canada’s international assistance priority of sustainable economic growth by delivering workshops on artisanal mining and economic diversification in Ecuador as well as mining policy framework discussions with government representatives and stakeholders from Peru, Tanzania, Mongolia, Colombia, Ecuador and Burkina Faso.

In Tanzania, Canada’s funding is strengthening the monitoring and auditing capacity of the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency, which contributed to the collection of $43 million in tax royalties from mining operations between May and November 2013. By optimizing the collection of extractive sector revenues, the government is better able to reduce poverty and improve the services it provides to Tanzanians.

In Peru, DFATD’s support helped to create more than 20 “dialogue spaces” that bring together various stakeholder groups to encourage dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts related to natural resources, and to train almost 14,500 individuals—the majority of them public officials—on conflict early warning, resolution and mediation, on the Law on Indigenous Prior Consultation, and on reducing violence during social conflicts. Also, in Peru, Canada announced on May 22, 2013, a contribution of $37 million for three natural resource governance projects aimed at improving the environmental management of mining and energy activities, promoting competitiveness and economic diversification in Peru’s extractive regions, and strengthening natural resource management in key regions of Peru.

In Haiti, DFATD worked through the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada to increase export activity by developing and promoting Haitian artisans’ craftwork in the home décor and gift sectors. In 2013 the project benefited more than 1,400 individuals by establishing international buyer contacts with leading department store retailers, including the Hudson’s Bay Company. As a result, individual artisans within four targeted Haitian communities are reporting an increase in income of more than 26 percent since the project began in 2011.

Growing Businesses

The private sector is the driving force behind sustainable economic growth, yet in the developing world, many people—women in particular—face constraints in establishing and growing their businesses and fully contributing to the economy. Sustainable, productive and competitive businesses are the centre of poverty-reduction strategies because they stimulate economic growth.

In 2013–2014, Canada made progress in promoting more sustainable and competitive enterprises, especially those that are microbusinesses, and small and medium-sized businesses, and also those led by women. Canada also worked to increase access to capital and financial resources. For example, in Ukraine, DFATD is supporting improved competitiveness of the dairy sector. The project assists 3,300 smallholder families and medium-sized private dairy farmers to improve their production of milk. The project also works with dairy processors in each region to market their milk and improve quality control standards. In 2013 dairy farmers’ incomes increased by 65 percent, average milk output per cow increased by 35 percent, and 16 new cooperatives were created since the inception of the project.

Business start-ups have been a springboard out of poverty for millions. Since 2009 the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has funded the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which helps governments understand the needs of entrepreneurs to create a supportive environment for private sector development. This year, the work expanded to include the countries of francophone Africa with the Institut de recherche sur les PME (research institute for small and medium enterprises) at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, linking Canadian and African researchers studying entrepreneurial dynamics in four countries.

In the Philippines, Canada’s support to improve the investment climate contributed to streamlined business registration in seven target cities. Estimated private sector savings arising from reduced time and cost to comply with business regulations was $14.2 million in 2013. Canada’s support also contributed to an increased number of public-private partnership projects in infrastructure. 

The Government of Canada encourages multistakeholder partnerships with the Canadian private sector, developing-country governments and civil society that support Canada’s international assistance priority areas. This approach supports innovations that generate game-changing solutions to international development challenges. An example of such a partnership is with Développement international Desjardins (DID), the international arm of the Desjardins Group. DID has been a key partner of the Government of Canada since 1970, and specializes in technical support and investment for the financial sector in developing and emerging countries. Canada’s partnership with DID, managed through DFATD, helped to operationalize four entrepreneur financial centres in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Panama in 2013–2014. These centres reached more than 28,000 clients (38 percent of them women) and have assets of nearly $51 million, comprising $42 million in loans and $9 million in savings. The four centres have provided their services to companies in 28 locations and created 500 jobs.

Another key partner for the Government of Canada in 2013–2014 was the Mennonite Economic Development Associates of Canada (MEDA), which provides technical expertise in microfinance, production and marketing, investment fund development and community economic development. As of March 2014, through Canada’s International Youth Internship Program, MEDA coordinated 33 internships in seven countries. The interns worked on private sector development initiatives to increase the impact of value chain development efforts. In working with MEDA and the private sector, through the Impact Investment in Frontier Markets project, which began in 2013, Canada is also helping to reduce poverty by supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, which play a vital role in creating jobs and generating wealth in developing-country markets.

Through the Investment Cooperation Program (INC), managed by DFATD, Canada provides support to Canadian businesses that are making sustainable investments in developing countries. In 2013–2014, INC helped 32 Canadian companies do business in 16 developing countries. For example, INC helped fund community-transition programming associated with the closure of a mine in Mongolia. This resulted in the development of an economic transition plan, the training of local artisanal miners and community-based natural resource monitors, activities to strengthen the capacity of local communities to manage their mining legacy, and work with leading-edge programs in Mongolia to build the capacity of small-scale miners to participate in environmental monitoring.

Several other new initiatives supported by DFATD in 2013–2014 promoted business development and the financial sector. For example, in Colombia, two new projects are helping small-scale producers scale up agricultural production and develop new value chains for their products, while also improving financial literacy and increasing producers’ access to agricultural credit and crop insurance. In Vietnam, Canada’s support to business license reform contributed to estimated savings for businesses of US$15 million per year in compliance costs in targeted areas.

Managing the World’s Forest Resources in a Sustainable Manner

Achieving sustainable economic growth while at the same time managing forest resources is demanding due to complex challenges presented by poverty and increasing pressures to develop the land. Since 2009, Natural Resources Canada, through the African Model Forest Network, has supported improved conservation and sustainable management of forest resources in francophone Africa, including in the Congo Basin and Mediterranean region (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). The Model Forest Network features an integrated approach and participatory management of natural resources that has been promoted by Canada for more than 20 years. This initiative is a follow-up to the commitment to take action in stabilizing financial markets and support sustainable forest management made by Canada to the 2008 Francophonie Summit in Québec.

Investing in People

Because people are at the core of sustainable economic growth, developing countries need to create opportunities that allow the poor, particularly women and youth, to reach their potential by developing new skills, expanding knowledge, and breaking down the barriers that limit opportunity.

In 2013–2014, with Canada’s support, significant progress has been achieved in increasing individuals’ skills for employment. In Bangladesh, stipends were made available to 17,776 students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, including 4,364 women, to attend technical and vocation education and training programs; and local employers are becoming more involved in identifying the skills needed for various emerging industries.

In Colombia, 2,211 young people (1,263 women and 948 men) received technical and vocational training in 11 areas such as agribusiness, waste management and food marketing; and 39 youth-led business plans were approved.

In 2013, DFATD supported a new initiative to address youth unemployment in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. This contribution to the Canadian organization Digital Opportunity Trust, along with other donors, will increase incomes of male and female youth in selected areas by improving their employment readiness and giving them the skills they need to run small businesses.

And also in 2013, the IDRC partnered with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to launch Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women, a five-year research program. This initiative aims to generate new evidence on women’s participation in labour markets, entrepreneurship, the care economy, and how gender equality affects growth in low-income countries.

Increasing Food Security – $727.80 million*

* Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

Hunger and malnutrition continue to be among the most pressing global development challenges. Worldwide, approximately 842 million people face chronic hunger, and 45 percent of child deaths are attributable to undernutrition. For the men, women, and children who are hungry and malnourished, a lack of access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food impacts their health and limits their ability to learn and work.

Canada recognizes the importance of investing in food security as one of the foundations for peaceful and prosperous societies. This is why the Government of Canada has made food security a priority of its international development assistance, with the objective of reducing hunger and improving nutrition of the most vulnerable people in developing countries.

Canada’s development assistance in food security is focused on increasing the availability of and access to quality nutritious food, increasing stability of food security by strengthening sustainable management of the food value chain, and supporting improved governance of the global food system for increased coordination and accountability on food security issues.

To address both immediate and long-term food security objectives, Canada targets three priorities: sustainable agricultural development, food assistance and nutrition, and research and development. The following sections highlight Canada’s efforts in increasing food security in 2013–2014.

Sustainable Agricultural Development

Canada helps address the food security needs of vulnerable populations by helping smallholder farmers to increase their agricultural production, and assisting partner governments to develop stronger policies, make their institutions more accountable and promote access to nutritious food. Canada also works to improve smallholder farmers’ resilience to extreme climate conditions and increase their use of improved technology and techniques.

In Honduras, with DFATD’s support, 6,000 smallholder farmers from that country’s drought-prone region have been trained in sustainable agricultural practices and technologies aimed at the recovery and improvement of local agriculture production systems (including food storage conditions and post-harvest techniques) in 2013–2014. Smallholder farmers in this region currently apply three or more of these best practices in their own plots.

Through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, Canada helped promote climate-smart agriculture in Bangladesh by introducing farmers to new, climate-adaptive production technologies and agronomic practices. This also helped to reduce pressures on the environment. In 2013–2014, more than 310,000 farmers were reached through the program’s support, bringing the total number of farmers reached to 439,085 since 2010.

In 2013, with long-term institutional support from Canada and other donors, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) helped more than 4.46 million people receive training in crop production practices and technologies, and 5.48 million people benefit from enhanced access to rural financial services. Canada is also a founding donor of IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Program (ASAP), which is the largest climate-resilience initiative for smallholder farmers worldwide. ASAP is helping more than 3 million poor smallholder farmers and their households to receive timely and accurate weather forecasts, agro-meteorological forecasts, seasonal forecasts or early warning information.

Food Assistance and Nutrition

Canada works to improve access to sufficient quantities of nutritious food and enhance the quality and effectiveness of food assistance and nutrition programming by providing emergency food assistance and supporting social safety nets to meet the food needs of vulnerable populations.

Canada has supported efforts to improve nutrition in developing countries for decades, helping to shift the world’s development focus to include nutrition interventions that reduce child mortality and improve nutrition for women and children. Canada’s approach to nutrition focuses on increasing availability and access to quality, nutritious food, and on investing in direct nutrition interventions such as vitamins and minerals, which are making a difference. As a result of our active and effective efforts to improve nutrition, Canada was recognized as the top donor to nutrition-specific interventions in a 2013 report by Development Initiatives, an organization based in the United Kingdom.

The Government of Canada is a party to the new Food Assistance Convention, which came into force on January 1, 2013. The objectives of the Food Assistance Convention are to save lives, reduce hunger, improve food security and improve the nutritional status of the most vulnerable. Canada pledged a minimum annual commitment of $250 million to meet the needs of the world’s hungry. In 2013, Canada fully met its minimum annual commitment, in line with our policy of paying what we pledge. Since 2006, Canada has also exceeded its commitment to the Food Aid Convention, which was superseded by the Food Assistance Convention in 2013.

With Canada’s long-term institutional support, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank implemented programming that benefited approximately 1.3 million people in 42 countries. Through its long-term institutional support and project funding, Canada contributed to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) distributing 3.1 million metric tonnes of food and US$506 million in cash and vouchers to more than 80.9 million people in 75 countriesFootnote 9. The vast majority of the WFP’s beneficiaries—67.9 million—were women and children. Canada is the third-largest contributor to the WFP. 

Canada’s support to the Micronutrient Initiative (MI)Footnote 10 helps provide essential vitamins and nutrients to children and pregnant women. For example, in 2013, MI programs provided zinc and oral rehydration solution treatment for diarrhea to 8.2 million children, two doses of vitamin A tablets to 149 million children, iodized salt to an additional 386 million people, and iron and folic acid supplements to an additional 1.8 million pregnant women. These interventions help to reduce illness and improve child survival and development.

In 2013–2014, Canada continued to deliver on the commitments made by the Prime Minister under the 2012 G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition by disbursing $87 million to support agriculture programming in Ghana, Ethiopia and Senegal, and help smallholder farmers increase their productivity and benefit from market access.

Also in 2013–2014, in Ethiopia, DFATD supported the Productive Safety Net Programme reach 6 million chronically food insecure beneficiaries across eight regions of Ethiopia. The program is designed to provide timely transfers of food or cash to beneficiaries during certain periods of the year when food is not readily available. The beneficiaries receive the food or cash in exchange for their labour on small, community-based public works projects that contribute to the well-being of the community involved. As a result, DFATD’s investment helped provide 33,545 metric tonnes of food to chronically food-insecure households, and the construction or rehabilitation of 10,515 kilometres of rural roads.

Research and Development

Canada helps poor farmers in partner countries gain better access to new technologies and the specialized expertise they need for their farming operations to keep pace with the growing demand for food.

Through DFATD’s support, the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) surpassed its 2013–2014 target of 10 million households (at least 50 percent of them led by women). PABRA promotes the use of improved and marketable bean varieties; new crop-management techniques; and micronutrient-rich, bean-based products. In 2013–2014, the total number of households reached was 13,045,820, of which 56 percent were led by women. The PABRA focuses on improving bean crop production through strategic research efforts in order to increase the nutrition and food security of rural populations, with a focus on women and children. Through its regional networks, the PABRA helped release 178 improved bean varieties that are resistant to stresses such as drought, disease, and pests; have higher iron and zinc content; and meet market demands in more than 20 countries. This project contributes directly to one of the four components of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, encompassing agricultural research as well as technology dissemination and adoption.

Launched in 2009 with DFATD’s and IDRC’s support, the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) twins Canadian and developing countries’ expertise to promote innovative agriculture, especially those that benefit women and smallholder farmers. Since then, the CIFSRF has supported 21 projects that have benefited more than 75,000 farmers through its work to tackle challenges ranging from revitalizing crops such as indigenous vegetables and small millets, developing vaccines for livestock diseases, and using nanotechnology to reduce fruit losses in storage and shipping. Following a successful first phase, Canada announced in April 2013 a $62.5-million investment for the second phase of the CIFSRF and launched two new calls for research.

A four-year, $15-million research partnership, the Cultivate Africa’s Future program, was formally launched in July 2013 in Ghana between the IDRC and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. The program focuses on hunger in Africa to enhance long-term food security in ten eastern and southern African countries by supporting innovation by smallholders, most of whom are women.

Innovation to Enhance Food Security: Canada’s Support to AgResults

In 2013–2014, the Department of Finance Canada provided $10 million of a total commitment of $40 million toward AgResults via the World Bank Group. AgResults is an innovative, results-based initiative aiming to enhance smallholder farmer well-being and food security in the developing world. Specifically, AgResults uses pilot projects that incentivize the adoption and/or the development of demand-driven solutions in order to address important agricultural and food security challenges. Through a pay-for-results format, AgResults leverages private sector investment and innovation while stimulating increased food security and sustained economic growth. The World Bank Group manages the financial intermediary fund through which donors make their contributions toward this initiative.

AgResults’ financial and administrative structure is now fully functional, and significant progress was made in implementing initial pilot projects focused on enhancing harvest management and nutritional fortification of staple crops in sub-Saharan Africa. This included considerable in-country activities in which local stakeholders demonstrated a strong interest, thus resulting in good take-up for the pilots. Moreover, the evaluation criteria that will determine AgResults’ effectiveness over time were refined through continued analysis. Beyond activities relating to existing projects, AgResults partners also worked on developing new pilot ideas focused on innovative solutions to global agricultural and food security challenges while taking into consideration AgResults’ four thematic areas: increasing yields, reducing post-harvest losses, improving livestock management and enhancing nutrition.

The Story Behind the Results: Vaccines to Combat Livestock Diseases in sub-Saharan Africa

Livestock contribute to the well-being of rural communities in Africa. Livestock provide nourishment as well as clothing, housing materials, draft-animal power and fertilizer, and they are an indicator of social standing and wealth. In the major role they play in managing a household’s food security in Africa, women are often the custodians of livestock in Africa, particularly sheep and goats. Women play an important role in the feeding and health care of small ruminants, as well as in the control over decisions on selling or consuming their animals and livestock by-products, and how to dispose of income generated from such sales. A major problem facing smallholder farmers—women in particular—is the difficulty of effectively protecting their animals against disease.

Infectious animal diseases are the single-largest cause of livestock losses worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, livestock production is vital to the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and accounts for 25 percent of national income in some countries. While vaccines are available for many diseases, their cost, delivery, and need for refrigeration often impede their widespread use, especially in isolated rural areas.

Dr. Lorne Babiuk and his team of Canadian and South African researchers, supported by DFATD and the IDRC through the CIFSRF, have made breakthroughs in developing inexpensive, refrigeration-free, single-shot vaccines to protect cattle, sheep, and goats against five common animal diseases in Africa: lumpy skin disease, sheep pox, goat pox, Peste des Petits Ruminants and Rift Valley fever. A vaccine is also being developed to combat African Swine Fever (ASF). By using what Babiuk calls a “fancy scissors and crazy glue” approach, the research team has been able to shut off genes and splice new genes into a weakened lumpy skin disease virus and in so doing, produce an animal vaccine that protects animals from multiple diseases.

This new development in vaccine technology promises to reduce livestock losses, thus contributing to increased food availability and the income of small livestock keepers, particularly women whose livelihoods depend upon small ruminants like sheep and goats. To date, the vaccine has proven effective against lumpy skin disease, sheep pox and goat pox, and progress is being made on the development of a vaccine against ASF.

Working with various South African national departments, training courses, brochures and pamphlets on the key animal diseases have been developed, and rural communities, including women, have been sensitized to the contribution of vaccines to livestock improvement. A strategy focusing on vaccines for viral diseases in Africa will identify, name and address constraints in small-scale livestock production systems and value chains. This is crucial for optimizing outcomes in strategies to strengthen vaccine implementation in the African context.

Securing the Future of Children and Youth – $1,008.09 million*

* Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

Today’s generation of children and youth is the largest in history, with nearly half of the world’s population of 7 billion under the age of 25. Among them, more than 90 percent live in the developing world. With the right care and development, children and youth have the potential to become active and productive young women and men. But for too many of them, difficult challenges stand in the way.

No matter where they are, children and youth are entitled to live in safe environments, free from the violence and discrimination that affects far too many in the developing world. Canada understands this basic principle, and is working to improve the futures of children and youth not only because it upholds Canada’s commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), but also because it helps young people reach their full potential and contribute to the social and economic development of their societies.

Canada’s work supports young women and men to become healthy, educated, and productive citizens of tomorrow by encouraging efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health; improving the equitable access of children and youth to quality education and learning opportunities, with a special emphasis on girls; and helping ensure the rights and protection of children and youth from violence, exploitation and abuse.

Canada’s children and youth programming focuses its assistance on three priorities: improving child survival, including maternal health; improving access to quality education; and ensuring safe and secure futures for children and youth. The following sections highlight Canada’s work in securing the future of children and youth in 2013–2014.

Improving child survival, including maternal health

Improving maternal, newborn and child health is key to securing the future of children and youth. While maternal mortality rates have fallen by almost 45 percent and child mortality rates have fallen by nearly 50 percent around the world, improvement in women’s and children’s health has been uneven, with the slowest progress occurring on the African continent. Today, 289,000 women lose their lives during pregnancy or childbirth. About 6.6 million children die before their fifth birthday, and of these, 2.9 million die in their first month of life.

Canada has shown leadership on improving maternal, newborn and child health through the G-8 Muskoka Initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, and the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, which Prime Minister Harper co-chaired with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. Canada continues to exercise its leadership in this area and is committed to ensuring that maternal and child survival remains a key development priorityFootnote 11. At the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit, held in Toronto on May 28–30, 2014, the Prime Minister announced Canada’s commitment of $3.5 billion to improve the health of mothers and children for the period of 2015–2020, demonstrating Canada’s continuing commitment to support global efforts to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborn and children younger than the age of five.

In addition to the spectrum of programming to support advances in maternal, newborn and child health, Canada is also contributing to important research in this area. For example, in 2013–2014, a new Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program was launched through the Global Health Research Initiative, a partnership between the Government of Canada, DFATD, IDRC, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. This program reflects Canada’s sustained commitment to improving maternal and child health and curtailing preventable deaths by generating relevant, practical, and affordable innovations in sub-Saharan Africa, where maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. The seven-year (2014–2020), $36-million program will support research teams in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan and Tanzania.

Improving access to quality basic education

Increasing access to quality basic education is another key priority for Canada to meet its engagement to securing the future of children and youth. Global progress has been made on increasing primary school enrolment and gender parity in education over the past decade. However, in many areas, a basic education is not even an option, with 57 million children—53 percent of them girls—having no access to school or other learning opportunities that can give them hope for a better future.

Canada remains supportive of promoting universal basic education, which is in line with our commitments to the Education For All goals and Millennium Development Goals 2, achieve universal primary education, and 3, promote gender equality and empower women. The Government of Canada is working to improve the quality of education and learning achievement, with a particular focus on teachers and teacher training, relevant curriculum and teaching and learning materials, and with special attention to gender equality. Work in this area also aims to increase access to relevant learning opportunities for male and female youth, both in and out of school.

For example, in Kenya, Canada collaborates with UNICEF and the national government to increase the number of children, especially girls, who receive quality basic education in safe and stimulating learning environments in the northern part of the country. This includes enhancing the quality of teaching and school leadership, fostering the participation of girls and boys in decision making and ensuring that schools are inclusive and non-violent. As a result of the project, 8,000 teachers were trained in best practices on child-friendly school thematic areas. Also, 120 child-friendly school facilitators were trained to mentor individuals in 200 target schools.

In Ethiopia, DFATD supports the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada to improve the educational status of girls and boys across three districts by increasing access to quality early childhood education and primary education. As a result of the project, enrolment in early childhood care centres has increased from 8.5 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2013, and the number of girls and boys entering Grade 1 has increased from 7.7 percent in 2012 to 19.4 percent in 2013. Moreover, 53 facilitators have been trained in child care and education, and 8,800 parents, village leaders and teachers have been engaged in community conversations to promote access to quality education.

In addition, Canada is a key actor in advancing education globally through strong partnerships, including through institutional support to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The GPE is the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all children into school for a quality education, and recent results show that it is effective. For example, since 2003, GPE partners have helped to get nearly 22 million more children into school, including 10 million girls. The GPE aims not just to ensure access to education, but to ensure children complete their schooling and learn. The primary school completion rate in GPE countries increased from 61 percent in 2002 to 75 percent in 2011. Moreover, the literacy rates for youth between 15 and 24 years old increased from 77 percent in 2000–2003 to 81 percent in 2007–2010 in GPE countries; this rate grew more rapidly in conflict-affected GPE countries: from 56 percent to 69 percent.

In 2013, through long-term institutional support to UNICEF, Canada also contributed to increasing the number of children in humanitarian situations with access to education, including more than 550,000 children in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey; 124,000 in the Philippines; and 113,000 in Mali.

Ensuring the Safety and Security of Children and Youth

Development assistance has improved the lives of many of the world’s children through programs in health, education, nutrition, access to water and sanitation, and family incomes. However, some children continue to be marginalized from these benefits, including working children, children affected by armed conflict and natural disasters, and sexually exploited and trafficked children. It is estimated that 500 million to 1.5 billion children, particularly girls, are still experiencing violence, exploitation, and abuse every year. More than 700 million women alive today were married as children. 168 million children around the world are engaged in child labour.

Canada is a world leader on children’s rights. The government helped draft the CRC, and hosted the first major international conference on war-affected children in 2000. Canada was also influential in the formulation of international instruments related to children, including the optional protocol to the CRC on children in armed conflict. Over the last few years, Canada has acquired leading-edge expertise in many areas of child protection and in fostering the participation of children in the decisions that affect their lives.

Canada has been working in developing countries to strengthen national systems that support the rights and protection of children and youth, particularly girls, from violence, exploitation, and abuse. Work is being done to ensure that schools are safe and secure, and offer child-friendly learning environments and provide opportunities for youth at risk to reach their potential and find alternatives to crime and violence. The Government of Canada’s development assistance to support child protection also complements our foreign policy initiatives concentrated on addressing the practice of child, early and forced marriage.

Canada Leads the United Nations Effort to Stop Child, Early and Forced Marriage

Canada has played an important role in bringing global attention and action toward ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). For example, in the fall of 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 also co-hosted a signature event on CEFM during the General Assembly to build greater awareness of the impacts of the practice worldwide.

Canada has intensified programming efforts to end CEFM, including through projects undertaken to tackle the causes and consequences of the practice in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Somalia and Zimbabwe. In addition, Canada is contributing $20 million over two years to UNICEF to accelerate the movement to end child marriage in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Yemen and Zambia.

A long-standing partner of the Government of Canada for more than 30 years, Plan Canada has successfully fought for child rights and enabled children, their families and communities in developing countries to escape the poverty cycle and be able to build efficient and sustainable solutions for improving their own lives. In 2013–2014, Canada supported Plan Canada’s work in eight operational projects focusing on both humanitarian assistance and long-term child protection programs. In Colombia, DFATD collaborated with Plan Canada to strengthen the capacity of government and non-governmental actors to safeguard the rights and protection of conflict-affected and vulnerable children and youth. Approximately 1,400 children, adolescents and parents have received training on how to prevent sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation, enhancing their ability to create a protective environment for vulnerable girls and boys, as well as young women and young men.

Protecting children in emergencies also remained an important priority for DFATD in 2013–2014. For instance, with the department’s support, UNICEF worked to strengthen the capacity of the international humanitarian community to implement the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. These efforts helped ensure that Canada’s humanitarian partners, including the Red Cross Movement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF continued to improve the quality, predictability and accountability of their child-protection responses, including in the Central African Republic and Colombia, and in the Philippines after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

Save the Children Canada, Mercy Corps and World Vision Canada are key partners of the Government of Canada in supporting the “No Lost Generation” initiative to educate and normalize the lives of Syrian conflict-affected children and their families. DFATD is supporting these organizations to implement protection and education interventions to help restore hope to children affected by the crisis. This includes establishing and operating child-friendly spaces, creating and strengthening child-protection committees, and providing cash assistance to vulnerable refugee households to purchase basic necessities so that children are able to attend school. For more information on the Government of Canada’s work in Syria, see the section ‘‘Responding Quickly and Effectively to International Humanitarian Crises’’ in this report.

In addition, DFATD supported community dialogue between community leaders and members of parliaments in Ghana to address the practice of child, early and forced marriage. Parliamentary workshops and community-based focus group discussions helped convey critical messaging on the harmful effects of child, early and forced marriage and identify practical, sustainable solutions. These community dialogues were rolled out in all 10 regions of Ghana, and attracted an average of 500 members per community.

Advancing Democracy – $122.31 million*

* Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

Global democratic progress in recent decades has been uneven. Despite some progress in countries such as Tunisia, there is an overall trend toward the continued erosion of democracy and freedom around the world.

Democracy enables citizens to hold their governments to account, lead a life of dignity, and participate in the decision making that affects them. Democracy is also a cornerstone of lasting development outcomes, resulting from greater inclusion and increased accountability of governments to their citizens. Canada’s long-term prosperity and security interests are best served internationally by fostering the development and maintenance of free, well-governed, pluralistic societies whose governments reflect and respond effectively to the needs of their citizens. Democracy, along with freedom, human rights and the rule of law, constitute fundamental Canadian values.

Canada employs both diplomatic and programmatic actions to advance democracy and strengthen international norms and standards abroad. Democracy requires the participation of people in decision making, the emergence of effective and accountable institutions, rules-based governance and respect for human rights.

Canada’s efforts are aimed at supporting four priority areas that are key to sustainable democracy: legislatures, judicial institutions and the respect for the rule of law; elections and electoral processes; civil society, independent media and political party systems; and promotion and protection of human rights. The following sections highlight Canada’s work in advancing democracy in 2013–2014.

Legislatures and the Rule of Law

Legislative and judicial branches of governments play a key role in ensuring accountability and encouraging the rule of law. Legislatures, as representative bodies, play an important role in holding government institutions accountable and providing an additional voice for constituents. Canada helps legislatures and parliamentarians to serve as effective bridges between citizens and their governments.

The rule of law plays a vital role in protecting the many institutions necessary for democracy. Canada promotes the rule of law and judicial reform through training and technical support to governmental and non-governmental institutions. Canada also supports an impartial, accessible and effective legal system that guarantees the protection of citizens against the arbitrary use of state authority and provides recourse for illegal acts carried out by state and non-state actors.

For example, DFATD’s support in Paraguay led to greater government openness and transparency as well as to the development and adoption of the country’s access to information law in 2013. It also supported improved transparency awareness and practices among legislators and the executive branch, and bolstered the ability of civil society groups to monitor transparency issues.

In Indonesia, DFATD supported the Government of Indonesia’s National Corruption Eradication Commission to prevent corruption at the local level.  Public satisfaction with local government procurement, administration (e.g. birth registration) and licensing (e.g. business licenses) has increased substantially in the targeted areas.

Canada also enhanced the individual and institutional capacity of selected government ministries, departments, public sector agencies and associations, and training institutes in Africa and Asia through a DFATD partnership with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. The program led to a greater focus being put on the impacts of gender equality in public administration, and to the development of tools, processes and policies that improved the ability of 14 public sector institutions in 10 countries to achieve their priorities.

Elections and Electoral Processes

Regular, inclusive, and free and fair elections are a critical element of a functioning democracy. Canada uses its considerable expertise in this field to provide support to electoral processes and institutions throughout the electoral cycle. Canada also supports the ability of citizens to participate in the electoral cycle and build local capacity to monitor electoral processes.

Advancing Democracy in Ukraine

Canada supported the electoral process in Ukraine by funding the deployment of a team of 26 short-term Canadian election observers (including 3 Members of Parliament) for the repeat parliamentary elections held in five districts on December 15, 2013. The mission report provided an assessment of the conduct of the elections in these districts, as well as recommendations to help improve the electoral process for the May 25, 2014, presidential election.

Canada also worked closely with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to undertake a human rights assessment mission to Ukraine. The mission’s report outlined the facts and circumstances related to the human rights situation in Ukraine and provided recommendations to help increase the capacity of Ukrainian authorities and the international community to improve the situation of human rights and minority rights in the country.

Canada’s contributions to the International Organization of La Francophonie in 2013–2014 supported democracy in francophone Africa through the provision of technical and organizational support and training to electoral bodies in countries such as Madagascar, Mali, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon in order to increase their capacity to develop credible voter lists and to address electoral irregularities.

Canada is proud of its role in La Francophonie as its second-largest donor, particularly in the context of the organization’s modernization efforts. Canada’s involvement in La Francophonie highlights our country’s linguistic duality and our commitment to democratic development, respect for human rights, strengthening of the rule of law and poverty reduction. Participation in La Francophonie gives Canadians more opportunities to wield international influence in the areas of language and culture, economics and new technologies, and international development.

In November 2013, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie attended the 29th session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie and in the UNESCO General Conference, where he underlined Canada’s leadership role in advancing sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, and promoted Canadian foreign policy priorities of supporting democracy, respect for human rights and good governance.

Civil Society, Independent Media and Political Parties

Civil society plays a crucial role in democratic societies. Civil society organizations provide a mechanism for citizens, including the most vulnerable and marginalized, to organize themselves to advocate for their values and interests. They serve as an essential conduit and mediator between individuals and their government and they allow individuals to hold their leaders to account, giving them a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Canadian-supported programs assist civil society by providing training and technical support, and by working to promote and protect civil society space.

A strong and democratic society is also characterized by an active and independent media, which can serve as a catalyst for democratic change and encourage open, accountable governance. Yet, in many countries, the only voice that is heard is the voice of those in power through state-controlled media. Canada supports the independence of both traditional and new media and works to build capacity to equip people with the information needed to participate in well-informed, democratic decision making.

For example, in Sierra Leone, DFATD supported independent media’s important “watchdog” role by providing training to journalists and journalism students to effectively report on locally relevant human rights and governance issues, including the promotion of gender equality. The project, implemented by Journalists for Human Rights, contributed to exposing a case of corruption in Sierra Leone’s education system and facilitated dialogue on human rights among policy makers, civil society members, and the media through community forums.

Political parties also play an essential role in democracy, including by channelling and articulating public and constituent concerns, aggregating electoral interests and facilitating civic engagement. In 2013–2014, in Burma, DFATD strengthened the practical skills of local government and civil society groups to engage with each other through facilitation, negotiation and partnership brokering in order to better equip local stakeholders to safeguard peace and advance democratic processes. The department also enhanced knowledge among key stakeholders in Burma on the topics of decentralization, democracy and civil-military relations, while improving the organizational capacity of political parties to more effectively represent their constituents.

Human Rights

Human rights are intrinsic to democracy, including the rights of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. In order to be realized, human rights must be enshrined in a legal framework under which all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection. The promotion and protection of human rights also require the strengthening of informal institutions and practices that are used to resolve disputes. Canada advances human rights by enhancing the ability of citizens to claim their rights and by strengthening human rights institutions and processes.

For example, DFATD’s support to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in 2013 helped to provide human rights training within the government, the army, the national police, the judiciary and various schools. It also supported the AIHRC’s focus on promoting the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

In Sri Lanka, DFATD supported the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration in the development of its roadmap, which guided a government-wide implementation of the Official Languages Policy, and was a key recommendation from the 2011 Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report.

The Labour Program: Addressing the Labour Dimensions of Economic Integration and Trade

Labour Canada, through the Labour Program, negotiates and administers Canada’s Labour Cooperation Agreements (LCAs), which are signed along with free trade agreements. LCAs include commitments to protect internationally recognized core labour rights and enforce domestic labour laws. LCAs are intended to protect workers’ basic rights and improve working conditions and standards of living in signatory countries. These agreements also ensure fair competition for Canadian industry in a globalized world. Canada’s latest generation of LCAs contain mechanisms to receive and investigate complaints and impose penalties where warranted.

In addition to negotiating and administering LCAs, the Labour Program provides technical assistance to developing countries such as Jordan, Vietnam and Costa Rica. Through this technical assistance program, Canada seeks to strengthen institutions of democratic governance, promote economic growth while respecting workers’ rights and improve the quality of working conditions in partner countries.

In 2013–2014 the Government of Canada also supported the International Labour Organization for the implementation of a project in Jordan. This initiative developed the capacity of the Jordanian Ministry of Labour to promote conformity of domestic legislation with international labour standards on freedom of association and collective bargaining, and eliminate discriminatory practices in employment and working conditions.

Promoting Stability and Security – $72.62 million*

* Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

Today, approximately 1.5 billion people live in fragile and conflict-affected states. The consequences of state fragility and violent armed conflict can dramatically disrupt development efforts and threaten global, regional and Canadian security, stability and prosperity. In severe cases of armed conflict and state fragility, international support is often required to meet basic needs, including safety and security, and to ensure access to basic services according to international humanitarian principles.

Canada recognizes that effective and accountable security institutions are an important contribution to national and regional peace and security. Canada actively participates in international efforts to help countries establish effective, accountable and representative security institutions that can carry out legitimate functions in a manner consistent with democratic norms and sound government principles as well as to enable transitional justice processes. In this regard, Canada deploys experts to support security system reform (SRR) activities, funds SRR and transitional justice-related projects, promotes research and innovation, and contributes to the development of international norms and policies.

Through these activities, Canada contributes to the protection of vulnerable populations, emphasizing particularly the safeguarding of human rights and well-being of women and children in situations of conflict and state fragility. Canada’s stability and security programming focuses on supporting long-term resilience and building peace in fragile and conflict-affected states. The following sections highlight Canada’s work in promoting stability and security in 2013–2014.

Supporting Long-Term Resilience

Effective and accountable security institutions can make an important contribution to peace and stability and make a key contribution to development, poverty reduction and democracy.

In 2013–2014, in Somalia, Canada funding contributed to the increased capacity of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Formed Police Units and the Somali Police Force in the areas of explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive devices through the conduct of six training courses involving more than 80 operators. A deployable rapid response explosive search capacity has been established at the Formed Police Unit base at Mogadishu Stadium and more than 22 Joint Somali Police Force/AMISOM Police operational tasks have been completed. This contribution helped minimize the threat of destabilizing and destructive explosive situations, and strengthened Somalia’s ability to provide greater security across the territory through more capable and responsive state structures.

Canada also supports the objective of comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Canada provided support to improve the command, control and emergency response capacity of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) and the Ministry of Interior by increasing access to integrated and improved information and communication technology at their installations in Jericho, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin, Aqaba, Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Jerusalem, as well as interconnecting all 27 PASF locations through a microwave network. This included the procurement and installation of information, communication and technology equipment, four backup solar power systems, provision of 2,000 hours of operator and maintenance training, and 4,000 hours of software development.

In 2013–2014, in the context of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, DFATD helped increase the capacity of Jordanian security services in managing the influx of Syrian refugees. The department provided materiel equipment to the Jordanian Armed Forces, including 63 cargo trucks, 27 water trucks, 5 ambulances, 6 mobile kitchens, 20 mobile latrines and 6 mobile field clinics. This support strengthened the capacity of the Jordanian Armed Forces to safely transport refugees from the border to registration centres. Security infrastructure for the Jordanian Public Security Directorate, Gendarmerie Forces and Civil Defence Directorate in Za’atri and Azrak refugee camps were also provided. This included a Joint Operations Centre, two sub-police stations, 17 community police stations, civil defence offices, 22 vehicle umbrellas, barracks, police offices at camp entrances and 5 buses. This support increased the capacity of these organizations in maintaining security in and around Za’atri and Azrak refugee camps.

Seeing insecurity as both a cause and a result of weak governance, Canada works to strengthen institutions and build networks that link researchers, governments, and civil society to reinforce stability and security, and to advance democracy. For example, as part of a new global research program between Canada’s IDRC and the United Kingdom’s DFID, researchers are looking at how resettled people are rebuilding—for example, how they cope with finding housing, security, and new livelihoods—and the impacts on their neighbors. By comparing communities in post-conflict Sri Lanka with those in Kerala, Indian researchers hope to pinpoint how the causes of urban violence differ between post-war and more stable societies, thus offering insight into how such violence can be reduced.

Building Peace

Canada was one of the first countries to promote the concept of peacebuilding as an integrated approach that involves economic, social, political, and security support for countries prone to recurring cycles of violence.

In 2013–2014, Canada led global efforts to promote the role of women in international peace and security, and end sexual violence in conflict by co-launching with the G-8, and other like-minded countries, the G-8 Declaration, the UN Declaration, and UN Security Council resolution 2106 on preventing and responding to sexual violence by protecting women and girls against sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations. Canada also met its obligations under the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325-1820) by assuring the full integration of core principles of the resolutions across government.

Until March 14, 2014, Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) supported capacity building of security forces in Afghanistan. Moreover, through Operation PROTEUS, Canada’s contribution to the Office of the United States Security Coordinator in Jerusalem, DND promoted security sector transformation by supporting the professionalization of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces.

Supporting Peace Operations Around the World

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), on behalf of the Government of Canada, deploys police officers to peace operations around the world. In 2013–2014, the RCMP deployed 111 Canadian police to missions in Afghanistan, the West Bank, and Haiti. Canadian police assist in rebuilding and strengthening police services in countries that have had, or are currently experiencing, conflict or upheaval. 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. This in turn paves the way for long-term development and can also prevent illicit activities from spilling across borders into other countries, including Canada.

Foreign requests for Canadian police assistance come from organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union or specific countries. The decision to deploy Canadian police is made within the framework of the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between DFATD, Public Safety Canada and the RCMP. The experience and skills of Canadian police officers have ensured that they are welcome, highly valued, and well-regarded in all international peace operations to which they are deployed. This reputation facilitates their work and impact while on mission. More information on the CPA and International Policing Development is available on the RCMP website.

Advancing Canada’s Priorities Through Canadian and International Organizations

Canadian Organizations

The Government of Canada recognizes and supports the vital role that Canadian organizations play in reaching development objectives, including poverty reduction and democratic governance. When these organizations and the Government partner together, Canada is better equipped to deliver results that benefit the poorest and most vulnerable. Canadian organizations bring their expertise to the partnership, but they also help engage Canadians in international assistance priorities through their awareness campaigns and volunteer opportunities.

In 2013–2014, the Canadian government had partnerships with more than 200 Canadian organizations, including non-governmental organizations, universities, colleges, municipalities, professional associations, cooperatives and the private sector. Working with this wide range of partners at home helps the Government of Canada find innovative solutions to pressing development challenges and deliver concrete results for those most in need, especially women and children, around the world.

Partnerships with Canadian organizations are described throughout this report. The following section summarizes areas of work that span across the Government’s international assistance priorities.

Partnerships for Development with Canadian Civil Society Organizations

The Government of Canada has a long history of working in partnership with civil society organizations. They contribute to development in innovative ways that complement the roles and functions of government, the private sector, and multilateral organizations, especially in addressing the concerns of the most marginalized individuals in society.

For example, the Agha Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) has been a key partner for the Government of Canada since 1981. Seeking to develop and promote creative solutions to problems obstructing social development, the AKFC works actively in a wide range of sectors, including health, education, civil society strengthening, microfinance, tourism, culture and the promotion of private enterprise. In 2013–2014, Canada provided funding to the AKFC for 14 projects.

Engaging Canadians in International Development

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of engaging Canadians in international development and values the meaningful contribution they can make in the lives of people most in need. Volunteering is one of the most direct ways Canadians contribute to development efforts as their skills build the capacity of developing-country partners and meet local needs in a sustainable manner. Canada has supported international volunteers for more than 20 years, and several programs are in place to engage and mobilize Canadians to participate in international development initiatives in three significant areas: public awareness, education and knowledge, and youth participation.

In 2013–2014, Canada funded a number of volunteer cooperation agencies to mobilize more than 1,900 volunteers (of whom 72 percent are Canadians) to support Canada’s international assistance priorities. International volunteering has enabled Canadians to share their knowledge, experience and Canadian values with developing-country beneficiaries, and to learn from them in return.

In addition, through the Global Citizens program, Canada continues to support active Canadian participation in international development through public awareness initiatives, education and knowledge exchange, and youth participation. In 2013–2014, the International Youth Internship program funded 329 internships with 24 Canadian organizations, and more than 80 percent of the youth who participated remained employed in international development and/or continued their participation in international development initiatives.

Canada’s support to seven provincial and regional councils for international cooperation helps reach more than a million Canadians every year through a range of public engagement activities that are aimed at increasing awareness of and involvement in international development. In 2013–2014 alone, the seven councils reached more than 2.2 million Canadians through International Development Week 2014 and other outreach activities.

International Organizations

Many pressing global problems, such as the spread of infectious disease or financial crises, are too large for any one country to tackle alone. These problems affect the well-being, security, and prosperity of all countries, and dealing with them calls for the joint resources and commitment of the world community through multilateral organizations or global partners. These organizations provide economies of scale and of scope, making it easier for individual donors, such as Canada, to help many more countries than they could effectively help on their own. The majority of Canada’s contributions are highlighted throughout this report, integrated within the results achieved by thematic priorities.

Multilateral organizations play a key role in fostering international development cooperation. Through Canada’s whole-of-government engagement with multilateral organizations, the government promotes commonly shared values such as equality and democracy. As Canada sits on several governing bodies of multilateral organizations, it has a role to play in ensuring that they are well managed and achieve their objectives.

Below is a summary of some of Canada’s whole-of-government key contributions to these organizations.

Canada’s Contribution to the World Bank

In 2013–2014, Canada, through the Department of Finance Canada, provided a total of $492.8 million in grant support to the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) to achieve results in all of the government’s development priority areas. The World Bank Group is one of Canada’s most important international development partners and is ranked among the top multilateral organizations by several independent reports. Canada’s continued support to the World Bank Group is an integral part of our commitment to enhance our aid efficiency and accountability.

Summary of Representations Made by Canada at the Bretton Woods Institutions

The timing of the release of the Report on Operations under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act has been adjusted such that it now corresponds with the release of the present report. To respond to ODAAA requirements, full information regarding Canada’s engagement with the Bretton Woods institutions will be available as of September 30, 2014, through the website of the Department of Finance Canada.

A significant portion of the Government of Canada’s contribution was provided as core support to the IDA, the part of the World Bank Group focused on helping 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 is provided directly to governments, with environmental, financial and human rights safeguards to ensure that funds are well spent.

The IDA replenishment negotiations, held in 2013–2014, were an important opportunity for Canada to shape the World Bank’s priorities and work programming in the poorest countries. The negotiations resulted in outcomes that align with Canadian priorities. For instance, the upcoming years will see an increased IDA focus on the most challenging frontier areas, greater private sector mobilization, and stronger, more targeted investments in climate change and gender equality.

As a result of this positive outcome, Canada pledged a total of $1.32 billion over three years. This maintained Canada’s place as the sixth-largest contributor to this organization and contributed to a total commitment record of $52 billion in financing over the next three years to help accelerate the fight to end extreme poverty. These funds will support a wide range of development activities and help pave the way toward equality, economic growth, job creation, higher incomes, and better living conditions.

The World Bank releases an annual report showing the development results that countries have achieved with support from the IDA and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is the World Bank’s arm focused on middle-income countries. The document highlights results across many investment areas such as institutions and governance; human development and gender; infrastructure; agriculture and food security; climate change and the environment; and finance, private sector development and trade. Between 2003 and 2013, through the two key World Bank lending arms, both supported by Canada, 597 million children were immunized, 195 million women received prenatal care and 117 million people gained access to health services. Moreover, between 2002 and 2013, 260,000 kilometres of roads were constructed or rehabilitated worldwide.

Canada also provided $51.2 million to the MDRI through the World Bank Group. Debt relief under the MDRI contributes to poverty reduction by freeing up resources, which would otherwise be used to service sovereign debts, to be used toward social expenditures. This initiative contributed to decreasing debt service payments in recipient countries and enabled them to increase their poverty-reducing expenditure.

Canada’s Contribution to Multilateral Environmental Organizations

Canada recognizes the significance of international cooperation on environmental issues, and environmental sustainability is an essential element for global economic and social well-being. For developing countries that depend on ecosystem goods and services for their livelihood, environmental changes caused by the overexploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation harm their most vulnerable populations. As a result, efforts to preserve and improve the environment in developing countries lead to enhanced fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards, and a safer, more prosperous future.

Environment Canada’s international engagement and ODA programs contribute to sustainable development. For example, more than 95 percent of the mercury deposited in Canada comes from foreign sources, and this disproportionately impacts Canada’s North and northern communities. Canada’s work with developing countries to tackle their environment challenges increases the well-being of Canadians and the environment.

Support to various multilateral organizations was provided to assist developing countries in improving environmental conditions, and therefore, improving the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in these countries. Canada provides annual support to the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montréal Protocol, which works to ensure that the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances does not adversely affect the economies of developing countries. Environment Canada provided funds for Canada’s annual core contribution to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Based in Kenya, an important part of the UNEP’s work focuses on environmental issues facing developing countries.

Financial support was provided to specific-purpose funds managed by the UNEP, such as support to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global agreement negotiated under the auspices of UNEP to reduce mercury emissions and releases to the environment, UNEP’s Global Mercury Partnership Programme, as well as the UNEP Global Environment Monitoring System Water Programme.

Environmental Sustainability

Increasing environmental sustainability is one of Canada’s crosscutting themes for international development and a Millennium Development Goal. Canada assesses all of its development assistance activities for potential risks and opportunities with respect to environmental sustainability, and works with its partner countries to ensure that they have the capacity to do the same. This includes enhancing partners’ abilities to manage natural resources and address issues such as desertification and climate change.

For example, in 2013–2014, Parks Canada provided more than $2 million, in the context of the broader Fast-Start Program, to Kenya, Chile, Colombia and Mexico to establish and manage national parks and other protected areas in their respective countries and to support climate-change adaptation efforts.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, Environment Canada is a member of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, which implements projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America to promote poverty reduction through environmentally sustainable initiatives. The Group on Earth Observations, which was launched in response to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, is also supported. Another important annual contribution is to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as voluntary contributions to WMO-managed trust funds, which support developing countries in strengthening their national meteorological and hydrological services, ensuring citizens receive important information about climate.

Canada provided a contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Trust Fund, where the focus was on climate-change-related support to developing countries in undertaking mitigation, adaptation, and reporting actions, as well as support to Peru in their preparations to hold the Conference of the Parties presidency and host that body’s biannual meeting in 2014.

Moreover, through bilateral agreements with Peru, Colombia, Chile, and Panama, Environment Canada engages in technical cooperation and capacity building on environmental issues that directly affect the environment and well-being of developing-country citizens. This includes support for the implementation of Canada’s bilateral environment agreements with Colombia, Chile and Peru, as well as capacity-building initiatives on key environmental issues, such as the development of effective strategies for the management of the coastal blue carbon ecosystems in Panama and Colombia.

Canada’s Contribution to the Pan American Health Organization

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health organization that works to improve health and living standards of peoples living in the Americas. It is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System, and serves as the regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization. PAHO’s mission is to lead strategic collaborative efforts among member states and other partners to promote equity in health, combat disease, and improve the quality of life and lengthen the lifespan of peoples of the Americas. Canada has been an active member of PAHO since 1971, playing a leadership role in fostering good governance and advancing key program policy issues. Through PAHO, Canada advances multilateral and bilateral relations, provides technical assistance and supports capacity building in a number of areas.

The contribution to the PAHO is now managed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2013–2014, the ODA provided by the agency totalled $13.3 million. The PAHO contributed to important progress in the region in a range of areas, from the elimination and control of infectious diseases to the strengthening of health systems, addressing the social determinants of health, and access to prevention, care, and rehabilitation services.

Canada’s Contribution to the International Telecommunication Union

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for coordinating the global development of telecommunications. Its mandate is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks, and to facilitate universal access in this emerging information society and global economy. Industry Canada manages Canada’s contribution to the ITU.

The ITU’s membership comprises of 193 member states and more than 700 sector members and associates (private industry and academic institutions). As the global focal point for governments and the private sector, the ITU’s main activities span three core sectors: radiocommunications, standardization and development.

Key results achieved in 2013–2014 include an improved capacity of developing countries in transitioning from analog to digital broadcasting through training, direct assistance, regional initiatives, master plans and development of guidelines and tools; as well as an improved capacity of developing countries to deploy mobile technology, specifically text messaging and applications, in the health sector. For example, the joint ITU–World Health Organization m-Health Initiative launched a mobile phone cessation program for smokers in Costa Rica and a program to use a mobile platform for diabetes control and prevention in Senegal.

Assessed Contributions to International Organizations

Assessed contributions are payments made by the federal government as a result of Canada’s membership in an international organization. In order to maintain our status as a member in good standing, Canada is required to provide its share of the total operations costs for each organization of which we are a member. This not only fulfills Canada’s obligations as a member of these organizations, but also allows Canada to advance our foreign and development policy priorities in key multilateral forums.

The Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development determines the portion of assessed contributions to be considered ODA. In 2013–2014, Canada provided ODA-eligible assessed contributions to 25 international organizations, for a total of $136.27 million:

  • Commonwealth Foundation
  • Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
  • International Atomic Energy Agency
  • International Labour Organization
  • International Maritime Organization – Technical Co-operation Fund
  • International Network for Bamboo and Rattan
  • International Organisation of La Francophonie
  • International Telecommunication Union
  • Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol
  • Organization of American States
  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Pan American Health Organization
  • United Nations
  • United Nations Conference to Combat Desertification
  • United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Universal Postal Union
  • World Health Organization
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • World Meteorological Organization
  • World Trade Organization

Appendix – Highlights of Official Development Assistance Activities by Department

The following is a sampling of Official Development Assistance activities undertaken by each of these departments in 2013–2014:

Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Through its Geographic Programs, DFATD provides bilateral development assistance in specific countries and regions. As part of the aid effectiveness agenda, the department focuses its development assistance to achieve the greatest impact.

Through its Multilateral and Global Programs, DFATD contributes to international development and humanitarian efforts by providing financial support to multilateral organizations and helping them shape their policies and programs throughout the world.

The Partnerships for Development Innovation programs aim to leverage the development expertise and initiative of Canadians by funding the best proposals put forward by Canadian organizations to deliver development results on the ground and contribute to poverty alleviation.

Democracy programming focuses on promoting the full participation of citizens in decision making that affects their lives, rules-based governance, respect for human rights, and the emergence of effective and accountable institutions.

The Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force program serves as Canada’s centre of expertise for stabilization and reconstruction efforts in fragile and conflict-affected areas throughout the world, including Afghanistan, Haiti, South Sudan and Sudan.

Several other programs were also supported in 2013–2014, such as the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the Investment Cooperation Program, and the International Scholarship Program.

Department of Finance Canada

The department provides support to the World Bank Group to achieve results in all of the government’s development priority areas. This includes core support to the IDA, 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 of Finance Canada provides support to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) to contribute to decrease debt-service payments in developing countries. In 2013–2014 the Department of Finance Canada also provided support to AgResults to enhance smallholder farmer well-being and food security in the developing world. 

International Development Research Centre

The IDRC funds research in developing countries to promote growth and development. It provides grantees in developing countries with the funds, support, and connections they need to find solutions to the pressing problems affecting their societies. The IDRC also enables many of the brightest minds in Canada and developing countries to collaborate on cutting-edge projects. The IDRC’s programs and initiatives focus on four thematic areas: agriculture and environment, global health policy, science and innovation, and social and economic policy. At the end of 2013–2014, the IDRC was supporting 798 applied research activities globally carried out by 674 institutions, of which 111 were Canadian. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

The CIC plays a significant role in upholding Canada’s international obligations and humanitarian tradition by engaging both domestic and international stakeholders to develop and implement timely, efficient and effective refugee protection policies and programs. In 2013–2014, the CIC funded a variety of settlement services to help immigrants, including refugees and other newcomers integrate into Canadian society.

Department of National Defence

As part of a Government of Canada response, the Canadian Armed Forces provided humanitarian support to the Philippines following the typhoon that hit the country on November 8, 2013. Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) operated in the Philippines, focusing on the hardest-hit regions.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

In 2013–2014, the RCMP deployed 111 Canadian police to missions in countries that had experienced conflict or upheaval. By building the capacity of foreign police to maintain law and order, Canadian police, in cooperation with international partners, help create a safer and more stable global environment.

Public Health Agency of Canada

The agency’s participation in the Pan American Health Organization contributed to combating disease, strengthening health systems, and improving people’s quality of life in member states. Small-scale health projects were also supported and allowed for partnerships among Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean to advance strategic health priorities.

Environment Canada

In an effort to enhance the livelihoods of vulnerable populations by preserving and improving the environment in developing countries, Environment Canada provided support to various multilateral environmental organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme, and to initiatives in Panama and Colombia that helped developing effective strategies for the management of the coastal blue carbon ecosystems.

Natural Resources Canada

The department delivered development assistance to improve conservation and sustainable management of forest resources in francophone Africa through the African Model Forest Initiative (AMFI). The Congo Basin, in Central Africa, hosts the world’s second-largest rainforest after the Amazon and is a source of food and energy to millions of people.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada provided contributions to the responsible authorities in Kenya, Chile, Colombia and Mexico for the establishment and management of national parks and other protected areas in their respective countries to support climate change adaptation efforts.

Labour Canada

Through the Labour Program, the department funded activities that promote better enforcement of national labour laws and greater respect for internationally recognized labour standards. For example, it provided funding to the Université de Montréal for the Canada-China Joint Seminar on Collective Bargaining and Labour Dispute Resolution. This seminar, held in May 2013, strengthened Canada-China labour cooperation in an area that supports respect for fundamental labour/human rights, good governance, and the rule of law in China.

Industry Canada

Industry Canada contributed to universal access to communications and information systems through its involvement with the International Telecommunication Union.

Transport Canada

The department, through the Canada Post Corporation, contributed to the Universal Postal Union to support the provision of technical assistance in developing countries.


Footnote *

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Footnote 1

The Government of Canada announced in 2014 that it has increased the number of countries of focus from 20 to 25 in order to deliver the greatest results for those in need. These countries were chosen based on their real needs, their capacity to benefit from development assistance, and their alignment with Canadian foreign policy priorities. The Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance 2014–2015 will present relevant results for these new countries of focus.

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Footnote 2

Rounding errors (also known as round-off errors) are common occurrences in financial/statistical reporting that result from rounding approximations when truncating decimal places. As such, details presented in this report’s table may not add up to exact totals due to rounding.

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Footnote 3

Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

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Footnote 4

In order to carry out its activities, DFATD receives services without charge from various federal departments: Public Works and Government Services Canada, Justice Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat, and Employment and Social Development Canada.

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Footnote 5

Based on World Health Organization estimates.

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Footnote 6

This table represents ODAAA-compliant bilateral disbursements for humanitarian assistance. Figures are preliminary. Final amounts will be published in the Statistical Report on International Assistance by the end of March 2015 on the DFATD website.

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Footnote 7

This amount includes $30.10 million for Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team’s in-kind support to the Typhoon Haiyan response in the Philippines.

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Footnote 8

These cumulative results provide the most up-to-date data, as found in a GFATM midyear report published in June 2014.

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Footnote 9

Note that the figures provided are taken from the WFP’s 2013 Annual Performance Report, which covers the 2013 calendar year, and provides reporting in US dollars.

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Footnote 10

For additional information on Canada’s support for the Micronutrient Initiative.

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Footnote 11

For additional information about Canada’s commitment to maternal, newborn and child health.

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