Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance 2018-2019
- Volume 1
- Ministers’ messages
- International assistance reporting: Canada’s commitments and legislative requirements
- Overview of Canada’s federal international assistance in 2018-2019
- International Assistance Envelope and reporting disbursements against allocations
- Government of Canada’s international assistance and official development assistance disbursements by organization, 2018-2019
- Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals
- Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
- Action area: Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
- Action area: Human dignity
- Action area: Growth that works for everyone
- Action area: Environment and climate action
- Action area: Inclusive governance
- Action area: Peace and security
- Canada’s partners
- Innovation and effectiveness
- Federal organizations providing international assistance
- Volume 2: Engagement with international financial institutions
- Section A: Canada’s strategic engagement objectives with international financial institutions
- Section B: Canada’s engagement in World Bank Group operations
- Section C: Canada’s engagement in International Monetary Fund operations
- Section D: Canada’s engagements in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development operations
Message from the Minister of International Development and the Minister of Foreign Affairs
As the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of International Development, we are pleased to present the 2018-2019 Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance. This is the most comprehensive overview of how Canada’s aid has been achieving international assistance results since the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act was adopted.
In working to reduce poverty and improve lives around the world, our government has made respect for human rights, including fostering inclusion, advancing gender equality, and enabling women’s empowerment, signature priorities both at home and abroad.
Promoting rights-based, open and inclusive societies where all people, regardless of their gender, can fully benefit from equal participation in economic, political, social and cultural life is an effective way to advance our objectives to build a safer and more prosperous world, strengthen the rules-based international system, and uphold progressive values.
Canada’s feminist foreign policy is rooted in the conviction that all people should enjoy the same human rights, have the same opportunities to succeed, and live in safety and security. It is being operationalized through a suite of complementary international policies, programs, and initiatives, such as the Feminist International Assistance Policy; Canada’s Trade Diversification Strategy and its inclusive approach to trade; its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the Elsie Initiative, and its defence policy, “Safe, Secure, Engaged;” and a wide range of diplomatic actions supporting its objectives.
Since the launch of the Feminist International Assistance Policy in June 2017, Canada has re-oriented its approach to focus on the eradication of poverty and building a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Canada’s international assistance is making a difference and we are pleased to present the results of our efforts in this report.
The following examples highlight some noteworthy achievements that reflect our focus on improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable, and advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment:
- We are proud of the contributions Canada has made to humanitarian action over 2018-2019. Canada helped save the lives and ease the suffering of over 86 million people in need, providing over $910 million in humanitarian assistance in 62 countries and territories, and responding to 37 natural disasters. For example, in 2018-2019, Canada provided over $90 million to address the emergency needs in the Sahel, of which $35.13 million was targeted to fight drought conditions in the region. With Canada’s support, non-government organization (NGO) partners helped over 2 million beneficiaries in the Sahel, including over 57,000 children treated for severe acute malnutrition.
- Complementing its humanitarian assistance, Canada has actively supported conflict management and stabilization in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Consistent with its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and with Sustainable Development Goal 16, in 2018-2019, Canada mobilized support for women as active agents of peace, addressed sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, disrupted human trafficking networks, reintegrated ex-combatants, and increased the number of uniformed women in UN peace operations, among other efforts.
- During this reporting period, Canada hosted the June 8-9, 2018, G7 Summit in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, and made gender equality a key priority of its Presidency. Canada adopted a comprehensive and systematic approach to integrating gender equality in all areas of G7 work and established the Gender Equality Advisory Council. Prior to the Summit, Canada hosted the first G7 Development Ministers’ Meeting in 10 years, where G7 ministers agreed on four substantive and ambitious G7 declarations that focused on driving innovation, advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in international assistance. In addition, Canada, together with G7 and non-G7 partners, pledged $4.3 billion (with $400 million from Canada) toward supporting the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries.
- In August 2018, Canada hosted the Equal Rights Coalition Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the promotion of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and other (LGBTQ2+) people. In February 2019, Canada also announced $30 million in dedicated funding over five years, in addition to $10 million per year thereafter, to advance human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2+ people in developing countries.
- More recently, in June 2019, Canada hosted the Women Deliver Conference—the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls to date. Held in Vancouver, this event brought together world leaders, activists, government officials, parliamentarians, NGO representatives and business people to discuss gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. At the conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a 10-year commitment in which the Government of Canada will raise its funding to support women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health around the world, to reach an average of $1.4 billion annually by 2023. This historic investment will support sexual and reproductive health rights and maternal, newborn and child health.
Our government has put in place new tools that are enabling Canada to attract more resources for sustainable development. At the United Nations, in September 2019, Canada co-facilitated the 7th High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development. This meeting brought together global leaders to discuss challenges and next steps to closing the development financing gap.
To maximize the impact of our international assistance, Canada is building new multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with the private sector, and adopting more flexible, innovative, and integrated approaches. For example, at the Women Deliver Conference, the government announced that it will work with the Equality Fund, a $300-million partnership between government, philanthropists, the private sector and civil society, to create a sustainable source of funding for women’s organizations and movements in developing countries.
Committing to a feminist approach to international assistance represents a significant shift in what we do and how we do it. In July 2019, Canada launched policies for each of the action areas of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. The action area policies will provide further guidance on what Canada aims to achieve. Canada is prioritizing initiatives that have the greatest potential to close gender gaps and help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These efforts will be further enabled by the Budget 2019 commitment to allocate an additional $700 million for international assistance in 2023-2024. This commitment will allow Canada to build on results achieved and continue its leadership on the global stage.
This report outlines tangible results that the Government of Canada has achieved with its international assistance investments. It showcases how Canada and its partners are reducing extreme poverty, enhancing gender equality, and achieving inclusive and sustainable development impact. We hope you that as you explore this summary, you will be inspired by Canada’s international contributions and significant achievements.
Message from the Minister of Finance
The Government of Canada is strengthening Canada’s place in the world through an approach to international assistance that reflects Canadians’ interests and values. This includes supporting inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as ensuring that Canada’s international assistance is focused on addressing the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
In Budget 2018, the government committed to making our international assistance reporting more transparent and accessible to Canadians. Previously, the government informed Canadians about these activities through three separate reports responding to requirements under the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act. Now, in an effort to streamline this reporting process and improve transparency, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I are pleased to present this inaugural annual report, entitled Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance 2018-2019.
International assistance that is both sustainable and inclusive is essential for a strong and stable global economy. Canada looks to its strategic relations with International Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), to support and advance these objectives. As Canada’s Governor at these institutions, I will ensure that Canada continues to work closely with them to advance the goals set out in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which recognizes that supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is an essential part of building a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world.
In 2018, Canada had the privilege of holding the presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) countries. We made Investing in Growth that Works for Everyone a central pillar of our G7 presidency. We hosted the first-ever joint meeting of G7 Ministers of Finance and Development to discuss sustainable development that includes innovative ways to attract new partnerships and sources of finance, and promote women’s full and equal participation in the economy and in society. These discussions aligned with the theme “Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment,” which was integrated throughout the activities of Canada’s G7 presidency.
Over the last year, IMF lending made important contributions to supporting economic stability in countries in, or at risk of, economic crisis. In addition, the organization continued to increase its research and policy advice focus on the benefits of inclusive growth, economic openness, and gender empowerment—with Canada’s strong support.
At the WBG, Canada participated in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Capital Increase and the negotiations of the International Development Association Replenishment—demonstrating our continued engagement with the organization.
In 2018, Canada also formally joined the AIIB. We have been working with the AIIB to implement sound policies and strategies and robust governance frameworks, to shape investments that are inclusive and meet the highest international standards.
The EBRD focuses on fostering and growing successful market economies that are inclusive, competitive, environmentally friendly, and well-governed. With an emphasis on private sector operations, the EBRD has demonstrated its ability to leverage public resources to mobilize private capital for international development. In alignment with Canada’s leadership in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, the EBRD has also increased its efforts to promote women’s economic participation, improving women’s access to finance and business support, employment and skills development opportunities, and services.
This inaugural report discusses the key international assistance developments in 2018-2019, and Canada’s objectives and results. As Canada’s Governor at the IMF, the WBG, the AIIB and the EBRD, I can attest to the importance of these institutions in supporting international development and collaboration. I will ensure that Canada continues to have a voice in these institutions that so that, together, we can promote sustainable shared solutions and growth that works for everyone.
International assistance reporting: Canada’s commitments and legislative requirements
This report reflects a strong commitment to transparency on the use of public funds for international sustainable development, humanitarian action, and peace and security. It is important that Canadians and stakeholders in partner countries know how Canada’s international assistance resources are allocated and what results are being achieved.
Previously, three separate reports responding to the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA), the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act (Bretton Woods Act), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act (EBRD Act) were tabled in Parliament throughout the year. This meant referring to different documents at different times of the year. The Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 included legislative amendments that aligned the respective reporting timelines, making it possible to publish and table consolidated international assistance reporting. The new reporting deadline, which is one year after the end of each fiscal year or, if either House of Parliament is not sitting, on any of the first five days on which that House is sitting, also allows the consolidated reporting to include a final set of results and statistics.
The Government of Canada also introduced a new funding structure for the International Assistance Envelope (IAE), as of 2018-2019. It established six dedicated “pools” that address different types of activities, specifically core development, humanitarian assistance, international financial institutions (IFIs) funding, peace and security, crisis, and strategic priorities funding. Further, Budget 2019 included a commitment to reconcile the IAE pools’ projected allocations with the actual IAE expenditures, which this report does for the first time for 2018-2019.
Taken together, these commitments and legislative changes are intended to give Canadians and the international community clearer, more comprehensive information on Canada’s progress toward implementing the Feminist International Assistance Policy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Official Development Assistance Accountability Act
The ODAAA came into force in 2008 with the purpose of ensuring that all Canadian aid reported to Parliament as official development assistance centres upon poverty reduction and, among other things, reflects aid effectiveness principles and Canadian values.
The ODAAA requires the Minister of International Development or another competent minister, as defined in the ODAAA, to report annually to Parliament on federal official development assistance (ODA) spending and activities on behalf of the Government of Canada.
In order for international assistance activities to be reported to Parliament as ODA under the ODAAA, they must, in the competent minister’s opinion:
- contribute to poverty reduction;
- take into account the perspectives of the poor; and
- be consistent with international human rights standards.
Volume 1 of this report on international assistance covers all federal ODA as per the ODAAA reporting requirements, as well as other assistance provided through the International Assistance Envelope that does not meet the definition of ODA. Please refer to the chapter on the International Assistance Envelope for more information on non-ODA activities.
The ODAAA also requires the Minister of International Development to issue a statistical report on ODA within one year after the end of each fiscal year. This report provides more details on international assistance expenditures by organization, sector, and recipient. It is available on Global Affairs Canada’s website.
For more information, refer to the text of the ODAAA on Justice Canada’s website: Official Development Assistance Accountability Act.
Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act
The Bretton Woods Act came into force in 1985 to govern Canada’s engagement with the Bretton Woods institutions: the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank Group (that is, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [IBRD], the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency). The Bretton Woods institutions constitute important channels through which Canada delivers international assistance and supports global economic and financial stability.
The Bretton Woods Act requires the Minister of Finance to table an annual report in Parliament that provides a general summary of operations under the Act and details of operations that directly affect Canada, along with communiqués issued by the institutions’ governing committees. These communiqués can be found in Volume 2.
For more information, refer to the text of the Bretton Woods Act on Justice Canada’s website: Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act
The EBRD Act came into force in 1991 and provides the legal framework for Canada’s membership in the EBRD. As a founding member and the eighth-largest shareholder in the Bank, Canada actively contributes to the development of EBRD policies while providing oversight of the Bank’s financial activities. This is primarily achieved through Canada’s seats on the Board of Governors and Board of Directors.
Key objectives guide Canada’s engagement with the Bank. Renewed annually, these objectives are informed by the Government of Canada’s policy goals, a dedication to the EBRD’s underlying transition mandate, and the general principles of good governance, accountability, and institutional effectiveness. Canada’s objectives are meant to help ensure that the EBRD remains an effective, efficient, and modern institution for the clients and countries it serves.
The EBRD Act requires that the Minister of Finance provide to Parliament an annual report of operations containing a general summary of all actions taken under the Act, including their sustainable development and human rights aspects. Please refer to Volume 2.
For more information, refer to the text of the EBRD Act on Justice Canada’s website: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act.
Overview of Canada’s federal international assistance in 2018-2019
The Government of Canada delivered international assistance through 19 federal organizations.
The Government of Canada’s international assistance funding increased by 7% between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
* This report only covers international assistance and ODA disbursed by the Government of Canada. The Statistical Report on International Assistance also includes international assistance and ODA from Canadian provinces, territories and municipalities. Please refer to the Statistical Report for detailed definitions of international assistance and ODA.
$6.1B, of which $5.9B is official development assistance (ODA)*:
|Global Affairs Canada||$4,648M|
|Department of Finance Canada||$797M|
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada||$390M|
|International Development Research Centre||$156M|
|Other federal organizations||$70M|
Types of international assistance
- Long-term development assistance
- Humanitarian assistance
- Peace and security
Ways international assistance is delivered
- Multilateral organizations
- Partner governments
- Civil society organizations (the term “civil society” refers to a wide range of non-government, non-profit, and voluntary-driven organizations, as well as social movements, through which people organize to pursue shared interests, values, and objectives in public life.)
- Private sector
Results achieved in partner countries
- Poverty reduced and economic opportunities increased for people around the world
- People facing humanitarian crises received assistance
- Stability fostered in fragile regions
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy was launched in June 2017 and seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world. The Policy has established a robust accountability framework to measure results, with progress achieved monitored and tracked through the Policy’s six action areas.
The Government of Canada’s international assistance disbursements, by action area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy
* The amount under the gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls action area does not reflect gender-targeted and gender-integrated programming included across other action areas.
- Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls: $90 million*
- Human dignity: $2,671 million
- Human dignity - Health and nutrition: $1,171 million
- Human dignity - Education: $434 million
- Human dignity - Gender responsive humanitarian action: $910 million
- Human dignity - Cross-cutting activities: $157 million
- Growth that works for everyone: $983 million
- Environment and climate action: $630 million
- inclusive governance: $443 million
- Peace and security: $314 million
- Multi-action area activities, such as refugee-related activities: $610 million
- Administrative costs: $318 million
Global Affairs Canada’s bilateral international development assistance targeting or integrating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
* Targeted: Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the investment’s principal objective.
Integrated: Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is an important and deliberate objective of the investment, but is not the principal objective.
Neither: Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is not an objective of the investment.
In 2018-2019, over 94.9% of Global Affairs Canada’s bilateral international development assistance targeted or integrated gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This represented investments of $2.8 billion.
Summary: From 2015-2016 to 2018-2019, the proportion of Global Affairs Canada’s bilateral international development assistance that both targeted and integrated gender equality has increased, contributing to the 2021-2022 targets.
- 2015-2016 (baseline): Neither integrated or targeted, 25%; Gender integrated, 72%; Gender targeted, 3%
- 2017-2018: Neither integrated or targeted, 10%; Gender integrated, 87%; Gender targeted, 3%
- 2018-2019: Neither integrated or targeted, 5%; Gender integrated, 89%; Gender targeted, 6%
- 2021-2022 (target): Neither integrated or targeted, 5%; Gender integrated, 80%; Gender targeted, 15%
408,323 people were reached by projects that help prevent, respond to and end sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage and/or female genital mutilation.
3,804,639 entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders received financial and/or business development services.
2,864,301 women and girls received access to sexual and reproductive health services, including modern methods of contraception.
176 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced or avoided.**
355,268 teachers were trained according to national standards.
220,493 people graduated from technical or vocational education and training supported by Global Affairs Canada.
18,035,845 people were reached by projects that support women’s leadership in governance.
5,609 civil society organizations that advocate for human rights and/or inclusive governance were supported.
15% of humanitarian assistance projects included components addressing sexual and gender-based violence or sexual and reproductive health and rights.
165,818 peacekeepers were trained through deployments and projects to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.
* Results include cumulative data from numerous Global Affairs Canada international assistance projects. Data includes results from the start of project implementation up until March 31, 2019. The implementation start dates vary from project to project. These results represent only a snapshot of Global Affairs Canada’s international assistance and do not reflect the entire breadth of its programming.
** This result reflects cumulative, expected impacts from pro-rated Global Affairs Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada programming.
Examples of Canada’s major international assistance commitments
Canada committed $650 million between 2017 and 2020 to address critical gaps in sexual and reproductive health. This includes programming to address women’s and girls’ access to family planning, comprehensive sexuality education, basic reproductive health care, and safe abortion and post-abortion care, and that combats sexual and gender-based violence.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights commitment between 2017 and 2020: $650 million
Disbursements per year:
- 2017-2018: $198 million
- 2018-2019: $225 million
To support developing countries’ climate change efforts, Canada has announced initiatives for over $1.7 billion of its $2.65 billion climate finance commitment. This includes the $162-million commitment that Canada made as host of the 2018 G7 to support the goals of the Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities. Canada also announced $100 million in funding to rid the oceans of global marine litter and plastic pollution.
Climate finance commitment between 2015 and 2021: $2.65 billion
Disbursements per year:
- 2015-2016: $168 million
- 2016-2017: $265 million
- 2017-2018: $368 million
- 2018-2019: $443 million
Canada continued to implement its commitment to investing $3.5 billion between 2015 and 2020 in maternal, newborn and child health. Canada invested $742 million in 2018-2019.
Maternal, newborn and child health commitment between 2015 and 2020: $3.5 billion
Disbursements per year:
- 2015-2016: $656 million
- 2016-2017: $750 million
- 2017-2018: $727 million
- 2018-2019: $742 million
Canada supports meaningful change in the Middle East through the Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Feminist Foreign Policy, and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. In February 2016, Canada committed $2.1 billion over three years to the region to respond to the crises in Iraq and Syria and address their impact on Lebanon, Jordan and the region. $1.3 billion of this consisted in international assistance implemented by Global Affairs Canada and that focused on security and stabilization, humanitarian, and development activities. In March 2019, Canada renewed its Middle East Strategy for another two years, with a $1.4 billion commitment.
Canada’s Middle East Strategy: $1.3-billion commitment between 2016 and 2019
Disbursements per year:
- 2016-2017: $435 million
- 2017-2018: $452 million
- 2018-2019: $436 million
Canada launched the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, committing to allocate over $150 million in over 30 countries and regions over five years. Projects respond to the needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries.
Women’s Voice and Leadership commitment between 2018 and 2023: $150 million
Disbursement in 2018-2019: $16 million
Canada on the world stage
The Feminist International Assistance Policy guides Canada’s international implementation of the 2030 Agenda. By using Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality as an entry point for the Policy, Canada contributes broadly to the achievement of all 17 SDGs.
During its G7 presidency, Canada demonstrated global leadership to address development challenges with a focus on women and girls, development innovation, and innovative financing. For example, Canada committed $400 million to the historic joint investment of nearly $3.8 billion in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations.
Canada committed to doing development differently by encouraging innovation, greater testing, and scaling up new solutions to development challenges in the Feminist International Assistance Policy. This work might include using new or improved business models, policy practices, approaches, partnerships, technologies, behavioural insights, financing mechanisms, or ways of delivering products and services that result in better outcomes than traditional approaches.
Over $910 million in humanitarian assistance support was provided through UN partners, NGOs, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to crises in 62 countries and territories. This support improved the lives of over 86.7 million people.
Canada supports the Busan Principles on Effective Development Co-operation and actively participates in the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. Improving the effectiveness of Canada’s international assistance is also an important feature of the Feminist International Assistance Policy.
The Government of Canada’s international assistance around the world
In 2018-2019, the Government of Canada provided international assistance in 149 countries and territories. To learn more about activities and results around the world, please visit the countries pages on the Canada and the World website. The Statistical Report on International Assistance provides more information on international assistance by country and region.
Top 10 recipients of international assistance
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Find out more about feminist leadership in Africa.
Find out more about supporting skills training for women in Bangladesh.
Find out more about youth-led financial solutions in Rwanda.
Find out more about support to LGBTQ2+ migrants in Ecuador.
Find out more about locally trained demining teams in Iraq.
Colombia is recovering from 50 years of internal conflict and is now managing significant migration from Venezuela. Canada is at the forefront of doing development differently in Colombia to achieve more impact, crowd-in private sector and government partnerships, all to advance gender equality, help small producers build viable businesses through cooperatives and credit, and strengthen education outcomes. Canada is responding to the refugee and migration crisis by providing robust humanitarian and development support for migrants and host communities and has helped the Government of Colombia access new funding from the World Bank for the crisis.
Since 2012, the multidimensional crisis Mali is experiencing has threatened progress towards equitable development for Malians, aggravated the humanitarian situation and food insecurity, and provoked the closing of schools. To meet the resulting needs, Canada is contributing to improve access to basic social services, including health, nutrition and education. Canada promotes inclusive growth, gender equality and responsible governance, helping to create an environment conducive for lasting peace. For example, the Justice, Prevention and Reconciliation initiative, funded by Global Affairs Canada, helps victims of the conflict to have better access to justice services and supports Malian leaders in their efforts to encourage reconciliation and prevent conflicts.
Ukraine is undergoing comprehensive economic, social and institutional transformation strengthening its democracy and the rule of law. It is doing so as a country in conflict. Canada’s comprehensive assistance helps strengthen the delivery of public services, support conflict-affected populations, reinforce reforms in the military and police, support counter disinformation, and empower citizens, especially women and vulnerable populations, to participate in the governance of their country. Recent highlights include support to establish 535 free legal aid clinics for Ukraine’s most vulnerable citizens.
Despite four decades of conflict, Afghanistan has continued to make impressive development gains, and to transform citizen relations and governance. Canada is helping to create a more peaceful environment that is safe and secure for all Afghans by supporting Afghanistan’s priorities in health, education and human rights, and strengthening the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. Other priorities include advocating for the rights of women and girls, more effective anti-corruption measures, improving the rule of law, and providing humanitarian assistance to those most in need. For example, in 2018-2019, Canada helped 273,000 Afghan students (81% female) attend community-based education schools. 17,571 female patients also received previously unavailable obstetric and gynaecological services at a hospital Canada helped build.
Regional crises have left Jordan as a generous host of a large number of refugees, placing a significant strain on the country’s education, health, and social protection systems. Canada is supporting Jordan’s reform efforts to generate economic growth and create jobs. Our support includes humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of refugees and host communities, especially women and girls. Our development assistance is working to improve quality and access to education, especially for refugees and other vulnerable groups. It is also supporting improved municipal services, and activities to stimulate economic growth, such as skills development, access to finance, and business support.
Mozambique ranks 180th out of 189 countries in the 2019 Human Development Index. In 2018-2019, Canada supported programs and advocacy efforts to close gender gaps in health and education, empower women and girls, and strengthen governance. For example, Canada supported civil society and government partners on efforts that led to the adoption of a law against child marriage, the modernizing of the Civil Registration Code, improved access to sexual and reproductive services, and increased enrollment in schools. Nationally, secondary school student enrolments increased by 8.4% from 2017 to 2018.
This report provides information on all of Canada’s federal international assistance from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, of which the majority was ODA. In total, 19 federal organizations disbursed over $6.1 billion in international assistance, including $5.9 billion in ODA, during this period. Activities were deployed in 149 countries and territories, where Canada worked with an array of international and local partners, including governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international bodies, and private sector entities.
Similar to last year’s Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s Official Development Assistance, this report is structured around the six action areas of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. Additional sections describe guiding principles and approaches for Canadian international assistance, such as transparency, effectiveness, and innovation, and its partnerships and collaborations.
Canada is making important progress in implementing its Feminist International Assistance Policy, which guides Canada’s international implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report includes examples of how Canada is delivering on its commitments around the world to eliminate barriers to gender equality and help achieve the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. It also features important enhancements, such as expanded financial and statistical information, and a selection of results aggregated from numerous projects across Global Affairs Canada, and includes more references to web resources for additional information.
Canada continues to work to improve the effectiveness of its international assistance, including by promoting openness and transparency and by sharing results centred on evidence and improved data. The Government of Canada welcomes all stakeholders’ continued interest, participation, and engagement in its international assistance efforts.
International Assistance Envelope and reporting disbursements against allocations
The International Assistance Envelope (IAE) is a dedicated pool of resources used by the Government of Canada to fund the majority of federal international assistance. Most international assistance funded by the IAE is official development assistance. Non-ODA international assistance includes, for example, those security, conflict prevention, stabilization, or peacebuilding activities that do not meet the definition due to country eligibility or activity type. Several federal organizations have received IAE funding in recent years, including Global Affairs Canada, the Department of Finance Canada, the International Development Research Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 2018-2019, the IAE funded $5.6 billion of Canada’s international assistance, totalling 92% of all federal international assistance.
Budget 2018 reorganized the IAE around dedicated funding pools to more clearly outline and project how federal Canadian aid is allocated (that is, through the Core Development pool, the Humanitarian Assistance pool, the International Financial Institutions pool, the Peace and Security pool, the Crisis Pool, and the Strategic Priorities Fund). In addition, Budget 2018 announced additional resources for the IAE, with $2 billion allocated over five years (from 2018-2019 to 2022-2023).
Budget 2019 committed to reporting on expenses against the allocations presented in Budget 2018. The comparison can be found in the charts below.
1. Allocations announced in Budget 2018*
* The Strategic Priorities Fund was fully allocated to the Core Development (96%) and Humanitarian Assistance (4%) pools. The Crisis Pool was allocated to the Humanitarian Assistance (70%), Core Development (29%), and Peace and Security (1%) pools for international crisis and stabilization response. The new Budget 2018 funding was distributed to a variety of programs within the Core Development (75%), Humanitarian Assistance (21%), and Peace and Security (4%) pools.
Allocations announced in Budget 2018*
- Core Development: $3,104 million
- New Budget 2018 funding: $200 million
- Strategic Priorities Fund: $136 million
- International Financial Institutions: $777 million
- Peace and Security: $401 million
- Crisis Pool: $200 million
- Humanitarian Assistance: $738 million
2. Disbursements in 2018-2019
* The Humanitarian Assistance pool amount is different from that included as Canada’s official humanitarian assistance in the Statistical Report on International Assistance ($919 million), which is based on the recognised international reporting standard, not sources of funds. The differences are mainly due to scope (Canada vs IAE), imputed multilateral aid reported against humanitarian sectors ex-post, and methodology (allocation vs expenditures).
** A $250-million exceptional payment to the IBRD was subsequently added to the International Financial Institutions pool for a capital share increase.
Disbursements in 2018-2019
- $3,235 million for Core Development, including:
- Crisis Pool
- Strategic Priorities Fund
- New Budget 2018 funding
- $438 million for Peace and Security, including:
- Crisis Pool
- New Budget 2018 funding
- $867 million*for Humanitarian Assistance, including:
- Crisis Pool
- Strategic Priorities Fund
- New Budget 2018 funding
- $1,062 million** for International Financial Institutions
Government of Canada’s international assistance and official development assistance disbursements by organization, 2018-2019
The Government of Canada disbursed $6.1 billionFootnote 1 in international assistance in 2018-2019, delivered by 19 federal organizations, of which ODA made up 97% or $5.9 billion. The Statistical Report on International Assistance provides further details on international assistance and ODA expenditures by source, sector, and recipient, and includes information on channels of disbursements for the IAE.
The following table shows the amount disbursed by each of the 19 federal organizations.
|Organization||Total international assistance||of which|
|Global Affairs Canada||4,647.51|
4,619.67Disbursed from four pools:
|Department of Finance Canada||796.65|
796.65Disbursed from the International Financial Institutions pool
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada||389.79||-||389.79|
|International Development Research Centre||156.01|
156.01Disbursed from the Core Development pool
|Environment and Climate Change Canada||19.81|
13.49Disbursed from the Core Development pool
|Royal Canadian Mounted Police||15.13|
15.13Disbursed from the Peace and Security pool
|Canada Revenue Agency||5.26|
1.74Disbursed from the Core Development pool
|Department of National Defence||4.75||-||4.75|
|Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada||0.99||-||0.99|
|Employment and Social Development Canada||0.94||-||0.94|
|Public Health Agency of Canada||0.78||-||0.78|
|Canadian Food Inspection Agency||0.31||-||0.31|
|Canadian Space Agency||0.20||-||0.20|
|Canadian Intellectual Property Office||0.05||-||0.05|
|Canadian Museum of Nature||0.02||-||0.02|
|Public Service Commission Canada||0.01||-||0.01|
|Services supporting Global Affairs Canada’s activities||19.95||-||19.95|
|Total for federal organizations||6,059.72||5,602.69||5,883.63|
|Other sources (shown here for information and completeness)|
|Cost of refugees in Canada (1st year) – Provincial and territorial governments||244.92||-||244.92|
|Imputed foreign student subsidies||46.78||-||46.78|
|Provinces, territories and municipalities||43.48||-||43.48|
|Subtotal (other sources)||335.18||-||335.18|
|Total – all of Canada||6,394.90||5,602.69||6,218.82|
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global call to action aimed at ending extreme poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a commitment to leave no one behind. For the first time in history, developing and developed countries alike are implementing a universal agenda that balances the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental. Canada is working toward making progress on all aspects of the SDGs through domestic and international actions.
Internationally, the Feminist International Assistance Policy guides Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda. SDG 5—achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls—is at the heart of Canada’s approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda.
In 2018, Canada presented its first Voluntary National Review to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The report outlined actions and measures taken by Canada since 2015 to achieve the SDGs, progress made, remaining challenges, and future plans.
In 2018, the Government of Canada created an SDG Unit under the responsibility of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The SDG Unit oversees the implementation of the SDG Funding Program and the development of Canada’s national strategy for implementing the 2030 Agenda, which was also announced in Budget 2018. The SDG Unit also coordinates the federal government’s implementation of the SDGs, and leads consultations and coordinates with other levels of government, Indigenous peoples, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders on Canada’s efforts to support the 2030 Agenda. While all ministers are responsible to drive progress toward the SDGs, six core departments have been asked by the Prime Minister to act as stewards in overseeing progress on the SDGs, including Global Affairs Canada, which leads on the international implementation of the SDGs.
In 2018-2019, ESDC developed and launched Towards Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy, its first step toward developing a national SDG strategy. Further efforts are under way to move this interim document toward a national strategy that reflects a coordinated, whole-of-society approach to Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Statistics Canada participates in several international expert groups focused on measuring progress toward the SDGs. Its participation has helped countries, including developing countries, to develop robust statistics and indicators for measuring progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda.
In 2018-2019, Statistics Canada continued to serve as a key member of the UN Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators, and continued its membership in the UN Economic Commission for Europe Steering Group on Statistics for SDGs. Statistics Canada is also a member of several UN task groups and informal working groups for specific SDGs and indicators, to ensure that the Agenda 2030’s global indicator framework is robust.
Through such participation, Statistics Canada contributes significantly not only to the development of global indicators for measuring progress toward the SDGs, but also to ensuring that developing countries’ national statistical systems are supported as they implement the 2030 Agenda. For more information, see the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals Data Hub on Statistics Canada’s website.
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
Canada’s 2017 Feminist International Assistance Policy seeks to build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. Canada firmly believes that advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective way to achieve this goal. Our commitment to a feminist approach to international assistance represents a significant shift in what we do, and how and where we do it.
The Policy is a key part of Canada’s broader foreign policy toolkit, which includes a suite of existing international policies such as: the Inclusive Trade Agenda; the second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security; and Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. The Policy supports and guides Canada’s international implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Goal 5—achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls—is at the heart of Canada’s approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda because it will drive progress toward achieving the other SDGs.
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy is the result of an International Assistance Review that included extensive consultations with Canadian and international partners and stakeholders. The purpose of the review was to ensure Canada’s international assistance focused on the poorest, most marginalized and most vulnerable people; supported fragile states; and ensured that Canada’s international assistance priorities are aligned with the 2030 Agenda. The consultative, whole-of-government approach adopted by the review leveraged the expertise of citizens, civil society, academics, and public servants from across Canada in order to develop a comprehensive, evidence-based policy.
Transforming what Canada does
The Feminist International Assistance Policy adopts an integrated approach to development, humanitarian, and peace and security assistance. The approach has six interrelated action areas that take into account Canada’s experience and comparative advantage:
- gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (core action area);
- human dignity, which includes:
- health and nutrition
- gender-responsive humanitarian action;
- growth that works for everyone;
- environment and climate action;
- inclusive governance; and
- peace and security.
To support transformative change, Canada is pursuing a comprehensive approach across the six action areas through programming, policy, and advocacy efforts. This approach informs results frameworks, progress reporting, and performance assessment. On July 5, 2019, Canada launched policies on the six action areas to provide additional guidance on what Canada aims to achieve through the Feminist International Assistance Policy. The action area policies help shape the broad parameters for Canada’s international assistance, while enabling flexibility for country and institutional contexts.
Canada is committed to implementing the Feminist International Assistance Policy and consistently prioritizes its programming objectives to align with the Policy’s targets.
One of the Policy’s key commitments was to allocate, by 2021-2022, no less than 95% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance investments toward initiatives that either target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; of which 15% specifically target these goals.
Canada is already making important progress toward these commitments. In 2018-2019, over 99.9% of Global Affairs Canada’s newly approved bilateral international development assistance either targeted or integrated gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, with 22.2% specifically targeting these goals. These new investments raised Canada’s overall percentage of gender equality targeted or integrated bilateral international development assistance disbursements to 94.9% in 2018-2019, of which 6.2% specifically targeted gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
In 2018-2019, Canada continued to increase investments in the implementation of the Policy:
- The $2-billion increase in international assistance over five years announced in Budget 2018 was further augmented by an additional $700 million in 2023-2024, announced in Budget 2019;
- Canada led a G7 initiative on quality education for girls, adolescent girls and women in developing countries, and committed $400 million to a historic announcement of $3.8 billion for girls’ and women’s quality education in conflict and crisis.
Canada is making progress on implementing specific initiatives highlighted in the Policy. For example:
- In 2017, $650 million was committed over three years to improve the reproductive health and rights of women and adolescent girls. In 2018-2019, more than $408 million in programming was operational. The Her Voice, Her Choice initiative, for example, helps improve women’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, contraception, family planning, safe and legal abortions, and post-abortion care. Canada is also playing an important leadership role in international movements and partnerships, including Every Woman Every Child, SheDecides, Family Planning 2020 and the Ouagadougou Partnership.
- In 2018-2019, Canada advanced the implementation of the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, for which $150 million have been committed over five years. By the end of 2018-2019, the Program had 28 operational projects to support women’s organizations and networks in 30 countries and regions, including Ghana, Mozambique and Tunisia. Among other benefits, the Program helps to strengthen the capacity of women’s rights organizations to program and advocate to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Canada is also making meaningful development, humanitarian, stabilization and diplomatic progress in significant priority areas:
- supporting the leadership and participation of all women and girls as agents of change;
- strengthening peace operations to advance Canada’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, including by deploying more women peacekeepers and civilian personnel.
- scaling up access to sexual and reproductive health services for women and adolescent girls in all their diversity, including access to contraception;
- strengthening women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women and girls;
- increasing the number of girls who complete elementary and high school;
- enhancing women’s access to and control over land, productive resources, and financial services as well as inheritance and property rights, and promoting their economic participation and empowerment;
- better meeting the needs of women in humanitarian settings and reducing incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse;
- bolstering resilience to climate change and supporting climate-smart agriculture;
- increasing the participation of women, girls and those from traditionally marginalized groups in public leadership, decision-making and democratic processes; and
- strengthening peace operations to advance Canada’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, including by deploying more women peacekeepers and civilian personnel.
Transforming how Canada delivers international assistance
Canada continues to maximize the effectiveness of its international assistance, including by making it more flexible, integrated, and responsive. Canada’s feminist approach maximizes the impact of Canada’s international assistance by addressing the discrimination and inequality that are underlying causes of poverty. The guidance note on Canada’s feminist approach details the principles, levers for change, and pathways for action to implement a coherent feminist approach. Canada is also investing in innovation and research to improve how results are achieved for greater impact. Canada released a guidance note on its approach to innovation in international assistance. In 2018-2019, Canada was an active first mover in this space, advancing innovation as part of our G7 presidency and at the OECD (for more information, see the Advancing innovation in development work section of this report). Further, Canada has made progress toward its five-year investment of $100 million to fund Canadian small and medium organizations (SMOs). This investment is working to develop and implement innovative programming in partnership with local organizations to support the Policy’s six action areas, notably gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
The G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, focused G7 members’ attention on the issue of innovative development finance. Budget 2018 announced the International Assistance Innovation and Sovereign Loans programs to expand Canada’s development toolkit and enhance our ability to leverage Canada’s international assistance to mobilize additional resources for sustainable development. In June 2018, Canada published a guidance note on its approach to innovative financing for sustainable development, which lays out why, how and when Canada will draw on innovative financial instruments to support the achievement of its Feminist International Assistance Policy objectives and the SDGs. In addition, a $300-million commitment was announced in 2018 to establish a new partnership for gender equality—now known as the Equality Fund—to encourage philanthropists and the private sector to join government and civil society in mobilizing unprecedented levels of resources through a unique partnership in support of gender equality and women’s rights.
Other efforts under way to maximize the effectiveness of Canada’s international assistance include increasing aid transparency and open dialogue, as outlined in a guidance note on Canada’s approach, and fostering more effective, diverse, and inclusive partnerships that advance the interests of women and girls. In September 2017, Canada launched the Policy for Civil Society Partnerships for International Assistance – A Feminist Approach, which aims to enhance effective cooperation with Canadian, international and local civil society organizations to maximize the impact and results of international assistance and foster a strong and vibrant civil society sector. In 2018-2019, a CSO Policy Advisory Group comprised of Global Affairs Canada and CSO representatives worked to produce a mutual implementation plan to operationalize the CSO policy’s objectives. The plan was approved in 2019.
Transforming where Canada works
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy introduced a more flexible geographical approach, moving beyond countries of focus to respond better to local needs and opportunities in countries where we work. This new geographic approach enables Canada to target assistance in regions where the greatest impact can be achieved in reducing poverty and inequality, particularly for women and girls, and facilitates more coherent deployment of development, humanitarian and peace and security assistance. It also more realistically captures the suite of partnership pathways that Canada uses in deploying its aid, whether bilateral, multilateral, or working with CSOs and the private sector.
In addition, Canada has made progress toward the commitment outlined in the Policy to direct no less than 50% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance to sub-Saharan African countries by 2021-2022. In 2018-2019, 45% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance was directed to sub-Saharan African countries. This represents a 3% reduction compared to 2017-2018 because of important investments in other regions and in support of broader government priorities, such as the crises in Myanmar and Venezuela.
Canada promotes a coherent and collaborative approach to delivering international assistance in fragile contexts, in alignment with international best practices, as outlined in the landmark UN-World Bank Pathways for Peace report (2018). Canada also took concrete steps to enhance the conflict sensitivity of its international assistance across all action areas. This has meant gaining a better understanding of how our international assistance and conflict dynamics interact so that we can mitigate risk and maximize the positive effects of our actions.
For more information, see the Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Action area: Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
* SDGs are highlighted based on common objectives and results. All SDGs have crosscutting interlinkages with all of the action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the core action area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy, and a strategic focus across all action areas.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are fundamental to the realization of human rights, the eradication of poverty, and the achievement of sustainable development and peace. Women and girls can be powerful agents of change, but due to pervasive gender inequality, a disproportionate number of women and girls still face violence, discrimination, and socio-economic marginalization. Greater focus is needed on building environments that enable them to participate as equal decision makers in their homes and societies, have control over their own lives and bodies, and contribute equally to, and benefit from, development and prosperity. Canada aims to advance gender equality sustainably and accelerate its progress across all other priorities. With this action area, Canada creates the space for investing in dedicated, coordinated efforts to address fundamental and multi-dimensional challenges to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
As such, within this specific action area, Canada advances gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls across three pathways:
- addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including child, early and forced marriages, and female genital mutilation/cutting;
- supporting and strengthening women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women and girls; and
- supporting evidence-based policymaking and program delivery for gender equality.
Learn more on Canada’s approach through its equality and the empowerment of women and girls action area policy. For information on Global Affairs Canada’s projects in this action area, please see the Project Browser.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Bangladesh - $8.5 million
Afghanistan - $5.6 million
West Bank and Gaza - $3.8 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $90.25 million in international assistance, of which $88.44 million was ODA, in dedicated efforts specifically addressing one or more of the above-mentioned three pathways. As gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls drive efforts across all action areas under the Feminist International Assistance Policy, other issues, such as women’s economic and political empowerment, quality education for women and girls, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, are reported separately under their relevant action areas. Overall, factoring in all action areas, $2.8 billion (representing 94.9%) of Global Affairs Canada’s bilateral international development assistance investments either targeted or integrated gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in 2018-2019.
Within the gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls action area, Canada works with international, Canadian, and local partners to build knowledge and capacity in developing countries to address persistent barriers to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Canada also supports the elaboration and implementation of strategies and programs, including those of women’s organizations and public institutions, to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, close gender gaps, and promote social change in favour of gender equality.
One of Canada’s flagship initiatives is the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Program, which supports grassroots women’s organizations and networks that advance women’s and girls rights. WVL projects are locally driven and designed to respond to the needs and priorities of local women’s organizations. In 2018-2019, the WVL program included projects in 13 sub-Saharan African countries and one regional project. In the Americas, WVL projects were established in the Caribbean region and in Colombia, Haiti, Honduras and Peru. In Asia-Pacific, projects were established in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. WVL projects were also implemented in Morocco, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
408,323 people were reached by projects that help prevent, respond to and end sexual violence, including child, early and forced marriage and/or female genital mutilation.Footnote 2
Canada’s initiatives have resulted in:
- enhanced awareness, access to services and enforcement of laws related to SGBV and child, early and forced marriage;
- increased influence and decision-making power of adolescent girls and young women in all their diversity on matters that affect them and their future;
- increased effectiveness of local and national women’s organizations and networks to drive change and hold governments accountable; and
- strengthened evidence about the root causes and cost of gender inequalities.
Canada continued to advance this action area in sub-Saharan Africa through greater integration of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls across its programming.
The Ms. President initiative in Kenya, implemented by Media Focus in Africa, is one example of a project dedicated to empowering women and girls. Taking advantage of the huge popularity of reality television in Kenya, the project filmed and broadcasted a 26-episode reality TV show that asked women contenders for the title of Ms. President to present strategies and solutions for some of Kenya’s most challenging contemporary sociopolitical issues. Airing from February to July 2019, the popular show captured widespread attention and showcased the considerable leadership skills of Kenyan women. Notably, it generated discussion and fresh ideas for issues including countering violent extremism, redressing gender inequality in politics, inclusive economic growth, and changing stereotypical media narratives about women.
Another example of Canada’s support under this action area comes from the Better Education Through Teacher Training and Empowerment for Results (BETTER) project in Mozambique, implemented by CODE, a Canadian NGO. This project trains teachers to fight violence against women and change harmful social norms by producing cell-phone films (called “cellphilms”). Cellphilms touch on difficult but important topics, including domestic violence, forced marriage, early pregnancy, the fair division of domestic work between women and men, and sexual and gender-based violence. Cellphilms have been used in teacher training colleges.
Country: Ghana © Justin Cyprian Bayor
In February 2019, as part of the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, Global Affairs Canada hosted a workshop in Accra, Ghana, to build shared knowledge and a common foundation for feminist monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Implementing partners, local women’s organizations from over 14 countries, and Global Affairs Canada staff worked together to shape the discussions. The different stages of the workshop focused on ways to gather data and learning in a streamlined fashion, effective methods for engaging partners, and measuring the impact that grassroots women’s organizations have on advancing gender equality and women’s rights. The workshop benefited from co-facilitation by Global Affairs Canada and the African Women’s Development Fund, given their extensive experience in direct funding to and learning from women’s organizations in Africa. Workshop participants examined procedures used to measure results, and analyzed if these procedures genuinely allow marginalized women and girls from rural farms or city centres to participate in measuring project success and learned new skills to involve them.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Women's Voice and Leadership - Ghana.
Canada made important contributions to this action area in the Americas. The Protecting Girls and Adolescents from Sexual Violence, Teenage Pregnancies and Early Unions project, implemented in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), designed and rolled out workshops in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, the project prioritized regions with the highest indicators of maternal mortality, adolescent pregnancy and violence, and strengthened comprehensive sexual education in both formal and informal settings.
In Guatemala, Canada focused on advancing inclusive and gender-responsive governance, increasing the use of international human rights mechanisms by women’s groups, and training on international human rights standards. Canada also promoted the rights of women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Inter-American Task Force on Women’s Empowerment and Leadership. The task force is a collaboration between key Inter-American and UN institutions to increase women’s participation and engagement in public decision making.
In Asia-Pacific, Canada worked with partners to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through strengthening partnerships with women’s organizations that advance women’s rights and empowerment. In Indonesia, Canada worked with women’s rights organizations, women-led enterprises, the general public, and private sector actors to enhance women’s leadership skills in democratic and economic processes, and increase the protection of women’s rights.
Canada continued to address sexual and gender-based violence in Afghanistan, where it supported the enforcement of legislation to eliminate violence against women. Canada also assisted 7,754 people working to prevent, respond to, and end SGBV. In Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, Canada worked with Oxfam Canada on the Creating Space to take Action on Violence Against Women and Girls project to reduce violence against women and girls and the prevalence of child, early and forced marriage. In Nepal, community discussion centres established, through the project, safe spaces for women to discuss SGBV and child, early and forced marriage.
Country: India © Steven Morris, IDRC
Fear of sexual and gender-based violence keeps 405 million women and girls in India’s rural communities at home, restricting their access to education and other opportunities.
Canada’s International Development Research Centre supports the kNOw Fear project, the first model to examine women’s safety in public spaces in India’s rural communities. kNOw Fear brings the expertise of three Indian organizations together to document the nature of sexual and gender-based violence, define the scope of the problem, and shape interventions. For example, the lack of safe transportation to a high school can prevent many girls from pursuing secondary education. In response, the women of one rural village organized and effectively lobbied their village council for a government bus to deliver the girls to school and bring them home safely.
The kNOw Fear team is laying the groundwork for generational change by working with village youth to challenge conventions that favour boys over girls. This is part of a long-term strategy to address deep-seated cultural norms that undermine the safety of women and girls.
For more information on this project, please consult IDRC’s website.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
In Ukraine, the West Bank and Gaza, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, Canada focused on advancing women rights and the reduction of sexual and gender-based violence. In Ukraine, the first National Action Plan for the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was developed and approved. This was in part thanks to Canadian support and the leadership of Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister responsible for gender equality coordination and European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
To reduce vulnerability to SGBV in the West Bank and Gaza, Canada, through its Capacity Development in Forensic Science and Medicine project, trained seven doctors (including one female) in forensic medicine, 16 female nurses in forensic nursing and sexual and gender-based violence, and four female scientists as specialists in forensic investigations. Four clinics were equipped for the examination of victims of SGBV. Clinical forensic medical capability has been expanded and gender-sensitized standard operating procedures that regulate and integrate the work of relevant stakeholders were established. A code of practice for Palestinian forensic medical practitioners was developed that includes gender-related issues, including maintaining confidentiality, privacy, and protection from discrimination.
Canada contributed to investments in this action area through its core and voluntary contributions to several global multilateral organizations. Canada supported the World Bank Group’s (WBG’s) emphasis on gender equality, notably through the WBG’s Gender Equality Strategy. In 2018, the WBG scaled up its work on women’s economic empowerment and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. The WBG published Unrealized Potential: the high cost of gender inequality in earnings. The 2018 report analyzed data from 141 countries accounting for more than 95% of the world’s population. It found that, in 2014, the global loss in wealth due to gender inequality was an estimated US$160.2 trillion.
Canada supported a number of key projects with international civil society aimed at eliminating child, early and forced marriages. For example, Canada supports Girls Not Brides, a global partnership representing over 1,300 civil society organizations from over 100 countries that have united to end child, early and forced marriage. In 2018, Girls Not Brides continued to refine and expand its support to members, working with 10 countries and states, and in 14 other emerging and established coalitions, through workshops, trainings, meetings with key officials, and ongoing support.
Canada supported the United Nations Population Fund’s efforts to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by addressing reproductive health and rights, and teenage pregnancy in six countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Through the Action for Adolescent Girls Project, for example, Canada’s support to UNFPA in Sierra Leone contributed to developing the National Strategy for the Reduction of Adolescent Pregnancy and Child Marriage, led by the National Secretariat for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy and launched in December 2018. In addition, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and local partners through the Global Programme to End Child Marriage, Canada’s support to UNFPA in Sierra Leone helped to implement 225 community action plans across nine districts, engaging 14,374 families and community members to promote positive social norms to prevent child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and female genital mutilation/cutting.
The Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems, housed at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is a global resource hub that actively supports national efforts to develop, strengthen, and scale up sustainable CRVS systems that work for all, especially women and girls. These systems are critical for protecting human rights and improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health by providing proof of legal identity, which facilitates access to social services, and by generating statistics that provide the evidence needed to improve the delivery of these social services.
Action area: Human dignity
The poorest and most marginalized people face obstacles in accessing resources, support, and services for health, nutrition, and education. They also experience increased vulnerability in times of crisis. When they do have access to the services they need, they may still experience violence and discrimination due to deeply rooted unequal power relations. As a result, they are unable to reach their highest potential as individuals and break through the cycle of poverty. Canada’s feminist approach to human dignity focuses on three core areas:
- health and nutrition
- gender-responsive humanitarian action
In 2018-2019, Canada invested a total of $2,670.67 million in international assistance, of which $2,667.37 million was ODA, in the human dignity action area.
Health and nutrition
* SDGs are highlighted based on common objectives and results. All SDGs have crosscutting interlinkages with all of the action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Addressing health inequalities experienced by the poorest and most vulnerable is the first step toward opportunity and empowerment. In recent decades, there has been widespread improvement in life expectancy and infant and child mortality rates have decreased, as have the numbers of malnourished children. Due to improved sanitation, nutrition, drugs and vaccines, the incidence of many infectious diseases also receded.
However, much remains to be done. Weak health systems restrict countries’ abilities to respond to the health and nutrition needs of their populations. Unequal access to health services persistently remain an obstacle, with women and girls in particular facing myriad barriers. In some countries, women and girls still eat the least nutritious foods and eat last, jeopardizing their health and those of their children. Respect for sexual and reproductive health and rights has also receded in different places around the world. This threatens a woman’s right to decide whether, when and with whom to have children, and how many children to have. These decisions are central to the trajectory of a woman’s or girl’s life.
Canada focuses its health and nutrition efforts on:
- improving the quality and accessibility of health services for the most marginalized;
- increasing access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights; and
- improving gender-sensitive nutrition for the poorest and most marginalized.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Tanzania - $69.9 million
Bangladesh - $57.2 million
Nigeria - $54.1 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $1,170.56 million in international assistance, of which $1,170.36 million was ODA, in health and nutrition initiatives.
Investments helped to deliver better nutrition, improve access to immunization, strengthen health systems, make quality health services accessible, provide sexual and reproductive health services, and reduce rates of infectious disease. Canada takes a comprehensive approach to health and nutrition, from addressing major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and polio, to supporting nutrition programs and strengthening health systems.
For more than 10 years, Canada has focused on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and, since 2017, on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Canada’s work in 2018-2019 in this regard was part of its commitment to provide $3.5 billion from 2015 to 2020 for MNCH and $650 million from 2017 to 2020 for SRHR. Canada increased access to comprehensive SRHR through advocacy and constructive dialogue, support for better access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning and contraception, and safe and legal abortion and post-abortion care.
Canada’s efforts included working and engaging with health ministries and other stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs and experts, to strengthen supply chains for medicines and health commodities to improve the quality and accessibility of health services. Canada also supported education and health promotion activities, and increased engagement with non-traditional partners to solve challenging nutrition issues.
2,864,301 women and girls received access to sexual and reproductive health services, including modern methods of contraception.Footnote 3
These contributions have resulted in:
- stronger health systems that can better provide improved quality and accessibility of health services;
- greater protection of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights;
- greater access for women to sexual and reproductive health services, such as modern contraceptives, leading to fewer unplanned pregnancies and unsafe abortions;
- greater number of women receiving prenatal care and higher rates of skilled attendants at birth, leading to reduced maternal and child mortality;
- greater access to immunizations, leading to reduced incidence of infectious disease;
- fewer deaths from diarrheal diseases; and
- fewer instances of stunted growth, due to improved nutrition.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Canada focused on supporting the health and rights of women and children. Many partner countries in the region have placed these key issues in their national development strategies. Through its health programming, Canada’s development efforts in the region support the full range of sexual and reproductive health services and information, including comprehensive sex education, family planning, prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence, safe and legal abortion, and post-abortion care.
In Mozambique, Canada established itself as a leading donor and focused primarily on empowering women and girls as decision makers, and addressing behavioural barriers to SRHR. For example, in the Province of Inhambane, where maternal, neonatal and infant mortality is particularly high, training was provided to 432 health workers and management; 95% of these trainees were women. Training focused on comprehensive obstetrical complications, safe abortion care, and newborn resuscitation, and contributed to the development of community-based health support networks in 20 communities, where a total of 16,329 participants (over 50% female) received educational sessions on SRHR.
In 2018, through the UNFPA’s Supplies Program, Canada contributed to an increase of 2 million new users of family planning services in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In January 2019, Canada also co-hosted the Safe Abortion Dialogue with the United Kingdom Department for International Development, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. This platform provided an opportunity for stakeholders to coordinate, share best practices, and collectively identify options for addressing challenges faced in their advocacy for and delivery of safe abortion services and post-abortion care.
Country: Nigeria © World Health Organization
Anita Ejah’s dream of becoming a midwife is now within reach. That wasn’t the case in 2014, when she enrolled at the School of Midwifery Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria. At the time, the school lacked the resources and infrastructure required to provide quality midwifery training.
Through Canada’s financial support, the school improved the teaching skills and competencies of tutors, updated the curriculum and provided teaching and learning equipment. These changes resulted in the School of Midwifery Calabar obtaining its full accreditation.
“The models in the demonstration room helped me balance the theory and the practical education,” said Anita. “If I see patients in the service area, I know I can treat them thanks to my education.”
Anita is just one of hundreds of students at 11 health-training institutions that, thanks to Canada’s support, are accredited to graduate much-needed frontline health workers for Nigeria’s primary health-care facilities.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Enhancing the Ability of Frontline Health Workers to Improve Health.
Canada helped to strengthen health systems governance in Latin America and the Caribbean through funding to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). As a result, 15,000 people across 11 countries benefited from capacity building that improved health systems planning and coordination. This initiative also improved neonatal health in the region. For example, 19,427 new mothers in Nicaragua received counselling and support on nutrition, breast feeding, and better health practices.
Through its institutional support to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, Canada contributed to its work with governments and the private sector to finance improvements to health services throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region. This support helped more than 5 million people receive health services, some 160,000 households obtain new or upgraded access to drinking water, and some 300,000 households gain access to new or upgraded sanitation.
In Haiti, in partnership with UNFPA, Canada provided support to women bearing children through the recruitment of 118 student midwives and 9 teachers, and the deployment of 6 midwives in the most underserved areas of the country. They provided sexual and reproductive health services to 8,122 pregnant women.
In 2018-2019, a project implemented with Horizons of Friendship in Guatemala trained 820 traditional Indigenous midwives and significantly increased the percentage of pregnant women having at least four appointments with health personnel. From 2017-2018 to 2018-2019, in regions where the project operated, the number of pregnant mothers accessing health services increased from 37.8% to 45.6%, with live births attended by a skilled health attendant increasing from 37.2% to 58.5%.
A partnership with CAUSE Canada focused on improving maternal participation and access to community training to deliver community health messages in Guatemala and Honduras. These messages were tailored to different local contexts, such as when working with Indigenous women living in poor, rural communities. Adapting the health promotion messages to these communities, including translating them into local languages, helped increase the demand for quality health services. It also helped foster a better relationship between communities and health-care services providers.
The Public Health Agency of Canada provides financial and in-kind support for the Pan-American Health Organization and World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives aimed at strengthening health systems in developing countries. With Canada’s support, PAHO assessed and strengthened the capacity of Caribbean countries to survey non-communicable diseases and associated risk factors. It also improved cervical cancer surveillance, screening, and prevention through training and education, including in Guatemala and Suriname.
Country: Bolivia © Plan Canada
Bolivia has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in South America. In 2018-2019, Canada supported Plan International’s Achieving Reproductive Rights with Bolivian Adolescents project. It promotes the political participation of adolescents in the Indigenous Aymara and Quechua communities in the Bolivian highlands. Project activities empowered youth to protect and promote their sexual and reproductive rights, and help reduce rates of adolescent pregnancy.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Achieving Reproductive Rights for Adolescents, Reducing Maternal and Newborn Mortality.
In the Asia-Pacific region, health and nutrition programming is focused on strengthening local and national health systems, reducing the burden of disease, and strengthening SRHR. In Afghanistan and Bangladesh, for example, Canada focused primarily on strengthening local health systems. The Canadian Human Resources for Health in Bangladesh project provided training to enhance the capacity of managers, nurse teachers, and skilled birth attendants. This, in turn, improved the quality of practitioners’ education and the services they provide. An electronic database was also installed through the project to improve personnel management of 56,733 registered nurses-midwives and 9,182 skilled birth attendants.
In Afghanistan, Canada supported a bottom up community-based approach to addressing health and reproductive issues through improved access and delivery of essential health services. This included supporting 58 family health houses in the remote province of Daikundi to deliver reproductive and health services. Canada also continued to be a key voice in efforts to eradicate polio by joining donors in targeting the immunization of 9 million children.
In the Philippines, with Canada’s support, Inter Pares works with a local partner, Likhaan, to provide women-centered service and advocacy for women’s issues, particularly in reproductive health and rights. In 2018-2019, clinics provided 24,804 women and girls with access to reproductive health services. The outreach and education activities of 382 community health promoters reached 18,309 women and girls with information about their sexual and reproductive rights.
In December 2018, the Public Health Agency of Canada deployed two epidemiologists in Bangladeshi refugee camps, inhabited mostly by Rohingya refugees from neighboring Myanmar, to support the WHO’s syndrome-based surveillance system. This increased the capacity to detect, assess, and respond to diseases prevalent in refugee camps.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
In Morocco, Canada focused on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, while supporting education, including vocational and technical training.
In the West Bank and Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) offered 8,554,035 medical consultations. 376,025 children under 60 months of age were registered at the UNRWA’s primary health-care facilities. Of these, 89,091 were newly registered infants. Immunization coverage was 99.8% for 12-month-old children and 99.2% for 18-month-old children registered with UNRWA. This coverage rate continued to exceed the WHO immunization target of 95%.
Canada supports health and nutrition initiatives with a global reach and is a leader in global advocacy efforts. Canada is a leading partner in the Family Planning 2020 commitment, a global movement that supports women’s SRHR. Canada provided support to numerous organizations including International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, Population Services International, and Ipas. This increased access to family planning, safe and legal abortion, and post-abortion care services for underserved women and girls, including adolescents, in Africa and Latin America. Projects with the IPPF and Marie Stopes International helped avert 1,087,308 unintended pregnancies and 63,764 unsafe abortions in 2018-2019.
In October 2018, Canada hosted the 7th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. At the Conference, parliamentarians from 78 countries committed to a series of actions to realize the ICPD Programme of Action through universal access to SRHR. This resulted in the Ottawa Statement of Commitment, which calls for concrete actions to respect, protect, and fulfil the SRHR of all individuals, through comprehensive sex education and abortion services, where legal.
Global Affairs Canada collaborates with three of the world’s major health funds to provide better health services in developing countries: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF). To enable stronger partnerships, foster innovation and knowledge sharing, and to reduce administrative overhead, Gavi, the Global Fund, and other health organizations including the Stop TB Partnership relocated to the Global Health Campus in Geneva. This approach will help to direct more funds toward programs that help to improve health outcomes in lower-income countries.
The Global Fund has helped save more than 32 million lives since 2002. In 2018, the Global Fund provided 18.9 million people with antiretroviral therapy for HIV, treated 5.3 million people with tuberculosis (TB), and distributed 131 million bed nets to prevent malaria. In addition, the Global Fund continued to make important investments for adolescent girls and young women, particularly in the context of preventing AIDS. This includes programs to keep girls in school, supporting girls’ empowerment groups, adolescent-friendly prevention programs, and SRHR education. Canada also continued to advocate for issues around gender and human rights.
Polio remains a global health priority. Since 1988, polio cases in the world have gone from over 350,000 per year to less than 170 in 2019—a 99.9% reduction. Only Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to see cases of wild poliovirus—but as long as there are cases, all children in the world need to be vaccinated. In 2018, with Canadian support, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative helped national governments vaccinate more than 470 million children multiple times in more than 40 countries, using more than 2.2 billion doses of oral polio vaccine.
Gavi, which aims to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries, is one of Canada’s key partners in efforts to strengthen health systems in developing countries. In 2018, Gavi immunized 66 million children. Gavi’s work during 2018 prevented 1.7 million future deaths and averted 80 million future disability-adjusted life years.
The Global Financing Facility is a catalytic, country-led financing mechanism that aims to end preventable maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent deaths and to improve the health and quality of life of women, children, and adolescents. The GFF is currently engaged with 36 partner countries. In 2019, results were available for 27 of the 36 countries. Notably, per-capita health expenditure financed by domestic sources increased in 19 of the 27 countries; in all 27 countries, neo-natal and under-5-year-old mortality decreased; and the adolescent fertility rate decreased in 26 of the 27 countries.
In 2018-2019, in partnership with Nutrition International, Canada provided 557 million people with micronutrient supplementation. This included 4 million pregnant women who received folic acid and iron supplements, and 149 million children who received their annual dose of Vitamin A.
The World Bank Group plays an important role in global efforts to strengthen health and nutrition institutions in developing countries. For example, in 2018-2019, the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides support for the world’s poorest countries, financed projects that helped immunize 73.64 million children, provided 71.17 million women and children with basic nutrition services and provided 27.51 million women with care from skilled health personnel during childbirth.
Canada is an active member of the Stop TB Partnership Board, and the main financial supporter of TB REACH, an initiative to fight tuberculosis through innovative approaches. In 2019, TB REACH supported a dedicated round of projects to empower women and girls to play a more direct role in the fight.
* SDGs are highlighted based on common objectives and results. All SDGs have crosscutting interlinkages with all of the action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
The right to a quality education is integral to improving human dignity and a means through which all other rights are realized. The Feminist International Assistance Policy commits Canada to work to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable people have access to quality education, with a focus on women and girls. Despite global progress toward achieving greater accessibility to education, a number of key challenges remain to be addressed. Barriers to access education persist for marginalized and vulnerable groups, and are deeply rooted in power dynamics and inequalities. The quality of education is another factor to consider, since poor education can also be a barrier to success. Gaps in the governance and accountability of national education systems also require further action, notably on creating and implementing gender-responsive solutions.
Canada’s overall approach to education focuses on:
- improving gender-responsive quality education;
- increasing access to gender-responsive, demand-driven and quality skills development; and
- improving gender-responsive quality education and skills development in conflict, crisis and fragility settings.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Jordan - $31.1 million
Bangladesh - $27.5 million
Afghanistan - $17.2 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $433.52 million in international assistance, of which $432.36 million was ODA, in education initiatives.
Canada worked with international, national, multilateral, and local partners to promote the benefits of education for women and girls. Canada’s initiatives included these activities:
- supporting the development and improvement of curriculums free of gender stereotypes;
- building or maintaining safe educational facilities for girls, including by ensuring that schools have safe water and sex-disaggregated toilets, and that girls have access to appropriate menstrual hygiene and health information, and to sanitary products at school;
- responding to school-related sexual and gender-based violence, including through prevention and awareness-raising;
- advocating for and supporting access to early education (pre-primary) and secondary education, as well as better access to education in contexts where Canada is delivering humanitarian assistance; and
- providing life skills, technical and vocational education and training, and training for marginalized women and youth, including in non-traditional and better-paying fields.
In 2018-2019, education and skills development sector programming supported by Canada achieved results such as increased access to education for vulnerable populations, including those in fragile and conflict-affected areas; improved literacy outcomes and levels of educational attainment; and improved skills and employability of graduates from technical and vocational training programs. Details of what was achieved regionally and multilaterally are outlined below.
The Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries, adopted in June 2018, during Canada’s G7 presidency, was a key 2018-2019 accomplishment. It galvanized global action to address many of the remaining key challenges to dismantling the barriers to and improving the quality of girls’ and women’s education and skills training.
To support the Charlevoix declaration, Canada brought the international community together and announced historic investments totalling $3.8 billion to support quality education and skills training for women and girls in conflict and crisis situations. Later that year, at the United Nations General Assembly, Canada welcomed commitments totalling another $527 million to help developing countries provide every child with access to the education and training they need to succeed.
Canada’s $400-million pledge in support of the Charlevoix declaration focuses on:
- removing barriers to gender equality;
- providing quality primary and secondary education in fragile contexts;
- improving sex- and age-disaggregated data and accountability; and
- preparing women for the jobs of the future.
A number of early programming announcements were made in 2018-2019 contributing to delivering on Canada’s $400-million pledge:
- A $50-million pledge to Education Cannot Wait to ensure that children, particularly girls and adolescent women living in fragile and conflict-affected states, can access quality education.
- A $50-million announcement for the Global Financing Facility to better address the quality and gender-responsiveness of education systems.
- Different announcements for a collaboration between Right to Play International and UNRWA for the creation of safe, inclusive, gender-responsive classrooms in the Middle East.
- A $11-million announcement to support girls’ education along the Colombian-Venezuelan border.
Canada provided financial support directly to select developing country government partners in sub-Saharan Africa to help them strengthen education systems and deliver quality education services. In Burkina Faso, Canada’s support contributed to increasing the number of primary school classrooms by 77% between 2009 and 2018, as well as increasing the completion rate of primary education from 46% overall (43% for girls) in 2009 to 63% overall (68% for girls) in 2018.
In 2018-2019, Canada supported the Primary School Teacher Training Programme, which helped transform 521 primary schools in Tanzania into stimulating learning environments with reading corners, and trained 150 pre-primary teachers on the production and use of teaching and learning materials. Since the program’s inception, 2,082 primary schools have received at least one intervention specifically targeting girls' empowerment, benefiting 236,176 girls and 228,449 boys.
Canada worked with the York University Centre for International and Security Studies to improve refugee teaching capacities in and around the Dadaab refugee complex, in Kenya. Focused primarily on improving access to early and secondary education, this partnership enabled 215 people in the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees project to become certified educators. With a reach of approximately 55 students per teacher per year, the project has impacted the lives of 11,825 students in 2018-2019.
Canada contributed toward improving access to education and increasing the number of girls in schools in various ways in Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, in Colombia, over 9,500 beneficiaries—primarily women and youth—received technical and vocational training through work undertaken by CUSO in 2018-2019. The training aimed to develop economic empowerment skills to help beneficiaries find suitable jobs and escape hardships caused by decades of conflict. Canada also worked with Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Mercy Corps, War Child, and Plan International to improve access to quality education for almost 24,000 children and youth (53% women and girls) living in some of Colombia’s most conflict-affected rural areas.
In Peru, Canada worked with UNICEF to empower adolescents in vulnerable communities—particularly girls—to exercise their rights, while supporting them with access to quality secondary education that is free of violence and respectful of their ethnic and gender identities.
In Haiti, Canada collaborated with the World Bank (IBRD Trust Fund) to increase the enrollment of girls in secondary schools. Canada also supported the World Food Programme’s efforts to feed students, resulting in 180,000 Haitian children having daily nutritious meals and encouraging school attendance and academic success of the recipient children. Canada also worked with Canadian organizations in Haiti, including the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, to improve skills for employment in the tourism and hospitality industry. The project targets youth, women and handicapped persons in the Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian areas, and trained 52 teachers, counsellors and educational authorities (65% female) for a certificate in technical education, and 26 people (80% female) in occupational health and safety in food service, allowing them to be certified by the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Through its institutional support to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Canada contributed to the CDB’s work in education throughout the region. For example, 57,227 students benefitted from government investments in education financed by the CDB.
Canada worked with partners in the Asia-Pacific region to expand access to education for girls, boys, and ethnic minority students by breaking down barriers and expanding resources. In Afghanistan, Canada supported community-based education in rural and remote areas that have no government-based schooling, by working with local female teachers to address barriers that prevented girls from attending school. This program contributed to the safety and security of girls, even in insurgent-controlled areas, with reports of an additional 3,022 previously out-of-school students attending classes.
In Southeast Asia, the Canada-Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development program was launched in 2018-2019. The program provided students and mid-career professionals from ASEAN member states with the opportunity to apply for short-term studies or research in Canada in a field aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ASEAN’s development efforts.
In Vietnam, Canada supported improvements to the management of post-secondary education institutions and course development. Canadian partners provided training courses to college teachers and administrators from 132 post-secondary institutions, which allowed the transfer of knowledge on best practices, skills development on student-centred approaches, and enhanced training program development and management.
In 2018-2019, Canada’s IDRC supported a global research network called Digital Learning for Development (DL4D). For this initiative’s first phase, researchers from across Asia collaborated to support digital learning, research collaboration, and scaling proven innovations to improve educational systems.
Country: Bangladesh © International Labour Organization
In Bangladesh, Parveen looks at a piece of wood and sees a changing world—her world at least, and maybe for other young women as well. At 20-years-old, she may be young, and she has little education, but Parveen believes that strength comes not from physical capacity, but from will. She makes cabinets in a factory where few women have previously entered and even fewer have worked on a machine.
Parveen was forced to drop out of school at grade 5 to help her mother with household work. When the company Akhter Furniture introduced skills training for women, under the program called B-SEP, Parveen signed up for the machine operator course. The course was designed to attract women to non-traditional trades. She learned how to operate the wood-cutting machines and make cabinets and doors.
After the completion of the course, the factory hired Parveen with a monthly salary of $250, her first-ever paid work. Parveen now enjoys her new occupation and her new-found economic freedom.
“The training gave me skills and helped me enter the world of work. Otherwise, like many girls, I might have ended up doing household chores only. Thank you to the Canadian government and the International Labour Organization for projects like B-SEP.”
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada’s Project Browser: Skills for Employment and Productivity in Bangladesh.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Canada’s efforts in Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq and Tunisia focused on protective learning environments for vulnerable students, on teacher training, and on a learner-centred approach to vocational training. In Lebanon, Canada created welcoming spaces in 303 schools, addressing the specific needs of girls to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. Gender-responsive social services delivery training was also delivered to 8,103 (including 7,277 female) participants in the education sector. In Jordan, Canada supported 2,125 schools that implemented various changes (such as new teaching methods) to create welcoming spaces that respond to the specific needs of girls. In Morocco, Canada supported technical and vocational training programs matched to the needs of the labour market, while supporting the better inclusion of young boys and girls in vulnerable situations. In Iraq, two technical assistance interventions and two workshops were delivered to senior officials of Iraq’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to promote gender-sensitive vocational skills programs.
Canada has established itself as a leading donor to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The GPE continues to mobilize global and national efforts to achieve equitable quality education in close to 70 developing countries and fragile states. Through its Effective Partnership Rollout, the GPE will streamline how developing countries access funding and support their education sector planning. In 2018, GPE grants supported an estimated 22.2 million students, including 10.6 million girls; 20 million students were in primary and 2 million were in lower secondary education. Of these students, 16.6 million were living in fragile and conflict-affected states, which surpassed the GPE’s goal for support to countries affected by fragility and conflict by more than 45%. These efforts resulted in improved completion rates: an estimated 4.9 million more children completed primary school and 2.6 million more children completed lower secondary school than in the previous year.
Country: Chad © Bahaji, UNICEF
“Last year we studied in tents. When there was too much sandy wind, the teachers used to send us back home. It was so loud that sometimes we could not even hear what they said. Now, we study in new classrooms, and we come to school happy,” said 12-year-old Kaka Mahamat, who now lives in the Dar es Salam Camp, Lake Chad.
Since 2017, with support from a broad international coalition and the Government of Chad, Education Cannot Wait—a global fund for education in crisis—has reached over 150,000 children in Chad, including 69,000 girls. In the neighbouring Central African Republic, the Fund has impacted some 65,000 children, including 31,802 girls. In Nigeria, the Fund received a US$2.5-million grant that will reach approximately 194,000 displaced children, 52% of whom are girls.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada’s Project Browser: Support to Education Cannot Wait 2017-2018.
Through capital injections and support to trust funds like the GPE, Canada contributed to the World Bank’s work in education. In addition, it is worth noting that Canada—along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the World Bank—is contributing $3.8 billion in support of the Charlevoix declaration on girls’ and women’s education in conflict and crisis. The World Bank is providing $2 billion of that amount.
In 2018-2019, Canada increased its support to the GFF as part of the G7 Charlevoix education initiative, in order to work in a range of countries experiencing fragility, conflict, and violence. This allowed Canada to address the quality and gender-responsiveness of education systems and respond to the health-related barriers that impede girls’ access to quality education, including those affected by disabilities.
Canada also collaborated with multilateral organizations on specific initiatives. For example, Canada is working with the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, Gender at Work and Education International to address school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), with the help of national and regional teacher unions. Since 2016, 396 union staff and members directly engaged in actions to address SRGBV, reaching over 30,000 individuals.
With the goal of transferring Canada’s strong technical expertise in the development of indicators and robust statistical methodologies, Statistics Canada continued to bring statistical expertise to UNESCO’s Technical Cooperation Group on thematic indicators for SDG 4 on education, which includes representatives from both developed and developing countries.
Canada has hosted the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in Montréal, Quebec, since its inception in 1999. In 2018-2019, Canada renewed its support with a grant worth $4 million over 4 years to deliver on its mandate, with a particular focus on its work to build developing countries’ data capacity on achieving SDG 4 on quality education.
Through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s membership and annual contribution to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Canada supports ITU’s work to promote education and proficiency in information and communication technologies (ICT) in developing countries. In addition to providing technical cooperation and capacity building in ICT, the ITU leads the annual Global Campaign of International Girls in ICT Day, in which girls and young women are encouraged to prepare for and enter ICT careers. In 2018, 131 countries organized 2,186 events for International Girls in ICT Day, encouraging 57,748 girls to take up ICT careers and studies. The ITU also co-led the Digital Skills for Decent Jobs Campaign with the International Labour Organization. The campaign was launched at the ITU World Summit on the Information Society, where stakeholders were incentivized to train 5 million young women and men in job-ready digital skills.
Gender-Responsive Humanitarian Action
The recent increase in the number and intensity of armed conflicts, and the scope and frequency of natural disasters—which are exacerbated by the effects of climate change—have resulted in unprecedented humanitarian needs. Canada’s international humanitarian assistance is intended to meet the needs of people affected by these crises by supporting swift and coordinated humanitarian interventions that are needs-based and adhere to humanitarian principles.
Canada continues to focus its gender-responsive humanitarian action on saving lives, alleviating suffering, and maintaining the dignity of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters. Gender-responsive humanitarian action is needed to address the specific needs and priorities of people in vulnerable situations, particularly women and girls, to support their empowerment and to ensure that our humanitarian assistance has a greater and more sustainable impact. Considering pre-existing vulnerabilities allows humanitarian responses to meet the specific needs of crises. It also means that the specific needs of women and girls are addressed, instead of being overlooked.
Canada’s life-saving humanitarian assistance supports efforts to increase the gender-responsiveness of humanitarian action through targeted and crosscutting approaches in four key areas:
- humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law;
- sexual and gender-based violence in the context of humanitarian crises;
- sexual and reproductive health during humanitarian interventions; and
- the empowerment of women and girls.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Syria - $132.8 million
Yemen - $57.9 million
Lebanon - $57.8 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $909.62 million in international assistance (of which less than $1,000 was non-ODA) in the action area on humanitarian action. We invested in 62 countries and territories, and responded to 37 natural disasters.
Canada works with UN partners, NGOs, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to continue to provide gender-responsive humanitarian action to respond to the differentiated needs of more than 135 million men, women, boys and girls needing humanitarian assistance. Canada has provided support to international organizations to achieve the following results:
- increased distribution of food assistance and non-food essential relief items;
- improved access to water and shelter support;
- improved access to sanitation and hygiene facilities, as well as to quality medical services through health centres and hospitals;
- improved access to international protection for forcibly displaced persons; and
- improved access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services during emergencies, in particular for women and adolescent girls.
15% of humanitarian assistance projects included components addressing sexual and gender-based violence or sexual and reproductive health and rights.Footnote 6
In so doing, Canada strengthens efforts to address the unmet needs and priorities of women and girls in humanitarian situations. For example, in 2018-2019, 96% of Global Affairs Canada’s humanitarian assistance projects integrated gender equality considerations. Canada provided $50.5 million in 2018-2019 to support SRHR services in humanitarian assistance programming, which helped prevent death, disease, and disability related to unwanted pregnancies, obstetric complications and reproductive disorders, while reducing sexual and gender-based violence.
From May 2018 to March 2019, Canada provided $3.25 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to support victims of Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Canada helped support three Ebola treatment centers and 24 health facilities, supported the admission of 2,565 patients suspected of infection, and vaccinated 600 frontline health-care workers. Canada’s support helped targeted gaps identified by first responders toward treatment, surveillance and psychosocial support for victims and their families. Canada also provided $170,000 to support preparedness activities in neighbouring countries, including Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.
In 2018-2019, Canada provided over $90 million to address the emergency needs in the Sahel region, of which $35.13 million was targeted to fight drought conditions. Canada also provided assistance for food insecurity and nutrition interventions by collaborating with UN agencies and NGOs. With Canada’s support, NGO partners helped over 2 million beneficiaries in the Sahel in 2018-2019 through activities such as community mobilization, and sensitization on good hygiene and sanitation practices. Through facilities and mobile clinics supported by Action Against Hunger in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal, Canada supported the screening of close to half a million children, and the treatment of over 57,000 children for severe acute malnutrition.
Working with its UN, Red Cross, and NGO partners, Canada helped to provide emergency food assistance, access to safe water and sanitation, emergency health care, shelter, and protection to over 3 million people affected by Cyclone Idai across Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Canada responded quickly to Cyclone Idai using a variety of tools, including the use of draw-down funds, the deployment of humanitarian relief stocks from Dubai, providing financial support to experienced humanitarian organizations, and supporting the deployment of Canadian Red Cross emergency relief unit (ERU) field hospital. The ERU was deployed in Mozambique, and provided critical emergency health care to over 9,800 patients over a three-month deployment.
In 2018-2019, Canada helped provide life-saving assistance to vulnerable populations affected by the Venezuela crisis and the natural disasters in Cuba and Haiti. Through water, sanitation and nutrition programming in Colombia border departments, Canada’s support helped 6,000 vulnerable and crisis-affected people access clean water. As well, more than 900 pregnant and breastfeeding women and children accessed comprehensive medical nutritional care. Canada provided flexible regional funding to humanitarian organizations such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Action Against Hunger and the WFP to help respond to vulnerable and crisis-affected people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including refugees and migrants from Venezuela and neighbouring host communities.
In Cuba, Canada supported the Canadian Red Cross Society to provide food, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as emergency shelter in response to the tornado that struck Havana in January 2019.
In Haiti, a project with the International Organization for Migration relocated 28,500 displaced individuals (8,679 families) in earthquake-affected areas of Port-au-Prince.
In 2018, Canada launched its official Strategy to Respond to the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, comprising $300 million in international assistance funding over three years. The Strategy aims to respond to the forced displacement of approximately 805,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh, as well as other conflict-affected people within Myanmar. Through this funding targeting refugees and host communities, Canada supported the provision of emergency food assistance to over 900,000 people in Bangladesh and 470,000 people in Myanmar, as well as the delivery of more than 200,000 health-care consultations for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. As part of its response, Canada is also providing $4.65 million to pilot an approach to build capacity, leadership and accountability. Canada supports system-wide change for gender-responsive humanitarian action, including through a UN Women-led Gender Hub and other research, policy and training initiatives to engage civil society partners and host communities in Bangladesh.
On September 28, 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami hit Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi region, prompting the Government of Indonesia to seek international assistance. In response, Canada provided $1.5 million to help humanitarian organizations distribute hygiene kits, water filters, emergency shelter kits, and latrines to 14,000 disaster-affected people. The Canadian Armed Forces also deployed a CC-130 Hercules aircraft and crew, which carried humanitarian relief supplies and enabled air bridge operations.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Canada committed to provide $840 million in humanitarian assistance over three years to respond to the crises in Syria and Iraq, and to their impact on neighbouring countries. In 2018-2019, Canada provided $262.8 million for humanitarian assistance in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. This multiyear, flexible funding is in line with commitments made at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. Funding is provided to humanitarian partners to deliver lifesaving assistance such as food, shelter, water, health, sanitation, education, and protection services, including specialized care for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Canadian funding supported the delivery of adolescent sexual and reproductive health services to approximately 1,435,000 beneficiaries in Syria, 52,000 in Iraq, 30,000 in Jordan, and 6,000 in Lebanon. In addition, Canada supported over 81 safe spaces for women and girls and helped provide dignity kits, which contain basic supplies to maintain health and dignity, to over 200,000 beneficiaries across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
In 2018-2019, Canada supported a flexible, comprehensive humanitarian response to the deteriorating crisis in Yemen. By collaborating with the WFP, UNICEF, and UNFPA, Canada helped provide reproductive health services to more than 360,000 Yemeni women and girls and prevent famine through monthly food assistance to over 7 million people.
Canada provided support to refugees in the West Bank and Gaza that helped reduce their food insecurity and improve their health. Sanitation levels were also improved by constructing wastewater treatment units and distributing hygiene kits.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS’s) capacity to provide health services and respond to emergencies was significantly improved through providing 11 patient transfer vehicles and establishing a new emergency operations centre—the first of its kind in the West Bank and Gaza.
Canadian funding helped to decrease dropout rates for all UNRWA school children, and a review of learning materials ensured their access to quality resources. In 2018, 5,609 UNRWA personnel received protection training, including on gender, sexual exploitation and abuse, and SGBV. UNRWA identified and provided assistance to an estimated 2,530 children at risk of physical violence, abuse, neglect, child marriage, corporal punishment, child labour or birth registration issues. Another 15,908 Palestine refugees were provided with legal assistance.
Canada’s support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helped strengthen respect for international humanitarian law in Ukraine through dialogue and advocacy, including with regard to legislation that integrates measures around missing people and weapon contamination.
Territory: West Bank and Gaza © Alary, Canadian Red Cross
The Building Capacity to Respond to Humanitarian Emergencies project in West Bank and Gaza, implemented by the Canadian Red Cross Society, aims to increase the capacity of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to respond to emergency medical needs and provide specialized health services to the most vulnerable Palestinians. The project also strengthens and expands the work of the PRCS, a leading local actor in health-care provision, emergency medical services, disaster management, rehabilitation and psychosocial programming.
Jameela Yahya Nasasreh has volunteered with the PRCS for the past 9 years, and lives in Ein Shibli, a small village of 1,000 people in the Jordan valley near Tubas. As a volunteer, she took courses to learn about reproductive health, community-based health, and first aid.
“After taking these courses and workshops with the PRCS, we transfer the knowledge and information to the local communities by visiting students in schools, and through home visits to the elderly,” says Jameela. “We advise them and raise their awareness; even sometimes we organize workshops for them in our centre, where we transfer our knowledge and expertise, so the local community could benefit from it.”
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Building Capacity to Respond to Humanitarian Emergencies.
Canada continues to be a leader in gender-responsive humanitarian action to alleviate suffering of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
During the G7 Development Ministers Meeting in June 2018, under Canada’s leadership, the largest humanitarian donors committed to the G7 Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action. The declaration recognized the importance of advancing gender equality in all humanitarian responses and sought to promote system level change to ensure that humanitarian action is principled, evidence-based, and empowering. Among other things, G7 governments, including Canada, committed to strengthening access for women and girls to health care, strengthening prevention and responding to SGBV, and increasing accountability to affected populations.
In December 2018, Canada adopted the United Nations’ Global Compact for Safe Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).
The GCM represents the first multilateral framework for the global response to international migration. It is founded on the principles of human rights, national sovereignty and gender equality. The document emphasises the positive contributions of migrants and the need to harness the economic and social benefits of regular migration, while addressing the challenges posed by irregular migration.
The GCR is a framework for more predictable and equitable sharing of responsibilities regarding refugee situations. It recognizes that sustainable solutions cannot be achieved without international cooperation. The GCR provides a blueprint for governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that host communities get adequate support and that refugees can lead productive lives.
As a strong voice for improved international cooperation in harvesting the benefits of migration and addressing forced displacements worldwide, Canada was actively involved in the negotiation of both documents. Canada succeeded in ensuring that both compacts focus on practical measures to promote and protect the human dignity of migrants and refugees, address gender considerations, and combat irregular migration and human trafficking.
In 2018-2019, Canada allocated $74.35 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross for protection and assistance operations in global armed conflict areas. In 2018, the ICRC improved access to food for over 7.3 million people, including 3.9 million people in the Middle East alone. Water and sanitation programs provided access to water to 7.2 million internally displaced people. Over 30,000 weapon-wounded women, men and children received surgical support through ICRC-supported hospitals. In Africa, the ICRC worked to prevent the forced recruitment of children into armed groups, and reunited over 100 former child soldiers with their families.
Canada promotes refugee inclusion through actions that support host countries to build self-reliance and advance durable solutions. To help address the needs of the forcibly displaced, Canada provides funding to the UNHCR to protect and assist refugees. In 2018, Canada allocated $95.6 million in funding support to the UNHCR, and was active in the development of the United Nations’ Global Compact on Refugees.
In 2018, with Canada’s support, the World Food Programme directly assisted 86.7 million beneficiaries in 83 countries using food aid and, increasingly, cash-based transfers. The WFP provided one third of its assistance, US$1.76 billion, through conditional and unconditional cash-based transfers to 24.5 million recipients in 62 countries. The WFP’s school feeding program provided 16.4 million schoolchildren with nutritious meals in 61 countries. The organization also reached 9.7 million children and 6.1 million women with programs to prevent and treat malnutrition.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provided over $555 million in international assistance in 2018-2019, consisting of:
- federal support provided to refugees, successful asylum seekers and asylum seekers awaiting a decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB);
- grants administered through the IRCC’s Migration Policy Development Program, which includes migration and refugee-related capacity-building projects in developing countries; and
- Canada’s contribution to the International Organization for Migration.
Canada’s Resettlement Assistance Program supports government-assisted refugees and persons in refugee-like situations admitted to Canada when they first arrive in Canada. The Program provides immediate and essential services, generally during the first four to six weeks following arrival in Canada, as well as monthly income support, typically for up to a year. In 2018-2019, 26,026 refugees received a service under this program (excluding QuebecFootnote 7). In 2018-2019, Canada resettled 27,769 people from all over the world: 8,014 were government-assisted refugees, 18,590 privately sponsored refugees, and 1,165 blended visa office-referred refugees.
Canada’s Settlement Program assists newcomers—including refugees— to overcome barriers specific to the newcomer experience. In 2018-2019, 93,455 refugees received at least one settlement service (excluding QuebecFootnote 8). These services included needs assessments, information and orientation, language training, employment-related services, childcare services, and referrals to other services, such as health and social services.
Consistent with its obligations under international treaties, Canada’s asylum system provides protection to persons who have a well-founded fear of persecution or are at risk of torture, cruel or unusual punishment, or risk of death in their home countries. Asylum claimants are not yet refugees under Canadian legislation. They are processed through the in-Canada asylum system to determine if they need protection. Under the Asylum Program, once an asylum claim is determined to be eligible, claimants may live in Canada with access to a temporary work permit, social assistance, health services, emergency housing and education, while they await a decision from the IRB. In 2018-2019, Canada received 55,958 claims for asylum, including claims made by irregular migrants that entered Canada between ports of entry. Funds were invested toward managing irregular migration by ensuring security at the border and faster processing of asylum claims, as well as additional measures that include accelerated federal interim health coverage and interim housing costs shared with provinces and municipalities.
In addition, IRCC’s Interim Federal Health Program provided pre-departure medical services overseas to 26,279 refugees destined to Canada for resettlement in 2018-2019. In Canada, 52,586 resettled refugees were also eligible for the Program, and 27,603 used the services. The Program also provides limited, temporary health coverage of health-care costs for asylum claimants until they are eligible for provincial or territorial health coverage or until they leave Canada. In 2018-2019, the Program provided coverage to 121,657 asylum seekers awaiting a decision from the IRB, with 85,235 of them using the services.
Country: Belgium © Amy Duong
Canada has actively advocated for gender-responsive humanitarian action through the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Emergencies, in line with the Feminist International Assistance Policy, and the Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action. The Call to Action is a global multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to drive change and foster accountability so that every humanitarian effort prevents, mitigates, and responds to gender-based violence from the earliest stage of a crisis.
Canada became lead of the Call to Action on January 1, 2019 for a two-year period. Canada has also been a main partner since the initiative was launched in 2013 and co-chaired the States and Donors Working Group in 2018. In December 2018, Canada’s Ambassador to the EU took part in a leadership handover event in Brussels with the European Union’s Director-General. Canada’s priorities for 2019-2020 include strategically shaping the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies into the next phase, through the development of the next multi-year Road Map. Canada is also continuing field-level implementation of the initiative to drive sustainable change and help the most vulnerable, and engaging local actors and women’s organizations.
Action area: Growth that works for everyone
Growth that works for everyone programming supports inclusive growth, which is the basis for progress across all dimensions of development and is central to achieving broad-based prosperity, peace and security. When all segments of the population benefit equally, countries can dramatically reduce and help eradicate extreme poverty. In particular, women are important economic actors, and inclusive growth can only be achieved with the full, free and equal participation of women in the economy. Inclusive growth is the surest way for countries to harness their domestic resources and attain the capacity needed to address their development challenges, including health, education, and environmental protection.
Increased access to and adoption of technologies, including green technologies, can trigger transformative changes toward sustainable economic development in developing countries. Beneficial advances in technology can be implemented in different economic sectors, such as agriculture. Agriculture and food systems, for example, are important drivers of economic growth and poverty reduction. This labour-intensive sector is particularly important for women, who comprise 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries and account for around two thirds of the world’s poor livestock keepers. It can notably generate diverse opportunities for women, and enable them to earn 30% to 50% more income in this sector than in non-food related sectors.
Quality infrastructure, including in the transport, communications, and energy sectors, is another key driver of economic growth, as it can foster access to markets and information, and create new economic opportunities. Inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as women, in financial systems is another element that stimulates inclusive economic growth.
Canada focuses its efforts relating to growth that works for everyone on:
- bringing down barriers to women’s economic empowerment;
- building more inclusive and sustainable economies; and
- strengthening economic resilience.
Learn more about Canada’s approach through its growth that works for everyone action area policy. For information on Global Affairs Canada’s projects in this action area, please see the Project Browser.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Ethiopia - $64.2 million
Mali - $44.8 million
Ghana - $43.8 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $983.27 million in international assistance, of which $982.61 million was ODA, in initiatives in the growth that works for everyone action area.
Significant focus is placed on involving the private sector, developing livelihoods and empowering women economically. Activities range from building institutional capacity building, supporting entrepreneurship and access to decent work, expanding access to capital and finance and improving support to the private sector. Canada’s programming also plays an important role in rural transformation, promotion of renewable technologies, natural resource management, and investments in quality infrastructure. Canada also supports the development and dissemination of technological innovations and practices that reduce the burden of household work, so that women can engage more readily engage in economically empowering activities beyond the household.
In the agricultural sector, Canada supports initiatives that increase resilience and financial inclusion. These initiatives provide agricultural and business training, and improve access and awareness of inclusive financial services, such as banking, credit, and insurance.
3,804,639 entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders received financial and/or business development services.Footnote 9
Among other things, these contributions have resulted in:
- increased economic participation and incomes of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women and youth;
- strengthened individual businesses and enterprises, particularly those led by women;
- increased capacities of women in leadership positions; and,
- greater economic rights and market opportunities for smallholder farmers, especially women.
Canada supported development initiatives addressing the structural barriers to gender equality (social, cultural, legal) that limit women’s ability to engage in economic activity and restrict their access to productive resources. Canada also supported initiatives to support women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment through improving access to education and training. Canada supported a number of projects aimed at increasing youth employment to help harness the economic and development potential of Africa’s growing youth population. This included support for technical and vocational training, building entrepreneurial skills, and supporting job creation, particularly for young women.
Canada supports TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), an NGO based in Kenya that works to unlock economic potential through reducing barriers to trade and increased business competitiveness. Building on the success of its first strategic phase, which supported a 25%-increase in exports in targeted sectors, a 10%-reduction in trade costs in the East Africa trade network, and reduced border delays through modernising and improving customs clearance procedures, TMEA embarked on its second strategic phase for 2017-2018 to 2022-2023. Canada continued its funding support to TMEA in 2018 by investing $15.3 million to contribute to the Making Trade Work for Women in Eastern Africa project. The project aims to promote the economic empowerment of women traders in Eastern Africa and works to reduce sexual and gender-based violence toward them. The project’s expected results include a 30% reduction in incidences of violence against women traders at select border posts; a 15% increase in trade values for women-traded goods and increased access to markets and trade-related services for at least 150,000 women traders; and improved policy, regulatory and institutional environments to support women in trade.
In Ethiopia, in partnership with the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurship Development Program, more than $144.5-million worth of loans have been issued to 11,731 women entrepreneurs in all trades since 2014. With an average loan size of approximately $11,800, this funding allowed thousands of women to grow their businesses. In addition, the project has provided entrepreneurship training to 18,243 women. As of 2018-2019, over 11,000 agricultural loans have been granted, of which 53% were awarded to women, and nearly 800 women have benefited from a financial literacy program that helped them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to support financial decision making.
In 2018-2019, Canada’s support to FINCA Canada increased financial inclusion for men and women through increasing income and access to savings accounts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Specifically, Canada’s support helped train 1,915 clients (996 women) on financial literacy, and provide access to 7,905 individuals (4,837 women) to mobile and digital banking services networks in communities that were under-served in financial services.
Canada’s institutional support to the African Development Bank (AfDB) contributed to the Bank’s important role in supporting the continent’s sustainable and inclusive economic growth. For example, from June 2017 to June 2019, AfDB support to regional governments provided access to finance for more than 500,000 small and micro businesses; helped improve intra-African trade and movement of people through improved access to transport for 45.5 million people; and supported improved agriculture practices for 71 million farmers.
Country: Rwanda © Digital Opportunity Trust
Jeanne Bovine Ishemaryayo, a 2017 graduate of the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology, founded Computer Geek Technology, a social enterprise that develops software to meet the needs of the local community. With support from the Digital Opportunity Trust, Jeanne built digital solutions that are locally relevant and solve everyday challenges.
Jeanne’s eSavingRw platform makes it easier for local savings groups—called savings and credit cooperatives—to manage the money being deposited and withdrawn by members, while keeping their money safe. The platform allows Rwandans to safely participate in savings and credit cooperatives. Jeanne’s solution is helping to build trust in an effective grassroots financial solution, meaning a greater number of women, marginalized people, and rural populations can access financial services.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Digital Livelihoods: Youth and the Future of Work at Scale.
Canada supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the Americas, particularly Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru, with technical support and training to create business plans. A number of these projects focused on women entrepreneurs in industries such as forestry, farming, and extractives.
Canada supported projects to assist farmers in Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru. In Cuba, for example, Canada helped Cubans to develop a value chain approach to quality food production that promotes import substitution and sustainable economic growth at the local level. This gender-sensitive and climate-smart programming has reached over 4,200 direct beneficiaries to date.
In Colombia, special attention was given to creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth and economically reviving post-conflict zones. Canadian-funded projects provided over 24,600 entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders with financial and/or business development services, and supported over 1,300 Colombians through climate adaptation projects to ensure more sustainable livelihoods. Canada’s contribution has also supported initiatives to increase access to inclusive social protection and graduation programs for the poorest and most vulnerable, including migrants, internally displaced persons and refugees. In partnership with Inter-American Development Bank, 4,768,327 beneficiaries were supported by Canada and other donors through targeted anti-poverty programs.
Through its institutional support to the IDB Group, Canada supported on-the-job training to close to 290,000 people, more than 460,000 women benefited from economic empowerment programs, and 864,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises received financial and non-financial support. Canada’s institutional support to the Caribbean Development Bank provided training to over 1,000 in climate-smart agriculture and food safety standards, installed 400 km of electric transmission and distribution lines, and helped more than 100 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from increased access to credit.
In Asia-Pacific, Canada focused on market-oriented training and skills development, as well as on reducing barriers to women’s economic participation. In the Philippines, Canada worked with partners to provide market-driven training and skills, and financial services to improve livelihoods in vulnerable communities. For example, targeted training on value-chain commodities was provided to 32,000 people (57% women) who were still dealing with the effects of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit in 2013. Through Canadian support in Sri Lanka, 5,981 youth received professional skills training in areas such as tourism, construction, and information and communications technology.
In the South Pacific (that is, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands), Canada promoted the social and economic empowerment of female market vendors to increase their financial management and business acumen.
In partnership with the OECD, Canada works with ASEAN countries to create more competitive, resilient and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This will contribute to evidence-based policymaking and has supported the development, roll-out, and publication of the ASEAN SME Policy Index. Canada also funded the ASEAN Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to support the preparation of public-private partnership (PPP) projects that promote regional connectivity and integration. The centre provides expertise and technical assistance to help design and structure viable, bankable and high-impact regional PPPs for infrastructure.
Canada’s institutional support to the ADB contributed to projects with regional governments and private companies that, between 2014 and 2018, enabled the construction or upgrade of 8,400 km of roads.
Country: Afghanistan © Relief International
In Afghanistan, Canada helped to establish Relief International’s Women’s Enterprise, Advocacy and Training (WEAT) program. The WEAT program works closely with civil society, government and the private sector to enable an environment that fosters empowerment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women in Ghazni, Kapisa and Nangarhar.
Through a door-to-door outreach program, Relief International reached out to local women like Zarlisht, who joined the program to learn about food production and marketing.
“In May 2017, Relief International’s WEAT program opened up an opportunity for me,” says Zarlisht, beaming as she recalls the start of the journey that would lead her to become a successful entrepreneur. Now the owner of a tomato sauce processing company that employs 10 people, Zarlisht adds: “The program gave me technical training on food processing and financial training to understand the market, and provided me with equipment that I would have been unable to purchase.”
The WEAT program also helped Zarlisht build a network and understand the market beyond her village. “They gave me exposure to food processing factories in Nangarhar through site visits and registered me with the provincial chamber of commerce and industries department, which gave me a business licence for food processing.”
With Canada’s support, Zarlisht’s small business now provides for her family and offers employment opportunities for other women of her village.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Women's Enterprise, Advocacy and Training.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Canada’s efforts in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, and the West Bank and Gaza focused on gender-inclusive measures to create employment, access to decision-making positions, and participation in the economic growth of communities for women; promoting SMEs; and providing access to sustainable water sources.
In Jordan, Canada provided financial and/or business development services for 8,685 entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders (including 6,884 female recipients), and invested $2.35 million in 14 women’s organizations to enhance women’s economic empowerment outside the capital, and to promote women’s rights and gender equality. In addition, Canada supported 727 awareness-raising activities pertaining to women’s participation in the economy, reaching 60,906 individuals.
In the West Bank and Gaza, Canada’s assistance increased access to quality land and sustainable water resources, and improved water management by communities and farmer co-operatives. Canada provided technical and in-kind support to 40 cooperatives: 25 farmer’s cooperatives and 15 women cooperatives (with a total of 1,411 female members).
Canada continued to empower Ukraine’s SMEs to take advantage of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement. This has resulted in exports by SMEs from Ukraine to Canada exceeding $1.1 million, and $750,000 in investment from Canada to Ukraine.
In 2018, Canada, Lebanon and the World Bank convened the first Mashreq Gender Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The governments of Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan presented national action plans for women’s economic empowerment, and committed to increase women’s participation in the labour force over the next five years by 5% in both Iraq and Lebanon, and to 24% in Jordan. With Canada’s support, the Mashreq Gender Facility was also launched.
Further, as a shareholder in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Canada contributed to the EBRD’s work toward sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe, the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, and Central Asia. For example, EBRD-funded projects helped 18 million people benefit from improved heating, waste and water services; provided €52 million to partner financial institutions to support women-led enterprises; trained 1,452 women in new skills; and provided over 1.35 million people with improved social infrastructure. Further, Canada contributed to the Bank’s work targeting countries severely impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. At the EBRD’s 2018 annual meeting, shareholders approved setting aside €15 million from the Bank’s 2017 net income to support refugee-hosting countries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. As of March 2019, the EBRD had signed investments totalling €419 million under its refugee crisis response program.
In 2018-2019, Canada, through its core and voluntary contributions, supported several multilateral initiatives aimed at advancing women’s economic rights and leadership, and promoting inclusive markets and entrepreneurship.
In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada created the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM), a 7-year, $16.5-million development assistance initiative designed to maximize the positive impacts of trade and investment agreements between Canada and countries eligible for ODA. The EDM contributes to poverty reduction by deploying technical experts to assist developing countries negotiate, implement, adapt to, and benefit from their bilateral or regional Free Trade Agreements and Foreign Investment Protection Agreements with Canada. The EDM aligns technical assistance with the Feminist International Assistance Policy and with Canada’s inclusive approach to trade.
Canada’s support to the World Bank Group contributed to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in developing countries. For example, in 2018-2019, the International Development Association financed projects that helped 4.41 million farmers adopt improved agricultural technology, and the construction or rehabilitation of 12,356 km of roads.
Canada also partnered with the World Bank on the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries. Through its first round of funding, We-Fi allocated US$120 million to programs and projects implemented by development banks for global, regional, and country-specific activities. The initiative aims to increase public and private sector support for women in business, with a focus on the poorest and most fragile environments.
At the World Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-Canada Partnership Funds I & II has helped reduce gender inequalities through business environment reforms, strengthening women-owned enterprises, and creating better employment opportunities for women. In 2018, CIPF II supported increased access to non-financial services to 7,836,000 women entrepreneurs, to address barriers to economic growth.
With support from Canada and other donors, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reached over 115 million people in rural areas, 51% of whom were women. Canada is the eighth-largest donor of the Eleventh Replenishment of IFAD (2019-2021), with its $75-million contribution. IFAD’s work on inclusive rural finance contributed to improving access for over 25 million people to rural financial services. In addition, IFAD trained 2.6 million people to increase their agricultural productivity through new crop and livestock production practices and technologies. Through its climate adaptation program, IFAD has supported 2.63 million smallholder farmers in coping with the effects of climate change.
Canada is a founding donor of the AgResults Initiative, which uses an innovative pay-for-results prize competition model to incent the private sector to reach smallholder farmers in underserved markets. For example, the Nigeria Aflasafe™ Challenge Project provided a financial prize that encouraged agricultural businesses to promote Aflasafe™, a product that helps to cut levels of aflatoxin (a toxin) in grains. In 2018-2019, approximately 30,195 Nigerian smallholder farmers chose to participate in the project. Farmers that applied Aflasafe™ to their crops produced 82,335 metric tons of aflatoxin-free maize, which sold at a premium price in local markets.
In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada and the IDRC continued to jointly fund the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), involving 20 Canadian and 40 Southern organizations. From 2010 to 2018, the CIFSRF reached 78 million people globally by scaling up dozens of the 144 agricultural innovations it generated. Women’s economic empowerment featured prominently in CIFSRF projects.
Canada’s partnership with the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, an institute created by a coalition comprising the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Polytechnique Montréal, has contributed to strengthening developing countries governance structures of their natural resource sectors. In 2018-2019, more than 2,600 people (1,011 women) were trained in leading global practices for gender-responsive and environmentally sustainable utilization of extractive sector resources. In July 2018, a new Master’s program was launched in Senegal to enhance the capacity of faculty and students to implement leading practices in mine waste management.
Développement International Desjardins (DID) has helped micro and small businesses to access funding in the creation and development of their businesses in Africa and Latin America. In 2018-2019, through establishing entrepreneur financial centres and, with Canada’s support, DID granted 8,198 loans to entrepreneurs, of which more than one third were women.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provides technical assistance to developing countries to build their capacity on food safety and animal and plant health. In 2018-2019, the CFIA assisted countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Ukraine, through activities such as information sharing, meetings, seminars, and facility tours. These activities contributed toward the development and implementation of science- and risk-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures. In addition, the CFIA provided financial support and technical expertise for webinars to address non-compliance issues in food exports from developing countries entering Canada. This assistance contributed to the sustainable economic development of these emerging economies by stimulating food exports that meet Canada’s import requirements.
Action area: Environment and climate action
The state of the environment around the world is deteriorating at an alarming pace. Climate change and environmental degradation, including more frequent and intense natural disasters disasters—such as droughts and floods, increasingly scarce freshwater supplies, desertification, and land degradation—are threatening long-term development gains. More than 1 billion people worldwide live in climate change hot spots: deltas, semi-arid lands, and glacier-dependent basins in Africa and Asia. The World Bank estimates that without urgent action, climate change impacts could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. Many communities, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, are experiencing the strongest impacts of these changes. These impacts also disproportionately affect women and girls, particularly those that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.
Canada signed the Paris Agreement in 2015. As part of its commitments, Canada provides funding to developing countries to contribute to the collective goal of US$100 billion annually by 2020, including by mobilizing various climate finance sources. Canada is delivering on its pledge to provide Can$2.65 billion over the 2016-2021 period to support developing countries’ transition to low-carbon, climate resilient economies. As of April 2019, Canada had announced over Can$1.5 billion in funding for specific environmental initiatives as part of this pledge.
Canada focuses its environment and climate action efforts along three main pathways:
- strengthening environmental governance and enhancing women’s participation in decision making;
- investing in low-carbon and climate-resilient economies; and
- environmental practices that support healthy, resilient, adaptive communities.
Learn more about Canada’s approach through its action area policy on environment and climate action. For information on Global Affairs Canada’s projects in this action area, please see the Project Browser.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
India - $15.2 million
Bangladesh - $14.7 million
Ethiopia - $12.1 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $630.39 million in international assistance, of which $630.14 million was ODA, in initiatives in the action area of environment and climate action.
Canada supports initiatives that mitigate climate change and help developing countries adapt to its environmental and socio-economic impacts. Canada also provides support in the area of sustainable resource management. Among other things, these contributions resulted in:
176 megatons of GHG emissions reduced or avoided.Footnote 10
- increased abatement of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by supporting the use of low-carbon energy technologies such as wind, solar and geothermal;
- the adoption of improved climate-smart agricultural practices for smallholder farmers;
- the production and conservation of forest resources and biodiversity;
- increased private finance mobilized toward climate action in developing countries;
- increased access to green technologies for marginalized groups;
- greater capacity of government and communities to implement climate change adaptation and mitigation measures; and
- greater resilience of vulnerable countries and communities against climate-related natural disasters.
Canada supported the transition of developing countries to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies and societies, including in sub-Saharan Africa. This included ongoing contributions to the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), an Africa-led initiative to help improve access to renewable energy services, largely through direct investments in renewable infrastructure. Canada is providing $150 million to AREI. Canada, with other G7 partners, continued its support for efforts to enhance climate risk resilience, notably through $40 million to the African Risk Capacity Agency in the 2017-2021 period. The initiative aims to support African governments to improve their capacity to plan, prepare and respond to extreme events and natural disasters.
Canada also worked in partnership with Canadian civil society organizations in the region to promote renewable energy. Canada’s partnership with Polytechnique Montréal to establish a training centre for West African solar energy technicians contributed to developing a cadre of professionally trained solar energy practitioners. A total of 275 senior technicians and 40 engineers in eight countries were trained and are applying their knowledge across the region. The project also resulted in the installation of solar-powered health centres and other facilities in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal. This work has facilitated women’s access to community health centres, maternity clinics, and dispensaries carrying medicines that require refrigeration, as well as girls’ and boys’ access to schools. This includes: in Burkina Faso, providing solar power to maternal clinics in six villages (benefiting 13,305 women and 12,284 men); in Mali, equipping three villages with lighting and solar pumping for drinking water; and in Senegal, providing two villages with solar household kits, benefitting 528,572 men and women.
Residents of Haiti, Peru, and a number of other Latin American and Caribbean countries benefited from Canadian support for training programs on environmental issues and sustainable agriculture, as well as disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.
In Haiti, 3,236 teachers and students participated in environmental awareness activities on maintaining a clean and healthy environment, including through waste sorting. In addition, five financial institutions and more than 500 farmers were trained on environmental issues.
In Peru, Canada works with SUCO to help improve the economic conditions and prospects of young farmers, including women, by providing technical training on sustainable agriculture, animal production and entrepreneurship. In 2018-2019, this partnership helped to train 554 people on environmental issues, such as organic vegetable production, agro-ecological management of pests and diseases, sustainable use of water, and irrigation techniques. The total number of people trained since 2015 is 1,310 (including 1,062 young farmers).
In the Caribbean, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, Canada implemented gender-responsive and community-based strategies and tools for disaster risk management and for climate change adaptation. Canada also supported the Disaster Risk Management Program and Disaster Responsive Fund to help Caribbean residents respond to environmental catastrophes.
The Inter-American Development Bank managed the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas (C2F), which aims to catalyze private sector investments in climate mitigation or adaptation projects across the region to help countries reduce their carbon footprint and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. It focuses on renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuels, sustainable agriculture, forestry and land use, and adaptation. In 2018 alone, Canadian and other co-investor contributions to C2F projects supported the abatement of over 560,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and the production of around 930,000 MWh of renewable energy. In 2018-2019, Canada also committed $223.5 million for the second phase of the fund, which will cover the 2018-2044 period. The fund is building on the success of its first phase and will continue to pilot innovative ways of integrating gender equality considerations in private sector projects.
Climate events are likely to have an increasing impact on human health, security, livelihoods and poverty, with the type and magnitude of impact varying widely across Asia and the Pacific Islands. In 2018-2019, Canada remained committed to assisting vulnerable communities in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as integrating environmental sustainability elements into new and existing projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
Through its close collaboration on climate change with the ADB, Canada contributes to fostering low-carbon and resilient economies in the region. For example, the ADB’s Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia supports private sector projects that help Asian and Pacific countries reduce their carbon footprint and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Results achieved as of June 2019 include six concessional finance projects for renewable energy initiatives that are expected to install a total of 981 MW of renewable energy generation capacity, leading to 2 million metric tons of CO2e emission reductions per year. In 2016-2017, Canada also committed to contributing $200 million for the second phase, ADB’s Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II. Results achieved as of December 2018 include three concessional finance projects that are expected to install a total of 162 MW of renewable energy, leading to the reduction of 4.1 million metric tons of CO2e emissions per year.
Another ADB-led project, Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Myanmar, launched the Myanmar Unified platform for Disaster Risk Application, a one-stop portal used by government agencies to collaborate, share and apply disaster risk information for decision-making purposes.
In Afghanistan, where climate change is greatly affecting livelihoods, Canadian funding implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada supported the installation of solar panels at the Bamyan Hospital. The panels create more than 50% of the hospital’s energy needs, reducing its reliance on diesel-powered generators.
Canada’s $10-million Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) Fund for ASEAN is managed by the ADB. In 2018-2019, the IDRM Fund helped develop and implement innovative regional solutions to reduce the impact of disasters on vulnerable populations, and support sustainable economic growth across the ASEAN region. The IDRM Fund also contributes to ASEAN’s disaster risk management efforts by supporting the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
Country: Pakistan © Tom Pilston, IDRC
Rising temperatures, variable monsoon patterns, and a host of other factors make northern Pakistan extremely vulnerable to climate change. Water is a scarce resource, but more than 1 billion people in the greater South Asia region depend on it for their livelihoods. With the support of Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the U.K.’s Department for International Development, the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia supports the resilience of vulnerable populations and their livelihoods.
Asif Jehengir cleans a solar-powered water pump system that helps farmers irrigate their fields. This is one of the adaptation measures piloted in northern Pakistan that introduces local farmers to climate-smart agricultural practices that improve water management. In addition to switching from diesel fuel to solar-powered pumps, a suite of techniques such as drip irrigation and multi-cropping was adopted. The adaptation measures improved crop productivity and the government is now expanding this initiative in Pakistan to reach 30,000 farmers.
Canada supported a number of important activities and investments through its core and voluntary contributions to multilateral organizations, including international financial institutions. For example, Canada established itself as a leading donor to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which supports activities in developing countries related to biodiversity, chemicals and waste, climate change, international waters, and land degradation. In 2018-2019, Canada’s support to the GEF totalled $54.75 million. Results for the GEF’s 6th replenishment as of June 2019 include the improved management of 511.5 million hectares of landscapes and seascapes for biodiversity conservation, and the mitigation of 1,280 million metric tons of CO2e. In addition, Canada continued to engage on governance, policy, and programming issues at the GEF, including by advocating for improved gender equality mainstreaming across projects, enhanced engagement with the private sector, and a more robust results and monitoring framework.
Through its seat on the board of directors, Canada is a highly active donor to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which supports low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways in developing countries. Canada disbursed Can$132 million in 2018-2019, bringing its total support to the GCF to Can$300 million. As of March 2019, the GCF had approved US$5 billion for 102 mitigation and adaptation projects in 97 developing countries, which in turn has leveraged US$12.2 billion of additional public and private sector project finance. That’s an average leverage ratio of US$2.50 for every dollar of GCF finance. Canada’s contributions, along with those of other donors and investors, support investments that are expected to avoid 1.5 billion metric tons of CO2e and increase the resilience of 273 million people. For example, the Universal Green Energy Access Program in sub-Saharan Africa will increase universal access to electricity by scaling up investments in renewable energy.
The World Bank Group institutions, in which Canada is a shareholder, play an important role in global efforts to support sustainable management of natural resources and develop clean energy sources and infrastructure in developing countries. For example, in 2018-2019, the International Development Association financed projects supporting the generation capacity of 6 GW of renewable energy.
Canada also had ongoing programming through the Canada Climate Change Program, which is managed by the International Finance Corporation, another WBG institution. The Program enabled climate change investments into renewable energy, sustainable energy lending, energy efficiency improvements, and other innovative, low-carbon projects in developing markets. Canada and other co-investors committed US$266.7 million to 26 investment projects and 20 advisory services projects in more than 30 countries as of June 30, 2018, the end of the investment period. Expected results from these projects include the direct abatement of 572,000 metric tons of CO2e per year, which will reach 1,100,000 metric tons of CO2e once all projects are being implemented, and the installation of almost 400 MW of new renewable energy generation capacity from wind, solar, hydropower and biomass sources. In 2018, Canada also announced a Can$250-million commitment for the IFC’s Blended Climate Finance Program to continue mobilizing private sector capital for global climate action.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) provides technical cooperation and capacity building to developing countries to improve disaster preparedness, facilitate the use of environmentally safe products and equipment, enhance the development and deployment of environmentally sound technologies, and support climate change adaptation and mitigation. For example, ECCC supports the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a multi-stakeholder coalition that works to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) in order to mitigate climate change and improve air quality. Reducing emissions of SLCPs is critical to avoid the most dangerous and severe impacts of climate change.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is Canada’s official representative at the International Telecommunication Union, the lead UN agency for telecommunications and ICT. In 2018, the ITU completed disaster preparedness systems in Zambia, featuring two early-warning systems on flooding and mudslides. The ITU also strengthened the ability of countries like Papua New Guinea and Tonga, which were struck by disasters in 2018, to coordinate disaster relief efforts and cope with the immediate effects of disasters by providing emergency telecommunication equipment.
Country: Mexico © Scott Mueller
A key challenge in the global response to climate change is addressing the rapid increase of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the developing world. By strengthening their capacity for measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) of GHG emissions, developing countries can gain the clear picture of emission sources and trends needed to design effective mitigation policies, such as carbon pricing, to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Environment and Climate Change Canada advances this work by supporting a working group of the Pacific Alliance to cooperate on climate MRV. This working group familiarizes Pacific Alliance countries with the scope and nature of each other’s climate MRV systems, identifies common challenges, and pursues alignment between climate MRV systems. In March 2019, ECCC supported a two-day workshop in Mexico City, where the working group explored how project-level MRV underpins effective market-based instruments that enable countries to mitigate emissions, achieve their NDCs, and benefit from associated technology transfer. Through this support, countries have defined a two-year work plan to achieve consensus on common MRV standards to facilitate potential regional carbon market linkages in the future.
In 2018-2019, Statistics Canada participated in workshops aimed at improving participants’ knowledge of the System of Environmental Economic Accounting, an innovative international standard developed by the UN to count environmental assets as part of countries’ economy. A workshop for the Latin America and the Caribbean region focused on Experimental Ecosystem Accounting. Another workshop, held in the United Kingdom, aimed to develop a set of sustainable development indicators to support the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In addition, a workshop organized under the auspices of the United Nations in Thailand aimed to facilitate a community of practice in the Asia-Pacific region around standards for environmental and economic statistics for oceans.
Action area: Inclusive governance
Inclusive governance is considered fundamental to long-term sustainable development. Governance pertains to how power is exercised and resources are allocated among different groups in society. It affects how states manage complex challenges, such as inequality, migration, urbanization, violence, natural resources, and climate change. A focus on inclusion enables countries to unlock the potential of their diverse populations while contributing to the Agenda 2030 commitment to leave no one behind, and, more specifically, to SDG 16. Governance is inclusive when it effectively serves and engages all groups of people; takes into account gender and other facets of personal identity; and when institutions, policies, processes, and services are accessible, accountable, and responsive to all members of society.
Canada focuses its inclusive governance efforts on:
- promoting and protecting human rights;
- increasing equitable access to a functioning justice system;
- enhancing participation in public life; and
- ensuring that public services work for everyone.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Afghanistan - $55.2 million
Colombia - $31.0 million
Ukraine - $27.6 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $442.56 million in international assistance, of which $437.17 million was ODA, in initiatives in the inclusive governance action area.
Canada supports inclusive governance in concrete and multi-faceted ways. Engaging in capacity building of public institutions is a central piece of Canada’s approach. This includes strengthening local legal and law-enforcement systems, democratic and electoral institutions, and other services. Canada also supported legislative, regulatory and policy reforms that aimed at enhancing human rights protections, improving legal, electoral and fiscal systems, and reinforcing public services such as statistical capacities and audit mechanisms. Canada’s investments also reached local populations and civil society organizations. Projects supported civic education initiatives to reinforce knowledge and awareness of human rights, political participation and legal recourse, especially among women and marginalized communities.
Among other things, these contributions have resulted in:
- improved capacities of state and non-state actors to protect and promote human rights;
- increased access to legal recourse and to the justice system;
- reduced barriers to all people’s equal and effective participation in all forms of public life, including politics;
- strengthened local democratic institutions;
- strengthened efforts against corruption and impunity; and
- improved public financial management and service delivery by partner country institutions.
Through both advocacy and programming tools, Canada is committed to assist sub-Saharan countries and local organizations, including the African Union, to strengthen democratic institutions, improve governance, and advance human rights. This includes efforts to strengthen the capacity of electoral bodies and enhance all citizens’ political participation and leadership. Canada also engages bilaterally and multilaterally to promote and protect human rights in the region.
Canada continues to support efforts to strengthen civic responsibility and public participation in democratic life, including increasing the political participation of women and youth to help build a more inclusive and accountable political environment. For example, through Development and Peace’s Support for Civic and Electoral Education project in the DRC, over 8 million people participated in more than 450,000 group discussions as part of civic and electoral education campaigns focused on the key principles of democratic and credible elections. More than 10,000 of the project’s facilitators received additional training as election observers. They were deployed to polling stations across the country as part of a national electoral observation mission in December 2018. In addition, Canada supported the United Nations Development Programme to help 196 women be accredited as electoral observers for 10 DRC provinces and receive training on how to mitigate and mediate electoral violence and conflicts.
The United Nations Development Programme also supported the 2015-2018 electoral cycle in Liberia, including four by-elections in 2018. With support from Canada and other donors, the Liberian national elections commission initiated processes that led to a number of electoral reforms.
Canada is also working to improve access to justice, particularly for women, across developing countries. In Burundi and the DRC, TRIAL International provided legal assistance to 446 victims of human rights violations. In addition, 91 Burundian and Congolese lawyers were trained on the documentation and presentation of cases involving international crimes and grave human rights violations, with a particular focus on SGBV crimes. Lawyers Without Borders Canada also undertook a mapping exercise in conjunction with the University of Laval to document human rights violations, including SGBV crimes, which have occurred in Mali since 1960. This tool will be used to plan investigations and public reconciliation events and meetings for the DRC’s truth, justice, and reconciliation commission.
Country: Mozambique © Olho do Cidadão
Carmen Daniel dos Prazeres, a 21-year-old university student in Inhambane, Mozambique, was 1 of 70 students trained on citizenship, democracy, and human rights through the Txeka-lá Municipal Election 2018 project, implemented through Global Affairs Canada’s Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.
Txeka-lá is an online platform aimed at giving voice to Mozambican citizens during the electoral process. After this training, Carmen realized the significant role she can play as a citizen and the importance of being a more active member of society.
“I used to believe that exercising citizenship was synonymous with belonging to a political party,” said Carmen. “But after the training, I understand that citizenship is not only about political parties, but it is a right enshrined in the Mozambican constitution that I should exercise.”
Since the training, Carmen has been very politically active. During the 2018 local elections, she was a citizen observer, sharing several videos, photographs, and interviews about the local elections on the Txeka-lá online platform. Since then, Carmen has become an important focal point for the platform in Inhambane, mobilizing other young women to join the team. She continues to produce videos and photos with the android phone she received from the project. As a citizen journalist, she gives a voice to anonymous citizens through the Txeka-lá online platform.
In 2018-2019, Canada funded inclusive governance projects in Honduras and Haiti that helped curtail corruption and impunity, while advancing human rights and gender equality.
In Honduras, work was done to strengthen local institutions to identify corruption networks and bring people to justice. Canada’s support helped to increase the country’s capacity to investigate and prosecute organized crime structures, develop legal reforms, and generate public support to reduce corruption and impunity. Nine high-profile corruption network cases resulted in charges laid against 38 high-level officials for embezzling public funds destined to support poor rural families.
Also in Honduras, Canada’s support to the Justice, Governance and Fight against Impunity project helped to train 113 judicial system personnel to handle criminal cases against human rights defenders. The project also helped to promote and protect human rights with state and non-state actors.
In Haiti, Canada contributed to efforts to build capacities to enable efficient planning and governance. Canada also supported the creation of policies on sexual harassment and gender equality in the workplace. Further, Canada supported efforts to build the capacity of lawyers in Haiti to defend human rights, and provided specialized technical assistance (adapted to Haitian legislation) to develop a national law on sexual and gender-based violence.
Country: Ecuador © Maria Lorena Pasquel, Global Affairs Canada
With the crisis in Venezuela, Ecuador is hosting a growing number of Venezuelan migrants. Within this vulnerable community, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and other (LGBTQ2+) migrants experience intersecting oppression based on their sexual identity and migrant status. As a result, they often lack safe and inclusive spaces, and many face urgent needs for health care and
In November 2018, Danilo Manzano, a dynamic young LGBTQ2+ activist, established Dialogo Diverso, a community organization to help LGBTQ2+ migrants to access services and support networks in Quito. Through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, Dialogo Diverso started My Home Away from Home (Mi Casa Fuera de Casa), the first gathering place and reference centre for LGBTQ2+ migrants to access services and link up with local support networks. Dialogo Diverso also compiled a report on the lived experience of LGBTQ2+ migrants in Venezuela and established a guide for service providers. Through these resources, training is provided to public agencies on how to deliver more responsive, targeted support to LGBTQ2+ migrants. With Canada’s support, Dialogo Diverso helped over 500 LGBTQ2+ individuals and their families, and shared experiences and best practices with like-minded organizations beyond Ecuador, in Chile, Colombia and Peru.
In Asia-Pacific, programming in inclusive governance focused in large part on supporting credible and transparent electoral processes, protecting the rights of marginalized and vulnerable communities, civil society engagement, and greater participation of women in governance. For example, in Indonesia, Canada’s support for civil society and technical assistance to Indonesia’s General Elections Commission assisted in successfully conducting credible general elections in April 2019.
In its efforts to improve protection of migrant workers, Canada also helped harmonize labour migration governance frameworks in the ASEAN region and offered capacity building to regional bodies to meaningfully contribute to the national and regional migration dialogue.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
In Ukraine, Iraq, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza, and Tunisia, Canada promoted inclusive governance and participation in elections, and supported the establishment of institutions and laws to reduce corruption.
Canada continued to support eight reform support offices and helped establish two new reform teams within the Government of Ukraine. This helped to streamline customs clearance, which reduced clearance time from 26 to 6 hours. Canada also helped launch a new e-Health system, enabling the registration of over 22 million patients and 24,000 doctors. Canada strengthened the technical implementation of ProZorro, a public procurement system, in nine cities, increasing their cumulative revenues by $350,000. In the justice sector, Canada supported training for judges and legal professionals, supported human rights activities, and helped establish 535 legal aid centres. These and other measures contributed to an increase in public trust in the court system from 5% in 2015 to 16% in 2018. Canada also deployed 232 election observers and eight Canadian parliamentarians for the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections, on March 31, 2019.
Canada supported the Government of Iraq in preparing and drafting a revised Public Financial Management Law. The Law, passed by the Iraqi parliament in May 2019, supports a framework for a more comprehensive budgeting and decentralization process.
In the West Bank and Gaza, construction of courthouse infrastructure is under way to improve Palestinians’ access to justice. The project also promotes efficient use of these facilities through advancements in courthouse planning and design, facilities management, and court administration.
In 2018-2019, Canada supported the first municipal elections in Tunisia and contributed to improved integrity of the electoral process. The meaningful participation of all citizens was promoted by providing tailored approaches to rural areas with higher illiteracy rates to ensure women had equal opportunities to participate in the electoral process.
Canada supported a number of important activities and investments through its core and voluntary contributions to multilateral organizations. For example, Canada established itself as a leading donor to the Forum of Federations, an organization that strengthens inclusive and accountable governance by promoting federalism. In 2018-2019, Canada signed a five-year, $2.5‑million agreement to support the Forum’s efforts to strengthen inclusive and responsive governance in federal and decentralized countries. The Forum works to develop capacities for democratic governance by convening dialogue among diverse stakeholders’ efforts to build peace, and fostering stronger and more balanced development that benefits all.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) capacity development efforts are geared toward promoting sound domestic economic governance in member countries. From improved legal frameworks and public financial management to the collection of gender-disaggregated data, IMF technical assistance and training help members tackle their development priorities and strengthen their domestic institutions to implement more effective policies, and deliver greater economic inclusion and stability for their people. In 2018-2019, Canada maintained its historically strong support for IMF capacity development activities through contributions totalling US$19.2 million. Over the IMF’s 2018-2019 fiscal year,Footnote 13 it spent US$306 million on direct country capacity development activities (48% of which was delivered to low-income developing countries) and delivered 457 training events to 16,950 officials across 188 member countries (30% in sub-Saharan Africa and 22% in fragile states).
With Canada’s support, the Ralph Bunche Institute addressed human rights violations against women and others experiencing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Stakeholder workshops in Argentina, Tunisia and Uruguay enabled information and capacity exchanges along with collaboration between specialized UN officials and stakeholders from these communities. These exchanges provided invaluable research material, improved understanding, and strengthened responses to harmful practices. This also helped to inform the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Canada supported the Human Rights Up Front initiative, which seeks to prevent or respond to large-scale violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Through improved early warnings, shared analysis, and better coordination and capacity to engage and respond, the initiative is designed to entrench human rights as a system-wide responsibility across the UN.
The 10-year Think Tank Initiative (TTI) is a $200-million partnership between Canada’s IDRC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.K. Department for International Development, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation. TTI helped 43 think tanks in 20 countries engage in long-term planning, establish research priorities, strengthen capacity for policy engagement and communication, and pursue timely and relevant research. TTI’s support helped local think tanks provide evidence-based research that strengthened public understanding of party electoral platforms in Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru. TTI support also facilitated international collaborative work between think tanks. The most notable example is Southern Voice, a network of 49 think tanks (including all 43 supported by TTI) that serves as a platform to address the deficit of Southern research and participation in the global dialogue on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Employment and Social Development Canada, through its Labour Program, contributes to capacity-building activities with partner countries to improve enforcement of labour laws and respect for internationally recognized labour rights. ESDC supported new projects in Jordan, Mexico and Colombia, in addition to ongoing projects in Peru and Ukraine. Specifically, Canada supported efforts to institutionalize collective bargaining in the garment sector in Jordan; freedom of association in the export sector in Mexico; and the capacity of Colombia’s Ministry of Labour by modernizing its registration system of agreements between employers and workers, to meet commitments made under the Action Plan of the Canada-Colombia Agreement on Labour Cooperation.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) promotes inclusive governance practices, including gender equality and diversity in tax systems, while supporting domestic resource mobilization. In 2018-2019, the CRA hosted study visits from foreign tax administrations, and participated in international forums. For example, the CRA provided technical assistance to the Government of Benin as part of a Global Affairs Canada-funded project, which resulted in better public financial management and more funding opportunities for public services that benefit all citizens. The CRA also continued to develop the Knowledge Sharing Platform for Tax Administrations (KSPTA), a global online platform that supports tax capacity-building efforts in developing countries, including through a best practices library and a new e-learning component. Overall, the total number of KSPTA users has nearly doubled every year and continues to grow, with a higher proportion of women registering for e-learning courses.
Lastly, under IRCC’s Migration Policy Development Program, Canada funds the IRCC’s participation in key international migration forums and projects related to policy development, research, and capacity building in the field of migration. In 2018-2019, the Program supported 13 projects in partnership with the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Talent Beyond Boundaries and the International Catholic Migration Commission.
Action area: Peace and security
Violent conflict and insecurity have widespread, deep and lasting effects. Continued international support is needed to establish and maintain peace and security, both for the safety of citizens and as a precondition for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscores that “there can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development.” This is reflected in SDG 16, which aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” Peace, inclusive governance, and justice are development enablers and development outcomes.
Canada has a long history of contributing to peace, security and stability through its international assistance. Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Feminist International Assistance Policy guide Canada’s engagement on SDG 16 internationally and in its pursuit of gender-responsive and integrated responses to global peace and security challenges. Canada supports sustainable peace and security by addressing the long-term, systemic drivers of conflict and insecurity, as well as the immediate challenges facing peace and stability.
Canada also helps address the immediate drivers and consequences of violent conflict and insecurity, particularly through Global Affairs Canada’s dedicated programs: Peace and Stabilization Operations, Anti-Crime Capacity Building, Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building, and Weapons Threat Reduction.
In its work in the peace and security action area, Canada focuses on:
- supporting inclusive and gender-responsive violent-conflict prevention, crisis response, and sustainable peace in fragile and conflict-affected states;
- supporting gender-responsive security threat reduction and security system reform; and
- improving multilateral management of peace and security challenges.
Activities and results in 2018-2019
Afghanistan - $29.2 million
Mali - $15.6 million
Iraq - $14.5 million
In 2018-2019, Canada invested $314.07 million in international assistance, of which $160.55 million was ODA, in initiatives in the peace and security action area.Footnote 14
In 2018-2019, the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) disbursed $168 million in fragile and conflict-affected states, targeting key areas of intervention such as peace operations, conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding; inclusion, diversity, and human rights; protection of civilians; and women, peace and security. These efforts supported peace and security in many parts of the world including Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali and the Sahel region, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and the West Bank and Gaza.
PSOPs activities included increasing meaningful participation of women in peace operations, working in at-risk communities to re-establish trust between communities and police, facilitating conflict resolution in specific conflict regions to ensure respect of ceasefires and peace agreements, and preventing children’s engagement in violence. PSOPs also supports transformative changes pertaining to how political, economic, and social power are negotiated, shared, and used by different actors in fragile and conflict-affected states.
In 2018-2019, the Anti-Crime and the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building programs (ACCBP and CTCBP) disbursed $15 million and $28 million, respectively, in international assistance toward capacity-building initiatives in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Both programs conducted activities that enhanced the capacities of beneficiary states to address their trans-national or violent extremism security challenges through:
- strengthening the effectiveness of security institutions and local security and intelligence authorities;
- improving the suitability and application of legal instruments and the judiciary; and
- improving local policies, frameworks, and human and technological control systems.
The ACCBP primarily supported capacity-building initiatives in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Southeast Asia. Its primary aim was to assist countries in mitigating the impact and reach of trans-national criminal enterprises. Projects increased countries’ abilities to prevent, detect, disrupt, and reduce the harm of illicit drug trade, cybercrime, human trafficking, human smuggling, money laundering, and the proceeds of crime. Beneficiary states have reported that these efforts resulted in the seizure of drugs and their precursors, the disruption of human trafficking ventures, and an improved success rate in prosecuting members of trans-national criminal organizations.
In Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the CTCBP focused its programing on strengthening the capabilities of law enforcement, the justice system, the security sector, and military intelligence to counter violent extremism. Additional assistance was provided where required to reduce the financing of terrorism, to counter terrorist narratives, and to strengthen border management. All activities under the ACCBP and the CTCBP were informed by strong gender analysis, strengthened respect for human rights, and met international norms, standards and best practices.
In 2018-2019, the Weapons Threat Reduction Program (WTRP) disbursed $71 million globally to prevent terrorists and “states of proliferation concern” from acquiring and using weapons and materials of mass destruction. As Canada’s flagship contribution to the G7-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, the WTRP has contributed more than $1.4 billion since 2002 to address nuclear and radiological security, biological security, chemical weapons threat reduction and support for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The WTRP has also integrated gender-responsive elements into over 40% of its projects for 2018-2019, ensuring that its programming is more sustainable, inclusive and adapted to local contexts, and reflects Canada’s commitments toward gender equality.
In the second implementation year of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, Canada worked to mobilize support for women as active agents of peace, address sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, promote women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality in fragile and conflict-affected settings, and ensure our peace and security interventions are gender responsive.
165,818 peacekeepers were trained through deployments and projects to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.Footnote 15
These different programs and activities have resulted, among other things, in:
- increased capacities of peacekeepers and peacekeeping missions, including to address gender issues;
- increased capacities of local partners and populations to prevent and stabilize conflict situations;
- more effective, accountable and gender-sensitive policing, judicial and corrections institutions; and
- increased peace and security in countries and regions where Canada engages.
Canada supported peace and security in sub-Saharan Africa through security and development programming, military engagement, and diplomacy. Canada’s international assistance in sub-Saharan Africa helped to advance a number of priorities, including promoting the WPS agenda, minimizing the spread and impact of violent extremism, and preventing the use and recruitment of child soldiers through implementing the Vancouver Principles.
For example, through the Justice, Prevention and Reconciliation (JUPREC) project in Mali, Canada supports women’s participation in reconciliation and conflict prevention efforts. In 2018-2019, community peace committees, including women’s associations, were engaged in activities related to peace and social dialogue, conflict prevention and management, involving 466 women in leadership and reaching nearly 2,000 women through awareness activities. The project also promotes the rights of women and girls afflicted in these areas by facilitating their access to justice. In 2018-2019, legal aid services were offered to 1,414 people, of whom 86% were women victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
Counter-terrorism programming initiatives focused on increasing the capacities of law enforcement, judicial, border, military, and intelligence services across the Sahel, in addition to efforts to combat terrorist financing. In response to the identified challenge of prosecuting terrorism-related offences, substantial efforts were put toward strengthening the judicial system. Judges and prosecutors from across the Sahel and who specialize in such cases were brought together with external supreme court-level judges to share good practices, compare experiences, and receive specialized training. This resulted in an increase in successful prosecutions across the region. CTCBP programming in West Africa also included building capacity at the practitioner level through training trial judges who handle terrorism cases, and providing them with a forum for sharing best practices in the adjudication of terrorist cases.
To address serious proliferation threats resulting from the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa (2014-2015) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (2018-2019), Canada, through the WTRP, is strengthening capabilities in Africa to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberate (such as bioterrorism).
Given the complexity of transnational organized crime in the Americas, states in the region are faced with the growing challenge of becoming source and transit countries for the illicit trafficking of both drugs and people. Canada’s work supported customs, border agent and police training, standards implementation, and equipment improvements at container ports in the region. This helped to combat transnational organized crime trafficking through containerized cargo.
In the Caribbean, the ACCBP focused on illicit drugs, money laundering, and the proceeds of crime, among other priorities. Canada has created a niche for itself in the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador), where much of the ACCBP’s focus is on security reform and on human trafficking.
Canada works with international organizations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Organization of American States, as well as Canadian NGOs such as the Justice Education Society (JES) and Lawyers Without Borders Canada, to build the capacity of justice and law enforcement institutions and agencies in the region.
Human trafficking is also a key area of focus in the Americas. As in other regions of the world, women and girls account for the vast majority of victims. Through the ACCBP, multiple capacity-building initiatives were implemented throughout the Americas to help beneficiary states address human trafficking. In Honduras, for example, Canada built the professional capacities of key actors involved in the prosecution, protection, and prevention of human trafficking involving women and girls. In Guatemala and Mexico, Canada supported customs authorities to better identify and block smuggling routes and irregular migration occurrences that facilitate international human trafficking.
In Colombia, Canada implemented a number of initiatives to improve inclusive and gender-responsive prevention of violent conflict, crisis response, and peacebuilding in fragile and conflict-affected situations. As the second-largest donor to Colombia’s Multi-partner Trust Fund for Post-Conflict (MPTF), Canada supported peace-related programming for more than 1.5 million people in 379 Colombian municipalities. The MPTF implemented 51 local justice initiatives to improve access to justice for victims of the conflict; re-integrated 124 child ex-combatants; and provided almost 24,000 victims of conflict with psycho-social support as part of the reparation process. In addition, over 91,000 m2 of land was cleared of mines.
In the context of the Venezuelan crisis, Canada supported outreach and engagement in Colombia and Venezuela aimed at fostering constructive dialogue among key stakeholders and building support for the peaceful resolution of conflict. This work included support for targeted advocacy and providing specialist guidance for stakeholders, as well as providing technical expertise to support negotiations. In Colombia, this initiative strengthened the ability of relevant stakeholders to implement peace accords. In Venezuela, this work helped key stakeholders in their efforts to find a negotiated solution to the ongoing political, economic, social, and security crises.
Canadian support in Asia-Pacific helped build safe and secure communities in conflict and post-conflict settings. For example, in Afghanistan, Canada supported community-based child protection programs and the establishment of child-friendly spaces that keep children safe and secure. Established in community centres, child-friendly spaces provide children and youth with opportunities for recreation, play, and psychosocial support. In 2018-2019, 9,680 children in Afghanistan benefited from child-friendly spaces established through Canadian funding.
In post-conflict settings, mine action was an important element of peacebuilding and reconciliation. Canada partnered with the HALO Trust to clear landmines and other explosive remnants of war so that people and communities could rebuild their lives and livelihoods. For example, in Sri Lanka in 2018-2019, 289,186 m2 of land were cleared and 1,635 mines and other unexploded remnants were safely destroyed, resulting in safer access to resettlement areas for an estimated 30,000 people.
Canada is committed to assisting partners in Southeast Asia, including working with ASEAN member states, to strengthen their capacity to reduce and combat security threats. This includes the areas of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear proliferation; transnational crime; and terrorism. For instance, through the WTRP, Canada supported international efforts to help countries implement UN Security Council sanctions that address North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
In partnership with ASEAN, the CTCBP ensured that security-related capacity-building assistance responded to clearly defined needs. In a flagship program with INTERPOL, Canada built the counter-terrorism investigative and collaborative skills of law enforcement agencies across ASEAN through targeted training, mentorship, and a realistic, 10-day exercise in which all ASEAN members participated. The 2018 operation resulted in 8 million searches, 17 arrests—including deporting a suspected foreign terrorist fighter—and recovering over 100 lost or stolen travel documents.
Additionally, Canada supported country partners in Asia-Pacific to build safe and secure communities in conflict and post-conflict settings. In Myanmar, Canada contributed to NGO Paung Sie Facility’s gender, peace, and security funding window to support 18 local women’s organizations working on local peace processes and peacebuilding. This project supported emerging organizations to influence the peace process and provided technical support so they are well-equipped to take advantage of opportunities and be at the forefront of advocating that inclusive coherent strategies be used to implement Myanmar’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Country: Georgia © International Network for Civil Development
Ten years after the Russo-Georgian war, tensions along the Administrative Border Line with the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are still high. Years of violence left lasting social and economic problems in the region, such as high rates of unemployment, violence against women, depression, and substance abuse. Through the CFLI, Canada partnered with the International Network of Civil Development to promote peace journalism, a non-violent response to conflict through accurate and unbiased reporting. Six workshops were delivered to youth, journalists and local activists on the role of journalism in breaking the cycle of violence, and the importance of women’s voices in media and reporting. Through this project, 103 women and men were trained in peace journalism. Peace advocacy messages were also promoted throughout Georgia, with a view to building reconciliation and confidence on both sides of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia borders. These training sessions sought to help journalists ease tensions rather than escalate them in times of conflict, while reinforcing the value of gender equality in media and peacebuilding.
Gender considerations factor significantly in Canada’s programming across these regions. In Jordan, for example, the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program supported the training of female officers in the Jordanian Gendarmerie in critical tactical medical and response capabilities. The project achieved a female participation rate of 11%, which is significantly higher than the overall Gendarmerie rate of 3.5% women personnel.
In Iraq, an RCMP Chief Superintendent was deployed as the director of gender and protection for the Global Coalition Against Daesh. To assist the UN in its goal of increasing female police participation in its missions, four Canadian female police officers held senior positions in 2018-2019. For example, the gender advisor to the coalition in Iraq is a Canadian woman, making her the highest-ranking female police officer operating in Iraq. She is also the Canadian police contingent commander.
Peace and Stabilization Operations Program support for women journalists in the Middle East and North Africa allowed 338 journalists and human rights defenders to develop skills in digital security and SGBV reporting. As a result of this project, 56 media products were produced, and six media outlets in the region adopted monitoring mechanisms and policies aimed at preventing SGBV.
Country: Iraq © Swiss Foundation for Mine Action
Still healing from years of conflict, surrounding the rise and fall of Daesh, Iraqis now have to contend with the everyday danger of land mines, booby traps, and other explosive devices that were laid out by Daesh in their country. Global Affairs Canada is funding locally trained demining teams in the Mosul district to remove these explosives. Since the beginning of the project, they have removed explosives from an area roughly the size of 200 football fields, and helped to educate over 20,000 people in local communities (predominantly women) on the dangers of remaining explosive devices in the area.
The work of the demining teams has helped to improve the safety and security of the people in these areas and increased people’s access to safe farmland and residential areas.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Explosive Hazard Clearance in Mosul District.
In 2018-2019, the Department of National Defence continued to deploy Canadian Armed Force members to the West Bank and Gaza for Operation PROTEUS. Operation PROTEUS promotes peace in the region and provides capacity-building support to the Palestinian Authority. The deployed personnel also make up Task Force Jerusalem, which works closely with other Canadian personnel in the region. Its goal is to develop the Palestinian Authority’s ability to provide a safe and secure environment for its citizens, and promote peace in the region. In 2018-2019, Task Force Jerusalem provided the Palestinian Authority Security Forces with training and support to develop logistics capabilities, supported the construction of security infrastructure, and encouraged flexibility on the movement of Palestinian goods and people in the West Bank.
In the final year of Canada’s Whole of Government Strategy for Support to the Global Coalition Against ISIL and broader Engagement in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, CTCBP programming reduced the threat of terrorist groups, such as Daesh, al-Qaeda, and their affiliates, by strengthening the capacity of governments and organizations in the region to prevent and respond to violent extremist activity. Enhancing the effectiveness of both the police and military, through increased arrests and seizures of explosive materials, led to thwarting several attacks in the region. Improved border management in the region contributed to containing Daesh to the existing battlefields, leading to the drastic territorial reduction of this violent extremist organization.
Through the WTRP, Canada supported the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to mitigate and respond to Syrian chemical weapons threats and identify those responsible for the use of such weapons. As well, Canada is also the leading contributor to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s monitoring and verification of Iran’s compliance with its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, having contributed $15 million since 2014.
In addition to country and region-specific programming, Canada supports initiatives with a global reach through multilateral forums.
Canada is committed to UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and gender is a significant factor of consideration in peace operations. As of March 31, 2019, under the Canadian Police Arrangement, Global Affairs Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Public Safety Canada increased the number of Canadian women police deployed to international peace and stabilization operations to 36 out of 75 officers deployed. During 2018-2019, new police officers were deployed for UN peace operations in Haiti (21) and Mali (2), as well as for other multilateral or bilateral peace and stabilization operations or international investigations in Ukraine (23), Iraq (11), the West Bank (5) and one each in Ethiopia, The Hague/Central African Republic, and Mali.
In 2018-2019, progress was made to advance the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, a pilot project to increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in UN peace operations. In September 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that Canada was establishing bilateral partnerships with the Ghana Armed Forces and Zambia Police Service, which will include testing innovative approaches to assess and address barriers to the integration and deployment of women. In addition, Canada supported the design of the UN’s Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations. The Fund was launched by the UN in March 2019, with Canada contributing $15 million to support its work.
As part of Canada’s commitment to address sexual exploitation and abuse and combatting sexual and gender-based violence, Global Affairs Canada funded NATO’s Sexual Exploitation and Abuse office and supported the deployment of 49 experts from the Justice Rapid Response roster to support national and international investigations, including those involving SGBV. These experts improved the gender-sensitivity and accountability of these investigations to reduce impunity for SGBV. Global Affairs Canada also continues to ensure eliminating sexual exploitation and abuse, gender equality, and WPS remain central pillars of our substantial discussion and engagement at the UN on Action for Peacekeeping implementation.
Further, Canada is a founding member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), and has a new co-chair mandate with Morocco. In the GCTF, Canada ensured that the principles of rule of law, human rights, international humanitarian law, and good governance are underlying themes across counter-terrorism efforts. Canada is an active board member in GCTF-inspired institutions like the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). In an effort to combat violent extremism writ large, the CTCBP supports GCERF projects on prison de-radicalization, and counter and alternative narratives to extremism. Canada is also supportive of the Hedayah Centre, which develops national strategies and local initiatives aimed at preventing violent extremism. In addition to the GCTF, Canada is active in the Global Coalition against Daesh, the G7 Rome-Lyon Group, the APEC Counter-Terrorism Working Group, various ASEAN forums, and UN institutions such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism.
Global Affairs Canada also supports peace and security through partnerships with Canadian civil society organizations. For example, Canada’s partnership with KAIROS in the Women of Courage - Women, Peace and Security project aims to have a transformative effect by empowering women human rights defenders and women’s rights organizations with skills to participate effectively in peace processes and to further promote human rights in Colombia, the DRC, South Sudan, and the West Bank.
In 2018-2019, the first year of the project with KAIROS, 1,052 women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence received psychosocial and medical counselling and care. More than 884 women and 494 men participated in workshops on the psychosocial impacts of war and 48 training sessions were held on national and international human rights frameworks with 1,111 participants (including 878 women). Project partners participated in 109 campaigns advocating for legislation, law reform and implementation that relate to WPS.
Canada could not achieve its international development assistance objectives without strong partnerships. These partnerships bring together the technical capacity, logistical know-how, advocacy skills, and organizational networks necessary to effectively support the development aspirations of our partner countries. Underpinning Canada’s approach is an understanding that our development assistance is only as strong as the partnerships that we build and the international action that we support.
Many of these partnerships have been developed over decades of cooperation; other relationships have been forged more recently, as the development landscape shifted significantly. A new take on triangular cooperation, for example, offers a flexible approach to address development challenges, while enabling effective and sustainable partnerships with new development actors, including Southern providersFootnote 16, civil society and the private sector (for more information on type of partnerships, see the Aid effectiveness and efficiency section).
Canada works with a broad range of partners from Canadian civil society to local civil society organizations in countries where we provide assistance. Canada also engages with a broad range of multilateral partners, including international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and various multilateral development banks, as well as the United Nations, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie, among others. Canada provides support to various international NGOs, global funds and other global programs.
Canada also maintains and fosters key bilateral and multilateral relations through its development diplomacy. For example, the OECD development assistance committee and the G7 and G20 working groups focusing on international assistance are key forums to discuss and promote Canada’s priorities with important donors and stakeholders.
For further information on Global Affairs Canada’s projects with these partners, please see the Project Browser.
Engaging with Canadian civil society
Canadian civil society partners play a critical role in Canada’s international development efforts. In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada mobilized expertise, networks, and other resources by supporting more than 170 Canadian civil society organizations. Partners included NGOs, colleges and universities, municipalities, cooperatives, professional associations, private sector organizations, foundations, and think tanks. These diverse partners offered their expertise and participated in a range of international assistance and public engagement activities. In cooperation with their local counterparts, they drive positive change, leading to results on the ground through innovative approaches.
In 2018-2019, Canada continued to implement its Policy for Civil Society Partnerships for the International Assistance Policy – A Feminist Approach (launched in September 2017). The Policy reaffirms Canada’s commitment to working collaboratively with civil society and ensures that Global Affairs Canada’s approach to partnerships with civil society aligns with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, a human rights-based approach, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and recognizes the Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness. The Policy’s implementation is actively supported by the CSO sector, which collaborates closely with Global Affairs Canada as part of the CSO Policy Advisory Group. The Group works to prioritize areas of mutual interest for the implementation of initiatives.
In the context of the five-year pilot initiative for Canadian Small and Medium Organizations for Impact and Innovation, Global Affairs Canada sought to streamline and improve its selection approach and processes and engaged with new and diverse partners. The first call for SMO proposals received a high number of applications (196), demonstrating the significant interest, breadth, and commitment of Canadian SMOs to international assistance.
In 2018, Canada committed up to $300 million and issued a “call to action” to the philanthropic community, private sector, and civil society for the Partnership for Gender Equality to create a sustainable and predictable source of funding for women’s organizations and movements in developing countries. The partnership is the first global platform to bring together the full spectrum of grants, philanthropic donations and investments—including impact investments—with the specific goal to advance women’s rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women and girls. In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada held round-table discussions with stakeholders from the philanthropic, private, and civil society sectors in Canada and abroad, established an External Advisory Committee, and undertook a competitive process to select an entity to implement the Partnership. Canada announced the selection of the consortium Equality Fund at Women Deliver in Vancouver, on June 2, 2019.
Canada also funds different programs that help organizations send Canadian youth to support international assistance projects in developing countries. In 2018-2019, through the Volunteer Cooperation Program (VCP), 15 Canadian partner organizations sent 1,420 Canadian volunteers (62% female) in professional fields to 40 developing countries. The volunteers helped increase the capacity of 612 local partners, of which 166 are women’s organizations. The 2018 VCP evaluation showed that 86% of developing country partners noted improvement in the way their organizations functioned, and 82% noted positive beneficial change among people and communities identified as beneficiaries.
Three VCP projects have included innovation funds: CUSO International, EQWIP Hubs and Oxfam-Québec. Innovation funds allow local partners to develop and implement new development models for local communities, particularly for the benefit of women and youth. For example, in 2018-2019, Oxfam-Québec’s Innovative Access project generated or adapted 38 innovations. Those included constructing aquaponics technologies to respond to food security needs in the south of Honduras, and developing an internal social currency to diversify the economic exchanges between women cooperative members in Colombia.
The International Youth Internship Program funded opportunities for Canadian youth to participate in international internships in developing countries. In 2018-2019, 12 Canadian partner organizations deployed 322 youth interns (78% female) to 44 countries through this program. For its part, the International Youth Aboriginal Internship initiative deployed 103 Indigenous youth interns (69% female) to 13 developing countries partnering with eight Canadian partner organizations. Most youth interns (91%) and Indigenous youth interns (90%) reported improved transferable employment skills as a result of their internships.
Country: Ghana © Veterinarians Without Borders
VWB volunteer Nima Rahimi demonstrates proper poultry vaccination
In Ghana, more than 10,000 rural livestock farmers increased their household incomes and nutritious food consumption resulting from Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB) animal production training. Livestock production is a major feature in Ghana’s agriculture sector and provides income, particularly for women farmers. However, livestock yields have stagnated in recent years, in part stemming from a lack of adequate veterinary services. To address these issues, VWB worked alongside partner Social Enterprise Development Ghana and the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 50 communities across Northern Ghana, to train community leaders, veterinary extension officers, and community animal health workers (CAHWs) in animal production. These training sessions helped to ensure long-term sustainability by giving CAHWs and community leaders the knowledge to continue training and advocating for animal health in areas lacking sufficient veterinary services. Additionally, with beneficiaries seeing positive results, more community members have adopted better animal health practices, ultimately reducing illness and increasing household income and nutrition. According to Purity, a Ghanaian farmer, “The death rate has come down and I now have better control of my birds and they don’t roam anymore… At first my animals were dying at a high rate but after the training, the death rate has reduced as I now give extra care to them.”
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Veterinarians without Borders - Volunteer Sending 2015-2020.
International Development Week (IDW), held every February, is a key public engagement platform for Global Affairs Canada, the provincial and regional councils for international cooperation, and other partners. The annual event highlights Canada’s international assistance and helps inform, inspire, and involve Canadians, including youth from across the country. The 2019 IDW theme, Together for Gender Equality, embodied Canada’s commitment to global efforts to address gender equality and encouraged all Canadians to be change-makers in advancing gender equality. IDW reached more than 50 million people through Global Affairs Canada and partners’ digital and in-person engagements.
The provincial and regional councils for international co-operation that make up the Inter-Council Network (ICN) continued to actively engage the Canadian public through collaborative relationships with diverse influencers including youth, development actors, political leaders, institutions, and businesses. The ICN facilitates pan-Canadian engagement in support of the Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada’s CSO Policy and Canada’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda. In 2018-2019, the ICN directly and actively engaged with 668 persons (61% female), through the National Training Program on Public Engagement, national capacity-building webinars, and engagements around the Women Deliver Conference.
In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada continued to engage with Canadian organizations to further its commitment to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in international assistance. Building upon the Whistler Declaration on the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in International Assistance, negotiated by Canada during its G7 Presidency, in October 2018, Canada and 21 other donor agencies endorsed a set of donor commitments. Global Affairs Canada also engaged with its Canadian NGO partners through the Canadian Council for International Co-operation Steering Committee to address and prevent sexual misconduct in international assistance. In September 2018, for example, 70 representatives from Canadian NGOs attended a joint dialogue on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in international assistance. In November 2018, Global Affairs Canada updated its general terms and conditions for international development contribution agreements, which requires partners to have a publicly available code of conduct to prevent, investigate, and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.
Engaging with local partners
Canada is working to provide its international assistance in ways that are more effective and efficient in reaching local populations. As such, Canada is directing more assistance to local organizations in developing countries, which are often in a better position to respond quickly to development challenges.
Canada is also enhancing its support to and partnership with women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries. They are key agents of change that help strengthen the rights of women and girls, and help societies achieve gender equality. Many of the initiatives profiled in this report rely on the capacities, access, and dynamism of local partners.
For example, the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, launched in June 2017, is driven by the priorities identified by local women’s organizations and networks that promote gender equality and advance the rights of women and girls. Through the WVL Program, Canada is a leading donor in supporting women’s rights organizations in developing countries. In addition, nine Women’s Voice and Leadership projects have a local partner as their implementing partner.
Another important program targeting local partners is the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), which enables Canadian missions abroad to work directly with local civil society organizations, academic institutions, and local governments to deliver small-scale, high-impact projects that respond to local needs and priorities. In 2018-2019, the CFLI supported 547 projects totalling $14.5 million in over 120 countries. A wide range of initiatives were supported with particular emphasis on promoting gender equality, protecting human rights, and advancing democracy. Reflecting the CFLI’s focus on local organizations and needs, local CSOs implemented approximately 83% of these projects. Projects include: facilitating the development and implementation of an environmental action plan with youth from Belize and Guatemala to foster cross-border cooperation; conducting public education campaigns on the importance of women’s political participation in the Maldives; and using innovative technologies to create an application that provides legal advice to SGBV victims in Uzbekistan.
Through the CFLI, Canada helps local CSOs—many of which may not otherwise qualify for funding from international donors—to flourish and succeed. These funds help ensure that diverse voices can contribute to building an open civil society, including in countries where the civic space may be shrinking or under threat. Partnerships often extend beyond the initial CFLI project, as Canadian missions regularly connect CSOs with other donors in order to scale up their projects. CSO partners also provide Canada with valuable, nuanced insights into the evolving and complex realities on the ground.
Engaging with international civil society
Canada is committed to maintaining strong and meaningful engagement with international civil society and actively championing civic space issues through its international assistance policy and programs, multilateral engagement, and foreign policy priorities. Canada provides support to a variety of international NGOs, global funds, and other global programs to implement its policy objectives, maximize the impact and results of its international assistance, and foster a strong and vibrant civil society sector.
Support for an enabling environment for civil society helps ensure that local and international NGOs can function effectively, independently, and in ways that complement the efforts of governments and other actors, and facilitate the aspirations outlined in the 2030 Agenda. For example, Canada’s support to the Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of civil society organizations, has not only contributed to significant progress toward ending child marriage, but also to an increase in the number of actors invested in the issue, and to a stronger civil society response around the world.
International organizations play a critical role in implementing Canada’s important commitments. For example, in 2018-2019, Canada funded several organizations that work toward women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, and newborn, maternal, and child health, including the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents, and Nutrition International. Moreover, Canada has a long-standing financing relationship with the Global Partnership for Education, making the organization one of Canada’s premier partners for advancing education for girls around the world. The Partnership also serves as a platform for coordination among bilateral donors, developing countries, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations.
Humanitarian assistance is an area where it is key to have efficient mechanisms to provide funds to humanitarian responders rapidly in urgent situations. In 2018-2019, Canada provided over $74 million in funding to the International Committee of the Red Cross for humanitarian operations. Support was also provided to NGOs with established international networks such as International Medical Corps, Mercy Corps, International Rescue Committee, ACTED, and Action Against Hunger.
International philanthropic organizations are increasingly important actors in the international development community, providing funding and promoting global development goals, while offering much needed resources and innovative approaches to ongoing development challenges. Canada engages with international philanthropic organizations through strategic partnerships, parallel funding to common initiatives, and as implementing partners. For example, Canada partners with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on a range of initiatives aimed at improving the health and nutrition, rights, and empowerment of women, children and adolescents, with a particular focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Canada also worked with the Gates’ foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation to fund and implement Convergence, an independent not-for-profit organization that helps connect private investors and public and philanthropic investors to blended finance opportunities in emerging markets.
This diverse landscape of international civil society organizations provides Canada with a variety of innovative partners offering different technologies, solutions, and networks to help address global development challenges.
Engaging with multilateral organizations
Canada recognizes that our objectives in the world are best advanced by contributing to common causes with like-minded partners. Canada also recognizes that many of the greatest development challenges—from climate change to the fight against illness and disease, from the fight for gender equality to the fight against the worst forms of poverty—require collective action and the pooling of resources around common approaches. Multilateral organizations have expertise, resources, networks, and convening power that can amplify the reach and impact of Canada’s international assistance, helping Canada address complex, global development challenges that are beyond the reach of any individual country.
This is why support to multilateral institutions and other global partners are featured prominently in all aspects of Canada’s development assistance. Specialized international organizations play a role in all of Canada’s priorities and international commitments. Canada’s partnerships with UN development agencies, international financial institutions, and other key specialized international partners provide the scale and country-level expertise to implement Canadian international assistance on a global level.
For more information on Canada’s engagement with international organizations and institutions, please see Global Affairs Canada’s website.
United Nations organizations
Canada has been an active member of the United Nations since it was founded in 1945. Today, Canada continues to uphold and support the bodies and organizations of the UN system by:
- actively engaging in political and technical debates;
- contributing to governance and agenda setting; and
- providing financial support via assessed and voluntary contributions.
Canada uses its seat at UN governing body tables to help guide its partners and hold them to account in delivering their important mandates, and to increase the impact of UN partnerships on Canada’s bilateral and regional development priorities. Canada actively participates in various annual and extraordinary high-level UN events to advance its international assistance priorities. Important annual events include the General Assembly High-level Week in September, which includes the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, as well as the Economic and Social Council Forum on Financing for Development follow-up, held in April or May. Canada is also particularly active within the Commission on the Status of Women.
Canada partners with the UN through regular long-term institutional support, as well as a variety of specific projects that focus on shared priorities. Examples of these projects can be found throughout this report. Canada’s long-term institutional support to UN system organizations totalled $319 million in 2018-2019. These contributions supported the organizations’ core operations, including reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development, and fostering inclusion, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.
Canada partners with various UN organizations through project-based funding or long-term institutional support, including with the:
- United Nations World Food Programme;
- United Nations Children’s Fund;
- United Nations Population Fund;
- United Nations Development Programme;
- World Health Organization;
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
- Food and Agriculture Organization;
- UN Women, the UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women;
- International Fund for Agricultural Development;
- United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
One of Canada’s major UN partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in about 170 countries and territories to help eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities. The UNDP helps countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, and institutional capabilities, and build resilience in order to sustain development results and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Through the UNDP, Canada and other countries have, for example, helped 97 countries and territories align their local and national priorities with the SDGs; supported electoral processes in 56 countries; and helped 17.2 million women register to vote in 39 countries.
Canada also supports UNICEF, the world’s first international organization for children. UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them reach their full potential. For instance, Canada contributed to helping deliver 27 million live births in health facilities and to helping 12 million out-of-school children participate in early learning, primary, or secondary education. Additionally, with Canada’s support, various UNICEF offices scaled-up their child, maternal, and adolescent health programs in 2018. This included integrating nutrition, HIV, and early childhood development interventions in their programs, and implementing plans to strengthen local health systems in the Central African Republic, Chad, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, and Sudan.
Canada also partners with UN organizations on addressing sexual and reproductive health and rights and child, maternal, and adolescent health. For example, Canada’s long-term institutional support to the United Nations Population Fund in 2018 helped to ensure that a full range of quality contraceptives and services were consistently accessible for all, enabling millions of women to make their own decisions about whether, when or how often to become pregnant. As a result, an estimated 13.7 million unintended pregnancies were averted.
Country: Haiti © UNFPA
Rhode Cyndia, 24, realized her childhood dream of becoming a midwife. She works at Hôpital Notre-Dame de La Paix de Jean Rabel, in the North-West department of Haiti. This dream was realized within the framework of the Saj Fanm pou Fanm project (a project to strengthen the profession and practice of midwifery), initiated by the United Nations Population Fund. Rhode Cyndia’s passion for midwifery leads her to spend most of her time accompanying patients, even outside her working hours. As the hospital’s only midwife, she still feels a twinge in her heart when she sees the large gap between the number of women in consultation and the number of births. But her work reduces this gap every day. The young midwife has successfully completed about 15 deliveries since her arrival at the hospital. She is particularly pleased with the resuscitation at birth of several babies who were not breathing and whose hearts were not beating.
Where hardship might drive young health professionals away, Rhode Cyndia sees opportunities to better understand the reality of rural women. Every day, she makes sure that she puts her knowledge into practice so that no woman dies giving birth and no baby dies at birth.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Strengthening the Midwifery Profession and Practice in Haïti.
In the agriculture sector, Global Affairs Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada work together to represent Canada’s interests at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The organization collectively works toward developing standards for the trade of safe food; providing technical assistance on crops, livestock, forestry, and fisheries; and providing emergency assistance to protect agricultural livelihoods and improve resilience against disasters.
In 2018-2019, Canada also supported humanitarian action through UN organizations, including the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. These contributions enabled the provision of critical emergency assistance like food and water assistance, and sanitation and livelihood support to those affected by humanitarian crises, including vulnerable women, children and internally displaced persons. Canada also supports the WFP’s school feeding programs and a wide range of other programs and activities to strengthen the protection of internally displaced persons, especially women and girls.
Another important priority is protecting the environment and countering climate change. As discussed in the Environment and climate action chapter, the UN’s Green Climate Fund is a critical partner to ensure the delivery of innovative solutions to developing countries. In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada provided $132 million to support the Global Climate Fund.
G7 and G20
The Group of Seven (G7) and the Group of Twenty (G20) are key multilateral forums for international economic cooperation. Canada and other G7 and G20 members recognize that our economic opportunities and challenges are interlinked, and have an impact on global prosperity. The G7 and G20 are excellent platforms for Canada to advance domestic and international priorities related to international assistance.
In 2018, Canada held the G7 presidency and hosted the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec. Under its presidency, Canada created the Gender Equality Advisory Council to promote a transformative G7 agenda and help ensure that gender equality and gender-based analysis were integrated across all themes, activities and outcomes of Canada’s G7 presidency. France maintained the Council under its presidency in 2019.
Other successful outcomes of Canada’s G7 presidency were the two development ministers’ meetings in Whistler. At the first meeting, young women leaders participated shoulder to shoulder with G7 development ministers to ensure that those directly affected by the issues under discussion could offer their insights and be integral in finding innovative solutions. Ministers agreed to four substantive and ambitious declarations focusing on empowering women and girls and innovative approaches to sustainable development:
- The Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development
- The Whistler Declaration on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in International Assistance
- The Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action
- The Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development
At the second ministerial meeting, Canada convened G7 development and finance ministers together for the first time to advance issues of joint priority, such as women’s economic empowerment, innovative financing for development, and building economic resilience against extreme weather events. These meetings set the stage for a range of announcements, including the launch of the 2X Challenge: Financing for Women, and major announcements by institutional investors. For more information, please see the Co-Chairs' Summary: G7 Joint Development and Finance Ministers.
As part of the 2X Challenge: Financing for Women, the development finance institutions (DFIs) of G7 members, including Canada’s DFI, FinDev Canada, proposed a commitment to collectively mobilize US$3 billion in support of women’s empowerment and gender equality by the end of 2020. The initiative aims to inspire other DFIs and private actors to act in support of this effort. As of April 2019, 2X Challenge partners had committed over US$900 million to support women as entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, and consumers of products and services. Further, major institutional investors, led by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Quebec’s public pension plan manager) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, launched the Investor Leadership Network. The initiative addresses the lack of women in leadership positions and the global infrastructure financing gap, especially in emerging markets, while taking into account the threats to growth posed by climate change.
G7 ministerial meetings also paved the way for the adoption of two key documents: the Charlevoix commitment on innovative financing for development and the Charlevoix declaration on quality education for girls, adolescent girls and women in developing countries.
As discussed in the Education chapter, momentum around the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education helped mobilize $3.8 billion to advance education for girls and women in crisis and conflict-affected states, and brought in an additional $527 million during the UN General Assembly’s high-level week later in 2018.
In terms of accountability and transparency, the G7’s Accountability Working Group (AWG) and the G20’s Development Working Group (DWG) are the main vehicles to monitor leaders’ development commitments. In 2018, Canada published the AWG’s Charlevoix Progress Report on Women’s Economic Empowerment. This report highlights efforts made by G7 countries, the European Union, as well by civil society, advocacy groups, and the private sector to empower women in developing countries. In 2018, the DWG monitored the status of the G20’s commitments to the 2030 Agenda through the Buenos Aires Annual Progress Report on G20 Development Commitments.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Canada has been a member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since its creation in 1960. The DAC, a global forum of government aid donors, is a platform for standard-setting in development cooperation. In 2018-2019, Canada provided $1.2 million to the DAC to support its program of work, which included funding for subsidiary bodies working on gender, governance, the environment, conflict and fragility, innovation, and statistics. The grant also supported the OECD’s work within the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), a global multi-stakeholder platform focused on the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation. As a steering committee member of the GPEDC, Canada has the unique opportunity to interact and engage with a multitude of development actors and partners beyond those at the DAC, including civil society, private sector actors, parliamentarians, local governments, trade unions, philanthropic foundations, and international organizations.
Within the DAC, Canada has taken leadership roles on key priority issues such as gender equality, financing for development, innovation, and blended finance. Additionally, Canada has actively participated in several DAC working groups to ensure the DAC’s use of strong evaluation mechanisms and robust statistics-gathering techniques, and comprehensive tools to better reflect gender equality. In recent years, to improve the relevance and impact of the DAC’s work, Canada has worked closely with the DAC’s chair and members to encourage engagement with development actors beyond the committee’s membership, including with Southern providers and civil society partners.
Canada remains committed to the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) (website in French), a major forum for mobilizing the international community around priority issues. In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada contributed more than $29 million to the various institutions of La Francophonie, including more than $24 million to the IOF.
Canada’s support for La Francophonie has led to tangible results on the ground. For example, in 2018, the IOF deployed political mediation missions to Burundi, Cameroon, the DRC, Guinea, Mali and Niger; organized parliamentary seminars on human rights in Benin, Madagascar, and Mali; and advocated to abolish the death penalty in Burkina Faso and Guinea. Canada also supported the IOF in organizing an international conference on conflict prevention and human security at the University of Ottawa in May 2018. The IOF also continued its work in the area of women and youth entrepreneurship. Thanks to Canada’s contributions, more than 20,500 women and young entrepreneurs have benefited from IOF support since 2015.
Finally, Canada played a leadership role in the development and adoption, at the Yerevan Summit in 2018, of La Francophonie strategy for promoting gender equality and promoting the rights and empowerment of women and girls (in French only), as well as the IOF’s first policy for consolidating transparency.
Canada funds the Commonwealth and its institutions through assessed and voluntary contributions as a member state of the Commonwealth. Canada’s support helps improve the lives of vulnerable groups in Commonwealth countries, which comprise more than 2 billion people. Support goes toward areas such as the empowerment of women, diversity and inclusion, governance, and the rule of law. Canada’s support also helps to address the unique needs of small states, amplifying their voices in multilateral forums.
In 2018-2019, Canada contributed more than $7.9 million in assessed contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation. Canada also renewed its institutional support to the Commonwealth of Learning for $7.8 million over three years, of which $2.6 million was disbursed in 2018-2019. With Canada and other members’ support, the Commonwealth of Learning helped more than 115,000 people access quality learning opportunities in 2018-2019, a total of nearly 700,000 people since 2015-2016. Over 2018-2019, 156 organizations improved their capacities to offer and deliver open and distance learning models, for a total of 276 organizations since 2015-2016.
Canada also helped prevent child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) through an open and distance education project. Over the course of the three-year project, more than 5,000 girls were reintegrated into schooling instead of getting married; almost 30,000 women and girls successfully completed vocational-skills courses; and 30,000 women and girls successfully completed a life-skills course that included information about their health, their social rights and the consequences of CEFM. A total of 1,181 child, early and forced marriages were prevented thanks to the project.
Engaging with international financial institutions
International financial institutions differ from commercial banks. Their owners or shareholders are generally national governments and their mandates reflect the pursuit of the “global good” rather than maximizing profit for shareholders. IFIs also differ from commercial banks in that they can provide loans at below-market interest rates (concessional loans) as well as grants. This is particularly the case with multilateral development banks (MDBs), a type of IFI that provides financing and professional advising for the purpose of development. IFI membership includes both developed donor countries and developing borrower countries. Canada is a member and shareholder in several IFIs, many of which focus on a specific region (regional development banks) or theme. Examples of thematic IFIs include the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
IFIs provide financial and technical assistance to developing country governments, and in some cases private sector actors, to support poverty reduction and long-term economic development. These investments cover a wide array of sectors, including education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. Some IFIs also support developing countries with policy advice, research and analysis, and capacity-development activities, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
Canada provides core contributions to support IFI operations and activities, while also providing funds for specific projects. Canada also actively contributes to the development of IFIs’ policies and provides oversight of IFIs’ financial activities through membership on boards of governors and boards of directors, the latter bodies dealing with day-to-day decisions. Canada is also involved in the work of various internal committees and engages in meaningful dialogue with other shareholders.
In order to provide strategic direction for its engagement with IFIs, Canada develops key objectives that are informed by Canada’s commitment to multilateralism, foreign policy, and development priorities, and general principles of good governance. Details on Canada’s engagement priorities are presented in Volume 2. For example, Canada advocates to ensure that IFIs’ work together as a system in order to use their resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. This includes efforts to increase development impact, mobilize private finance on a macro scale, and increase coordination by aligning governance processes and priorities.
The following sections offer an overview of the main global and regional IFIs of which Canada is a member.
|World Bank Group - International Development Association||441.6|
|World Bank Group - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development||250.4|
|African Development Bank Group||108.5|
|Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank||53.4Footnote 17|
|Asian Development Bank||33.0|
|Caribbean Development Bank||17.6|
|Inter-American Investment Corporation||15.2|
|Inter-American Development Bank||3.1|
|European Bank for Reconstruction and Development||0.0|
Bretton Woods Institutions
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, collectively known as the Bretton Woods Institutions, were founded in 1944 to promote international monetary cooperation and financial stability following World War II. Since then, there has been a significant evolution in the global economic landscape, and the Bretton Woods Institutions have evolved to reflect this. They continue to play a central role in international efforts to support sustainable economic growth and stability, address poverty reduction, and develop innovative solutions to shared global challenges.
Given its financial contribution and voting share at both the IMF and the WBG, Canada plays an important role in their governance. The Minister of Finance represents Canada on the board of governors of both institutions, and Canadians represent a constituency of member countries at the executive board of each institution. Canada has always held the executive director position within our constituencies, which includes Ireland and a number of Commonwealth Caribbean countries.Footnote 18
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s leading development organizations and represents one of the largest sources of funding for developing countries. Canada is a member of the WBG’s five institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. These institutions share the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, as well as the three priorities of sustainable and inclusive growth, investment in human capital, and strengthened resilience. In 2018-2019, the WBG committed nearly US$60 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to partner countries and private businesses to help achieve better development.
Canada’s current shareholding at the WBG ranges from 2.5% to 3% within the Bank’s different institutions. Canada is allocated voting power based on these shares. In April 2018, WBG shareholders endorsed a package of measures that included a US$13-billion, paid-in capital increase, a series of internal reforms, and policy measures. The package consists of US$7.5-billion, paid-in capital for the IBRD and US$5.5-billion, paid-in capital for the IFC. The boost in capital was accompanied by a range of internal measures including operational changes and effectiveness reforms, loan pricing measures, and other policy steps that strengthen the WBG’s ability to scale up resources and deliver in areas of the world that need the most assistance.
In November 2018, the WBG launched the 19th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA19 replenishment), a process that takes place every three years to replenish IDA resources and review its policies. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries. As the sixth-largest IDA contributor, Canada is a key member of discussions and promotes debt sustainability, gender equality, climate change adaptation and mitigation, balance sheet optimization, increased support to fragile and small island states, and MDBs working as a system. IDA19 replenishment and implementation of the capital package represented a great opportunity to advance Canada’s objectives.
Volume 2 provides details on Canada’s engagement in WBG operations, including procurement information and communiqués of the Development Committee of the Boards of Governors of the WBG for the reporting period. For more details on Canada’s engagement with the World Bank Group, visit Finance Canada’s website.
Country: Jamaica © World Bank
Jamaica’s effort to build climate resilience reached a significant milestone this year, when Jamaica’s Financial Secretary officially approved and made available the Post-Disaster Budget Execution Guideline. Led by Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, in collaboration with the World Bank and funded by Canada through the SEMCAR project, the document will serve as a reference for departments and agencies. Until now, no such document existed.
The Post-Disaster Budget Execution Guideline is a clear example of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy in action. Canada will help governments and public servants to collect and analyze disaggregated data and evidence to support better decision making. Canada will also help design and implement initiatives that address the needs of women and girls. Other countries in the Caribbean are very interested in developing similar guidelines, including Belize and St. Lucia. The regional roll out of these guidelines will focus on public financial management practices to inform governments on critical gaps that need to be addressed to increase their ability to respond to natural disasters.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada’s Project Browser: Economic Management in the Caribbean.
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 189 member countries that aims to promote the health of the global economy. It works to foster global monetary cooperation, financial stability, international trade, high employment, sustainable economic growth, and poverty reduction around the world. It strives to achieve these goals through three main avenues:
- Surveillance and advice. The IMF monitors economic, monetary and financial sector developments at the country, regional, and global levels in order to provide members with advice on policies to achieve macroeconomic stability, accelerate inclusive economic growth, and alleviate poverty.
- Tools and lending programs. The IMF provides both concessional and non-concessional financial assistance to members experiencing economic or financial stress and crisis. In this context, the IMF works closely with affected countries to develop adjustment programs designed to correct macroeconomic problems, stabilize their economies, and restore sustainable growth, while ensuring an adequate social safety net protects the poorest and most vulnerable members of the population.
- Capacity development. The IMF fulfills requests for technical assistance and capacity development to strengthen members’ ability to implement sound policies, including those that foster improved public financial management, reduce poverty and inequality, and address climate change. This work is primarily delivered through training from regional technical assistance centres and dedicated trust funds.
Volume 2 provides details on Canada’s engagement in IMF operations, including the communiqués issued by the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee of over the reporting period. For more information on Canada’s engagement with the IMF, visit Finance Canada’s website.
Regional Development Banks
Regional development banks (RDBs) are multilateral financial institutions that provide financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries within a specific region. Canada is a shareholder of the following RDBs: the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank. The Minister of Finance represents Canada on the boards of governors of the AIIB and the EBRD, while the Minister of International Development represents Canada on the boards of governors of the AfDB, ADB, CDB and IDB. Canada’s involvement in these institutions complements its bilateral programs and support to global multilateral institutions and initiatives.
African Development Bank Group
The African Development Bank Group is owned by 54 regional members and 26 non-regional members. It is dedicated to poverty reduction, economic development, and the improvement of the lives of people in its regional member countries. The AfDB provides non-concessional lending and technical assistance to creditworthy, middle-income African countries, while the African Development Fund (ADF) provides technical assistance, grants, and concessional loans (low-interest or interest-free) to 38 of Africa’s poorest countries, of which almost half are fragile states.
Canada is the AfDB’s fourth-largest non-African shareholder, with a 3.8% voting share, and the seventh-largest donor to the ADF. In 2018, the AfDB approved a total of US$13.1 billion via its financial instruments (line of credit, projects, equities and guarantees, and risk participations) and the ADF committed up to US$2.5 billion in loans and grants to support the poorest countries.
In May 2018, the AfDB launched its seventh General Capital Increase (GCI-VII). The GCI-VII aims to improve the financial capacity of the AfDB to support efforts to reach the SDGs. The AfDB also launched, in March 2019, the 15th replenishment of the African Development Fund to replenish ADF resources and review its policies.
For more details on Canada’s engagement with the AfDB Group, visit Global Affairs Canada’s website.
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is a multilateral development bank of 68 member countries: 49 are regional countries and 19 are non-regional. The ADB’s mandate focuses on poverty reduction, inclusive and green growth, and supporting the region’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. The ADB provides funding through loans and grants, which are financed from ordinary capital resources and through special funds and trust funds.
With 4.47% of the ADB’s vote share, Canada is currently the seventh-largest shareholder overall and the second-largest non-regional shareholder. In addition, Canada supports a number of single-donor or multi-donor trust funds and country-specific initiatives, such as Canada’s Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia, the Asia-Pacific Project Preparation Facility, and the Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Myanmar Project. Canada has committed to contributing $132 million to the Asian Development Fund for the 2017-2020 period. The Asian Development Fund is the ADB’s largest pool of concessionary funds, providing financing to Asia’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.
For more details on Canada’s engagement with the ADB, visit Global Affairs Canada's website.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Established in January 2016 and based in Beijing, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) focuses on infrastructure financing in Asia. As of March 31, 2019, the AIIB had approved financing of over US$7.5 billion across 36 projects, largely in the transport, energy, water, and sanitation sectors. The AIIB positions itself as a “lean, clean, green” institution and established several policies and guidelines to support environmentally and socially sustainable development outcomes. In 2018, the AIIB maintained its AAA credit rating and implemented robust financial and risk-management frameworks. These factors allow the AIIB to provide low-cost financing options to finance large-scale projects.
In 2018, the AIIB’s membership expanded to 93 countries (including prospective members), up from 84 in 2017, and financed 12 projects worth US$3.3 billion, largely in the energy, transport, and water sectors. Since 2016, some of the AIIB’s projects have been co-financed with other MDBs, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Co-financing projects has allowed the AIIB to learn best practices from experienced MDBs.
Canada joined the AIIB in March 2018, with the Minister of Finance serving as Canada's governor. Since July 2018, Canada is also serving a two-year term as one of 12 directors on the AIIB board of directors. As in other banks, Canada’s director represents a constituency of countries, which included Egypt, Ethiopia and Madagascar as of March 31, 2019, and continues to grow.
For more information on Canada’s engagement with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, visit Finance Canada’s website.
Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank is a leading catalyst for economic cooperation and poverty reduction in the Caribbean region. It provides financing for priority development initiatives and technical cooperation, much of which is concessional and backed by sovereign guarantees. The CDB is also valued for its local expertise and “home grown” approaches to development, as well as its thought leadership for the region. The CDB’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan aims to support inclusive and sustainable growth and development, and promote good governance.
The CDB has 28 member countries: 19 regional borrowing members, four regional non-borrowing members, and five non-regional, non-borrowing members. Canada and the United Kingdom are tied as the largest non-regional shareholder, each holding 9.31% of total shares. Canada is the largest contributor to the Special Development Fund, the Bank’s largest pool of concessionary funds, with a Can$70.34-million contribution for the 2017-2020 period.
The CDB provides between US$150 million and US$300 million annually in financing in the form of loans, concessional loans and grants to borrowing member countries, finance institutions, and private sector entities, as well as through technical assistance. In 2018, the Bank approved projects totalling US$352 million.
Through the Special Development Fund, the CDB provides significant grants to Haiti (US$45 million for 2017-2020). The Fund also provides support to the Basic Needs Trust Fund, which aims to improve access to basic public services and reduce socio-economic vulnerability of poor communities. Canada pledged Can$70.34 million to the replenishment of this fund (2017-2020), representing an estimated burden share of 23.7%. Canada also committed Can$20 million to the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (2012-2020) and Can$5 million to the Caribbean Energy Sector (2016-2020).
For more details on Canada’s engagement with the CDB, visit Global Affairs Canada’s website.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Created in 1991, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development fosters transition toward democratic, market-oriented economies and promotes private and entrepreneurial initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe, in Central Asia, and in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. In pursuing this mission, the EBRD operates in countries that demonstrate a commitment to the fundamental principles of multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economics. The EBRD’s focus on private sector operations demonstrates how public resources can be leveraged effectively to build successful market economies and catalyze private capital for development. The EBRD recognizes that successful market economies should be inclusive, as well as competitive, environmentally friendly, integrated, resilient, and well governed. In 2018, the EBRD maintained strong levels of financing, investing €9.5 billion in 395 projects across 37 economies.
Canada is a founding member and the eighth-largest shareholder in the EBRD, with its shares representing 3.4% of the institution’s capital. This amounts to €1.02 billion of the EBRD’s capital, €213 million of which is paid-in capital, with the remaining shares being callable capital. The Minister of Finance serves as Canada’s governor to the EBRD. At the board of directors, Canada leads a constituency that includes Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank Group comprises the IDB, its public sector arm; IDB Invest, responsible for private sector operations; and IDB Lab, a trust fund that serves as the Group’s innovation laboratory by testing innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth. The IDB is the oldest regional development bank and the largest source of multilateral development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. It has 48 member states, including 26 regional borrowing members. Canada has been a member of the IDB since 1972 and holds 4% of total shares.
The IDB Group’s objectives are to reduce poverty and inequality, and to promote sustainable economic growth in the region. The Group also has two strategic goals: address the needs of least-developed and smaller countries, and foster development through the private sector.
The IDB Group provides loans, grants, equity investments, guarantees, and technical assistance. Total lending for 2018 stood at approximately US$17 billion, including US$13.5 billion directed to public sector projects. The Bank extends concessional financing to a small group of countries, including Bolivia, Guyana, Honduras and Nicaragua. Through the IDB Grant Facility, the IDB is also providing US$2.0 billion over a 10- to 15-year period to Haiti for reconstruction following the 2010 earthquake. Access to the IDB Grant Facility was recently extended to countries and communities affected by large and sudden intraregional migration inflows, such as people coming from Venezuela.
For more details on Canada’s engagement with the IDB Group, visit Global Affairs Canada’s website.
Innovation and effectiveness
Canada is taking important steps to improve the effectiveness of its international assistance and is making significant efforts to make it more flexible and coherent. For example, Canada is investing in innovation and research, and improving the communication of its expenditures, activities, and results. In addition, Canada seeks to better understand its impact and use evidence-based policy making and programming. Canada is also working to use its international assistance to mobilize additional resources for sustainable development through new partnerships with diverse stakeholders and engagement with private capital.
As per Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, innovation is a priority, recognizing the need to encourage and empower both Canadian and developing country innovators to help tackle the world’s most persistent and complex challenges. With a view to accelerate inclusive, locally driven innovation for development impact, Canada is driving change, including with the help of partners, to support pioneering solutions that challenge traditional models, approaches, and partnerships. This encourages the development of new and improved models and solutions that can deliver better results.
In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada developed innovation and effectiveness guidance notes to support implementation of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. They outline Canada’s feminist approach, as well as its approach to innovative financing, development innovation and transparency.
Achieving effectiveness through a feminist approach
Applying a feminist approach improves the effectiveness and impact of international assistance by orienting Canada’s efforts toward the root causes of poverty and ensuring they reach and involve the poorest and most marginalized. It represents a significant shift in what Canada does and how Canada does it. The feminist approach guidance note details how Global Affairs Canada adapts its internal processes and ways of working to coherently and meaningfully support the achievement of gender equality and the realization of human rights. The guidance note identifies entry points and opportunities for change within the department itself, and is centred on five pathways for moving from words to action:
- Evidence base and analysis, to ensure international assistance efforts are based on evidence and contribute to addressing the root causes of poverty, eliminating systemic discrimination and transforming unequal systems of power.
- Engagement and participation, to support and amplify the voice, agency and empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity and of all those who face discrimination or marginalization.
- Accountability and transparency, to ensure our management, monitoring, evaluation, and learning tools are fit for purpose to achieve, sustain, and communicate transformative change.
- Advocacy and communications, to respond to and reflect the lived experiences of people and the intersecting dimensions of inequality and discrimination by creating space for advocacy, dialogue, and alliance building.
- Capacity development, to ensure staff and partners are well equipped to implement policy objectives.
Country: Indonesia © Canadian Space Agency
The Canadian Space Agency is an active member of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, an international effort to put space technology at the service of rescue and emergency responders in the event of major disasters. Member space agencies cooperate on a voluntary basis and devote resources to support the Charter. The Charter mobilizes international partners to help alleviate the effects of disasters on human life and property. In March 2019, torrential rains caused flash flooding and triggered landslides in Indonesia’s easternmost province, Papua. At least 89 people were killed and at least 150 were injured. About 6,800 people were evacuated to temporary shelters. Canada provided RADARSAT-2 images to assist relief efforts in the province.
In 2018-2019, Canada made further progress toward implementing its feminist approach along the above five pathways:
- Global Affairs Canada developed evidence-based policies for each action area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy, putting forward concrete directions to achieve transformative change for gender equality and the realization of human rights across all international assistance efforts, with the intention of leading to better informed and impactful interventions.
- Canada sought opportunities to engage and amplify the voices of those directly affected by issues being discussed under its G7 presidency, notably by inviting six young women leaders from different regions of the world to participate in a portion of the development ministers’ deliberations focused on adolescent girls. Ministers later reported this session as one of the most powerful, enlightening, and influential. The discussions resulted in a declaration that calls for integrated and girl-led approaches to address barriers to empowerment for adolescent girls and promote their voices and leadership.
- At the 2018 Global Disability Summit in London, U.K., Canada announced an ambitious suite of commitments that seek to ensure the meaningful inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in international development efforts. This includes taking the interests and priorities of girls with disabilities into account in the development and delivery of Canada’s G7 Charlevoix commitment on girls’ education.
- Canada has taken a leadership role in advocating for the human rights of marginalized and vulnerable people. For instance, in August 2018 in Vancouver, Canada hosted the Equal Rights Coalition Conference, the leading intergovernmental forum dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBTQ2+. To further advance human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2+ people in developing countries, Canada announced $30 million in dedicated funding over five years, and $10 million per year thereafter.
- Global Affairs Canada enhanced gender equality training and guidance to staff and local partners to reflect the feminist approach and, in partnership with the Equitas International Centre for Human Rights Education, delivered a pilot workshop on implementing a human rights-based approach in international assistance, which has been incorporated into the departmental learning roadmap for staff.
Advancing innovation in development work
Canada’s focus on innovation in international assistance builds upon the global consensus within the international assistance community about thinking and working differently to ignite the changes needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda SDGs. This includes encouraging experimentation and measuring its impact through rigorous testing of both newly innovative and existing initiatives, and scaling promising innovative solutions for systemic change.
In June 2018, under Canada’s G7 presidency and leadership, G7 ministers responsible for development and humanitarian assistance agreed on the Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact. These principles underscore the importance of innovative partnerships, as well as collaboration and co-creation across the public, private, and civil society sectors, and with local actors, including women and girls.
Global Affairs Canada defines innovation in international assistance as a process, mindset, and means to create new or improved locally driven solutions for better results and greater impact. Canada supports innovative solutions such as business models, policy practices, partnerships, technologies, approaches, behaviour, insights, funding mechanisms, and ways of delivering products and services for the benefit of the poorest, most marginalized and most vulnerable, including women and girls. In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada identified 270 initiatives that self-reported innovative aspects in their design or implementation. To encourage and guide Canada’s efforts, Global Affairs Canada developed a guidance note on Canada’s approach to innovation in international assistance. The note offers practical guidance and tools to integrate innovation and to track and measure the impact of innovation. Global Affairs Canada also encourages learning across its development, political, trade, security, and humanitarian streams and collaborates with Canadian and international partners to find and integrate inclusive innovative solutions.
In addition, Global Affairs Canada continues to engage with the International Development Innovation Alliance, which offers a unique space to learn and exchange good practices, trends, and innovative solutions with key global stakeholders. Building inclusive innovation approaches into international assistance programming requires partners to ensure that women and girls are involved in the innovation process, both as beneficiaries and as innovators in their own right. To support the gender equality and innovation nexus, Global Affairs Canada chaired the Gender Equality Working Group as part of its engagement with the Alliance. In October 2018, the Alliance also published a new tool to guide the integration of gender considerations into innovation initiatives. The tool provides practical advice on applying a gender lens to innovation and identifying gender-related barriers.
Global Affairs Canada also supports the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation in implementing a new Fund for Innovation and Transformation project under the SMO for Impact and Innovation initiative. This five-year fund supports Canadian SMOs with funding and capacity building to test innovative solutions and foster learning in innovation. The Fund provides successful applicants with $150,000 to $250,000 over a 6- to 15-month period to test innovative solutions to pressing development challenges that will advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in partnership with local organizations. The project will fund between 50 and 70 initiatives starting in 2019-2020.
Country: Lebanon © International Education Association
Integrating displaced communities through education has the potential to empower and encourage peaceful co-existence with host communities. In 2018-2019, Canada’s IDRC supported a project in Lebanon that focused on cost-effective digital learning to build digital literacy, programming, critical thinking, collaboration, and communications skills among Lebanese and Syrian refugee students through the Coder Maker Digital Innovations Kit. The project also built the capacity of local educators to ensure the approach is integrated into the mainstream education system.
“Smart glasses” is one example of a project designed and built by Lebanese and Syrian classmates using the Coder Maker Digital Innovations Kit. The glasses—equipped with a small computer, an ultrasonic sensor, and a motor that vibrates at different intensities to indicate obstacles—have helped a visually impaired student move around independently. The team’s grades and behaviour have also improved, and they are motivated to tackle a second development stage to refine the glasses.
The programming has bridged relationships between local Lebanese and Syrian refugee students by bringing the two cultures together in a creative and productive way. After initial success across 41 schools and 4,170 students, the Lebanese government has expressed a strong desire to scale up the project across the country.
Canada participates in several knowledge sharing communities to exchange best practices and foster a culture of innovation in partnerships with Canadian civil society organizations. For example, Global Affairs Canada facilitates a multi-stakeholder development innovation community of practice with Canadian civil society organizations. Meetings have contributed to building a common understanding on development innovation, and have stimulated new ways of approaching development. This platform has also increased collaboration with the Canadian private sector to share best practices and disseminate collective learning for better development outcomes. This contributed to fostering new inclusive partnerships through consultation and dialogue.
Recognizing the importance of data to drive evidence-based decision making, Canada tabled a proposal in June 2018 to establish an innovation marker in the OECD-DAC Creditor Reporting System. This would enable OECD-DAC members and international stakeholders to identify and track innovation components in international assistance projects in a systematic way. Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, and Slovenia are currently piloting the innovation marker and its methodology.
Country: Senegal © Plan International
Men’s attitudes toward women’s use of reproductive health services is critical to improving health outcomes and women’s health decision making. In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada supported the Strengthening Health Outcomes for Women and Children project with Plan International Canada. The project is a gender transformative initiative aimed at increasing the quality and availability of essential sexual and reproductive health services to reduce maternal and child mortality among marginalized and vulnerable communities in Bangladesh, Ghana, Haiti, Nigeria and Senegal. This was done through innovative training, in partnership with Promundo-U.S., on male and father engagement.
In Nigeria, the project increased men’s knowledge of key gender equality messages from 60% in 2016 to 73% in 2018. This included knowledge of family planning services as well as the importance of men supporting their partners during and after pregnancy. In that country, the perception among mothers was that there was increased support from their male counterparts, and substantially so with regard to family planning and breastfeeding. Moreover, the proportion of Nigerian mothers reporting joint decision-making practices for decisions on managing household finances, the use of family planning methods and the purchase or sale of household assets increased notably. For example, among adolescent mothers, joint decision making with fathers increased for pregnant women seeking medical services from 20% to 37%.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Strengthening Health Outcomes for Women and Children (SHOW).
Innovative financing for sustainable development
With an estimated $2.5-trillion annual financing gap to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community must mobilize all sources of financing for sustainable development, including official development assistance and private capital. While ODA will remain a key source of development financing, Canada, along with other country partners, recognizes that it alone is insufficient to achieve the SDGs. Canada strongly supports the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda to mobilize all sources of development financing.
Recognizing the important role that ODA can play in catalyzing private investments, Canada expanded its development financing toolkit to more effectively support private sector engagement and resource mobilization. For example, in 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada worked to operationalize the five-year, $1.59-billion International Assistance Innovation Program and Sovereign Loan Program announced in Budget 2018. These programs give the government greater flexibility for pursuing innovative financing arrangements and partnerships in support of the SDGs. Through the new International Financial Assistance Act, Global Affairs Canada obtained new legislative authorities for the provision of sovereign loans, guarantees, and equity. These complement existing and new authorities for conditionally and unconditionally repayable contributions, which can be used to mobilize private capital, such as by having public sector investments absorb the risks that discourage more private sector investing in developing country markets.
In 2018-2019, Global Affairs Canada developed policy guidance to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through innovative financing. The guidance note aims to disrupt power relationships in finance and influence the deployment of capital toward investments that advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as ensure a much higher level of ambition and commitment to a more equitable future for women and girls.
In 2018-2019, Canada continued to demonstrate international leadership by furthering the conversation on innovative financing, engaging the private sector on sustainable development and establishing new innovative partnerships. For example, during Canada’s G7 presidency in 2018, Canada raised the global profile of innovative financing as a critical tool to achieve the SDGs. G7 leaders issued the Charlevoix commitment on innovative financing for development. The Commitment supports innovative financing approaches and promotes greater transparency and accountability of blended finance operations, including the implementation of the OECD-DAC Blended Finance Principles, adopted in 2017. Blended finance is the strategic use of public development finance to mobilize additional finance, such as commercial finance, toward sustainable development. The Commitment also commits to foster new partnerships, support vulnerable developing countries, and make use of capital as a tool to enhance women’s economic empowerment. Other key initiatives in support of financing for development launched during Canada’s G7 presidency include the G7 Institutional Investors Leadership Initiative and the 2X Challenge: Financing for Women. See the G7 and G20 section under the Canada’s partners chapter for more details on these initiatives.
In October 2018, under the leadership of the Government of Indonesia and the OECD, the Tri Hita Karana (THK) Roadmap for Blended Finance was launched. The THK Roadmap, which has garnered wide and inclusive support, establishes a shared value system and terms of reference among international partners for the action required to deliver on the SDGs. It builds upon the OECD-DAC Blended Finance Principles and aims to increase transparency, evidence and data, best practices, and policy recommendations in blended finance transactions. Canada played an active role in the development of the Roadmap by advocating for a stronger focus on women and girls as beneficiaries of blended finance initiatives. The OECD has convened five THK working groups to develop guidance and recommendations for blended finance. Global Affairs Canada co-chairs the THK Transparency Working Group, along with the OECD Secretariat and the International Finance Corporation, to sensitize partners that sharing more information can expand the practice of blended finance and make it a meaningful tool for development.
At the United Nations, Canada’s permanent representative was requested to co-facilitate the 7th High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development in September 2019. This meeting, held during the high-level United Nations General Assembly week, brought together global leaders to discuss challenges and next steps to closing the development financing gap.
FinDev Canada, Canada’s development finance institution, aims to bridge the gap between traditional development assistance and commercial financial support. Consistent with the Feminist International Assistance Policy, FinDev Canada financing is provided to support sustainable development, women’s economic empowerment, and gender equality, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation through the provision of financial services to the private sector in developing countries.
In 2018-2019, FinDev Canada established partnerships with other DFIs and IFIs, including the Netherlands Development Finance Company, CDC Group (the United Kingdom’s DFI), Finnfund (a DFI from Finland), the Association of bilateral European Development Finance Institutions, the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank. Through these partnerships, FinDev Canada seeks joint investment opportunities and shares best practices to achieve the SDGs. FinDev Canada also committed to the 2X Challenge, an effort of the G7 DFI’s to collectively mobilize US$3 billion by the end of 2020 to invest in businesses and funds that contribute to gender equality in developing countries.
In December 2018, FinDev Canada announced its second deal, a US$20-million investment in Climate Investor One (CIO), to support the transition to renewable energies in developing countries. CIO is an innovative blended finance initiative, which is helping fast track some 1,100 MW of renewable energy, benefiting 8 million people and mobilizing up to US$3 billion in private capital. In addition to helping avoid approximately 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, the projects supported by CIO are expected to create over 25,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
Experimentation means testing and comparing the effects and impacts of activities, projects, programs or approaches using robust, fitting methodology. It helps Canada and its partners learn what works better, thus informing decisions to deliver greater impact. Experimentation is used to test both development innovations as well as existing development initiatives. It is one of the many instruments in the toolbox for evidence-based decision making.
Ethical and rigorous experimentation is central to the Canada’s focus on evidence-based policy-making, results, and delivery (see Experimentation Direction for Deputy Heads - December 2016). Global Affairs Canada approved an experimentation statement in 2018 that highlights the role of experimentation in helping the department deliver on its mandate, measure its impacts, and provide best-in-class results for Canadians. Additionally, the Feminist International Assistance Policy commits to encouraging greater experimentation in Canada’s international assistance initiatives.
To this end, Global Affairs Canada is working to increase the level of awareness and knowledge around experimentation, as well as the availability of expert advice for the design and implementation of experiments. In 2018-2019, main actions included gathering data on experiments planned or under way; integrating experimentation into departmental governance bodies and decision-making processes; continuing to develop an internal experimentation community of practice; and dedicating increased human and financial resources to experimentation. In one example of experimentation, a food security project in East Africa with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, funded by Global Affairs Canada, compares soil health in agricultural fields. It pairs fields that use conservation agriculture with others using existing methods to determine the impact of conservation agriculture. Experiments like this help generate better evidence to increase the effectiveness of Canada’s international assistance.
Aid effectiveness and efficiency
In the Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada commits to improving the effectiveness of its international assistance, including by working in more effective partnerships with civil society, multilateral and international organizations, philanthropic foundations, developing country governments at all levels, the private sector, and emerging official donors.
As part of this commitment, Canada has served since 2017 on the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. This is the only international platform that focuses exclusively on improving the quality and impact of development cooperation.
In 2018-2019, Canada contributed to the creation of tools and approaches to help development actors work in increasingly inclusive, developing-country-driven partnerships that are transparent, accountable, and focused on results.
Specific accomplishments in this period include the endorsement by the GPEDC Steering Committee of a fourth co-chair, a position that will rotate between non-executive members of the GPEDC and is currently held by a civil society organization. This is a uniquely innovative and inclusive governance arrangement for a global platform. Other achievements include the Kampala Principles, a pioneering effort by a diverse group of development actors to reconcile differing perspectives on how to create private sector partnerships in development cooperation; and the Global Partnership’s tailored approach for monitoring effectiveness in fragile contexts, which is expected to provide data that will help donors be more effective in fragile and conflict-affected situations.
In 2018-2019, Canada also played a key role in two global partnership initiatives (GPIs), which are effectiveness communities of practice under the GPEDC umbrella. As a co-founder of the GPI on Effective Triangular Cooperation, Canada helped redefine “triangular cooperation” within the contemporary landscape and helped develop Voluntary Guidelines for Effective Triangular Cooperation. Canada also co-chairs the International Dialogue for Peacebuilding and State-building, which aims to increase the effective engagement of development actors in fragile and conflict-affected areas.
Domestically, over the reporting period, the Task Force on Improving Effectiveness continued to examine ways to simplify and streamline the processes and mechanisms that guide how Global Affairs Canada and partners work together to deliver international assistance programming. In 2018-2019, three solutions teams tackled specific issues associated with the negotiation process for contribution agreements, reporting, and low dollar-value projects. Through these solutions teams, 25 recommendations were presented to Global Affairs Canada for consideration.
Global Affairs Canada continues its internal efforts to improve the efficiency of its international assistance programming. In 2018-2019, key areas of focus included risk management, program-level planning and reporting, and the simplification of contribution agreement requirements. The department also continued its efforts to streamline processes and test new approaches. For example, a new two-step approach for unsolicited international assistance project proposals was implemented to significantly reduce our partners’ effort and cost for an initial funding application. In addition, Global Affairs Canada launched the Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements, which provided greater clarity to staff, applicants as well as recipients. An International Assistance Results Reporting Guide for Partners was published in 2018 and a related webinar was delivered to 86 partner staff from 65 organizations to help our implementing partners manage for results. This new reporting guide is a direct result of the work of the joint implementing partners and Global Affairs Canada’s Task Force on Improving Effectiveness, which proposed several recommendations to improve project reporting. In addition, over 325 Global Affairs Canada staff members at headquarters and in the field participated in results-based management training sessions.
Country: Canada © TFO Canada
Global Affairs Canada, in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre, is supporting TFO Canada’s Artisan Hub, an innovative initiative that contributes to women’s economic empowerment by promoting women-led and -owned SMEs from developing countries in the specialty textile and garment sector.
In 2018-2019, the initiative helped SMEs from eight least-developed countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lesotho, Madagascar, Nepal and Uganda) secure new export sales and overcome obstacles to expand exports to Canada. After field missions and exhibitions in three Canadian cities, 30 companies offering hand-crafted home décor products, apparel, and accessories were selected to participate in the Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada show in Toronto in August 2018. The innovative project helps artisans reach beyond their local markets by linking with new Canadian markets for their products. Women entrepreneurs represented the largest portion of project beneficiaries, with 19 companies (63%) owned or managed by women. After the show, companies from six countries reported $225,898 in new export sales, and nine companies created nearly 250 new jobs, mostly for women.
For more information on this project, please consult its profile on Global Affairs Canada's Project Browser: Canadian Market Access and Capacity Building Services.
Aid transparency is essential to development effectiveness. It facilitates the coordination of aid at the country level and helps citizens hold their governments to account. Global Affairs Canada leads efforts to strengthen the transparency of Canada’s international assistance and enable citizens to see how Canada’s funding flows through partners to deliver development activities and results on the ground.
As noted in Budget 2018 and Budget 2019, the Government of Canada is committed to enhancing its international assistance reporting and to ensuring that information on Canada’s international assistance activities is accessible and transparent. As part of this effort, the government brought forward reforms to the International Assistance Envelope funding and reporting structure, which is detailed in the International Assistance Envelope chapter. The present report is also part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to enhance reporting by merging existing international assistance reporting to Parliament into one consolidated document.
Global Affairs Canada worked with stakeholders in 2018-2019 to develop an approach to further enhance the transparency of Canada’s international assistance and support the global adoption of open government principles. The resulting guidance note, Canada’s Approach to Transparency and Open Dialogue in Canadian International Assistance, encourages staff and partners to increase transparency and open dialogue in Canada’s international assistance and on the global stage. This approach builds on Canada’s efforts, as the 2018-2019 co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, to build stronger, more accountable, and responsive democracies.
Canada is also an active member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), an international multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes the publication and use of open and standardized data on development financing. Global Affairs Canada’s Project Browser provides access to the department’s IATI data, which is updated on a daily basis. The department’s website also offers searchable interactive reports and statistics on Canada’s international assistance. Continued improvements in the transparency and accessibility of Global Affairs Canada’s information enabled the department to achieve a score of 79.6% in the 2018 Aid Transparency Index, up from 76.3% in 2016.
Federal organizations providing international assistance
Global Affairs Canada
Global Affairs Canada is the lead federal department responsible for coordinating Canada’s international assistance policy and programming worldwide, including delivering its development, humanitarian, and peace and security-related programming. The department works with country partners, multilateral organizations, Canadian civil society partners, private sector actors, and other government institutions to develop and implement innovative and sustainable development programs and initiatives around the world. Under the Feminist International Assistance Policy, Global Affairs Canada champions gender equality and empowerment of women and girls across all Canadian international assistance efforts to help eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world. This includes providing international assistance that is human rights-based and inclusive, delivered through the six inter-linked action areas of the policy. Global Affairs Canada also leads in improving the effectiveness of Canada’s international assistance through more integrated and responsive assistance, investing in innovation and research, delivering better reporting on results, developing more effective partnerships, and concentrating on the regions of the world where we can make the greatest difference, particularly for women and girls.
Department of Finance Canada
The Department of Finance Canada provides funding to the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, and regional development banks to achieve results across the full range of Canada’s international assistance priorities. Finance Canada also supports the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, which helps decrease debt-service payments in developing countries; supports the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to address the significant infrastructure gap in Asia; and works with the EBRD to catalyze private capital for development.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 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. Canada is also recognized internationally for its migration model and promotion of orderly, managed migration pathways.
International Development Research Centre
Canada’s International Development Research Centre invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow, and helps drive change for those who need it most. IDRC-supported research builds evidence, informs decisions, and generates opportunities that promote an equitable, diverse, and prosperous world.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada supports developing countries’ transition to low-carbon, sustainable, and climate-resilient economies. The department’s support is delivered through multilateral, regional and bilateral initiatives. The support focuses on areas such as disaster risk reduction, clean technologies, waste management, and capacity building. The department particularly focuses on helping the poorest and most vulnerable populations mitigate against and adapt to the consequences of climate change.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is responsible for deploying Canadian police officers to peace operations around the world. Canadian police assist in building and strengthening law-enforcement capacity in fragile and conflict-affected countries. By building the capacity of foreign police to maintain law and order, Canadian police help support global peace and security by creating safer and more stable local environments.
Canada Revenue Agency
The Canada Revenue Agency is a key member of international tax organizations. It shares knowledge and technical support with tax administrations in developing countries both bilaterally and multilaterally. The CRA’s efforts contribute in helping developing countries strengthen their capacity to better mobilize domestic resources, and achieve self-reliance and sustainable development. With increased knowledge and expertise, developing countries can also participate, on an equal footing, in the global tax dialogue and assist in combatting tax evasion and tax avoidance by implementing international tax standards.
Department of National Defence
The Department of National Defence provides certain support to developing countries, including capacity-building activities and responses to humanitarian emergencies. This included responding to the earthquake and tsunami that affected Indonesia in September 2018. Further, the Canadian Armed Forces maintained Operation PROTEUS, which supports efforts to develop the security conditions necessary for an eventual two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Deployed personnel provide training and technical assistance to develop the Palestinian Authority’s ability to provide a safe and secure environment for its citizens and promote peace in the region.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is Canada’s official representative at the International Telecommunication Union, the lead UN agency for telecommunications and ICT. The organization, via the ITU’s Development Sector, provides opportunities, especially to developing countries, to acquire the specialized knowledge and skills they need to engage in and benefit from telecommunication technologies. It is an important source of information, education and training in this field.
Employment and Social Development Canada
The Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, ensures that Canada plays a key leadership role within the International Labour Organization (ILO) in developing and maintaining a strong body of international labour standards. The Labour Program also provides technical assistance to support capacity-building projects implemented by international organizations and regional NGOs on behalf of Canada. Technical assistance is earmarked for projects that support the modernization of labour policy and administration in order to strengthen democratic governance, promote workers’ rights, and improve the quality of working conditions in partner countries. The Labour Program works closely with the ILO to implement many of these technical assistance initiatives.
Parks Canada plays an important role in supporting global efforts to conserve and present natural and cultural heritage. The Agency is involved in a wide range of international activities focused on sharing information and best practices related to the management of protected areas and heritage places. In addition to working collaboratively with various international partners, the Agency provides annual financial contributions to a number of international organizations as multilateral support for natural and cultural heritage conservation, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, which administers the World Heritage Fund.
Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada represents Canada at the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. PAHO serves as both the WHO’s Regional Office and the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System. In terms of international assistance, the Agency provides financial and in-kind support for PAHO and WHO initiatives aimed at strengthening health systems in developing countries.
Canada Post provides Canada’s membership contribution to the Universal Postal Union (UPU). A portion of this contribution is dedicated to the UPU’s technical cooperation programs, which help reduce the postal divide between industrialized and developing countries. This assistance includes, among other things, support to implement postal reform plans based on national analyses, training, and purchase of equipment.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides technical assistance to developing and emerging countries to help them enhance the sanitary and phytosanitary processes in their food systems. This supports their efforts to adhere to the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement and other international trade standards. Assistance is aimed primarily at facilitating the countries’ development and implementation of science-based and risk-based measures and processes. This demonstrates the CFIA’s global leadership in food safety, animal health, and plant protection, and helps ensure safe food for Canadians.
Statistics Canada’s development initiatives focus on capacity-building support to accountable public institutions—specifically, national statistical offices and other key actors in national statistical systems in developing countries. It provides Canadian statistical expertise to the development of sound global indicators for measuring the Sustainable Development Goals, and to helping other countries measure progress toward achieving them, particularly in education, sustainable economic growth and the environment.
Canadian Space Agency
The Canadian Space Agency is a member of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters. This charter is a worldwide collaboration among space agencies to provide unified access to space-based data to support disaster relief operations at no cost to the end user. Canada contributes by offering valuable data from satellite RADARSAT-2 and a 24/7 emergency call service for disaster cases throughout the world. These services help mitigate the impact of natural or technological disasters on human life and property.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s international assistance contribution consists primarily of technical assistance on intellectual property management for developing countries. In 2018-2019, this assistance was provided through an annual workshop on intellectual property services to 12 senior intellectual property representatives of developing and least-developed countries.
Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature is a scientific and educational institution that helps Canadians and others connect with the natural world. The museum’s international assistance activities consist of its institutional contribution as a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The union enables the development of partnerships and networks, and facilitates knowledge sharing and capacity building among members toward the conservation and sustainable use of the earth’s resources. The union has a global program of activities that contributes to habitat conservation, ecological integrity and the conservation of biological diversity. Their activities emphasize the engagement of youth and the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Public Service Commission of Canada
The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) is responsible for promoting and safeguarding a merit-based, representative, and non-partisan Canadian public service. The PSC provides international assistance by organizing knowledge-sharing sessions with representatives from public service organizations in developing countries. Areas of interest include recruitment process, personnel assessment, and oversight and audit functions. Engagement with foreign counterparts supports capacity building in their public service.
Volume 2: Engagement with international financial institutions
Volume 2 of the Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance 2018-2019 provides information on Canada’s engagement with international financial institutions (IFIs), with specific focus on engagements and operations at the World Bank Group (Section B), the International Monetary Fund (Section C), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Section D), as they respond to various reporting requirements under the Bretton Woods Act and the EBRD Act.
IFIs provide financial and technical assistance to developing country governments, and in some cases private sector actors, to support poverty reduction and long-term economic development. These investments cover a wide array of sectors, including education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. Some IFIs also support developing countries with policy advice, research and analysis, and capacity-development activities, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
Canada provides core contributions to support IFI operations and activities, while also providing funds for specific projects. Canada also actively contributes to the development of IFI policies and provides oversight of IFI financial activities through membership on boards of governors and boards of directors, the latter bodies dealing with day-to-day decisions. Canada is also involved in the work of various internal committees and engages in meaningful dialogue with other shareholders.
In order to provide strategic direction for its engagement with IFIs, Canada develops key objectives that are informed by Canada’s commitment to multilateralism, foreign policy, and development priorities, and general principles of good governance. Details on Canada’s engagement priorities are presented in Section A.
Section A: Canada’s strategic engagement objectives with international financial institutions
Below is a summary of Canada’s key engagement objectives for each of the main international financial institutions (IFIs) it supports. Those objectives provide strategic direction to advance Canada’s values and priorities within those IFIs.
World Bank Group (WBG)
1. Encourage the development of financial instruments and inclusive partnerships that strengthen the WBG’s capacity to deliver development results, including by working as a system with other multilateral development banks (MDBs) to increase development impact.
Canada continues to be engaged in exploring the development of financial instruments, balance sheet optimization measures, and increased collaboration between MDBs to maximize development impact.
Canada has been a strong advocate for the WBG’s new Multiphase Programmatic Approach, which provides an agile and flexible way to address complex development challenges. In 2018, Canada also supported the recommendation to remove the commitment limit for the Program-for-Results instrument, which was first introduced as a pilot in 2012 to help build client systems, strengthen the focus on results, and build alignment around country platforms. This financial instrument has rewarded improvements in the quality, sustainability of and access to basic services, particularly in low-income countries.
Through the International Development Association (IDA) 2019 replenishment, Canada, along with other shareholders, is exploring the development of programs for fragile regions, and the use of regional development policy operations to support coordinated policy reforms across countries.
In collaboration with other donors, Canada is also participating in efforts to reform the WBG’s trust funds. The objective is to move the trust fund portfolio toward fewer, larger and more strategically aligned programs in order to enhance their effectiveness.
Lastly, Canada has encouraged the WBG to work with MDBs on reviewing the joint MDB methodology for tracking climate-related finance, which will inform a more comprehensive approach for capturing results.
2. Promote improvements to the institutional effectiveness and to the financial capacity of the WBG through ongoing reforms, accountability mechanisms and governance structures
Canada is committed to pursue efficiency measures and productivity gains to ensure the institution’s financial sustainability. An important policy outcome of the capital package was the development of a Financial Sustainability Framework for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which includes a sustainable annual lending limit (level of lending that can be sustained in real terms over 10 years) and a crisis buffer for unforeseen events, mitigating the likelihood of future capital increases. In addition, the WBG delivered on its commitment to achieve US$340 million in savings, as per its expenditure review. Building on this, under the IBRD-International Finance Corporation (IFC) capital increase, the WBG has agreed to achieve additional savings by fiscal year 2029-2030 from efficiency gains and economy-of-scale benefits. Additional efficiency measures and economies of scale are being pursued and built into annual budgets in areas such as corporate procurement, human resources, real estate, and project portfolio.
3. Ensure that Canadian priorities are reflected in WBG policies and programming, with a focus on gender equality, climate change, debt transparency/sustainability, and capital efficiency
Canada has remained in a leadership role to strengthen the WBG’s Gender Equality Strategy by scaling up work on women’s economic empowerment, jobs, assets, and human capital, as well as on preventing and addressing sexual and gender-based violence. The IBRD-IFC capital increase included many commitments to help close gender gaps, notably those related to jobs, assets and entrepreneurship. Canada is also supporting changes in IDA’s funding policies to provide incentives for borrowing countries to adopt better debt management and debt reporting policies. Canada also called for IDA to identify ways to increase development effectiveness of its operations in fragile and small island states, which face increased vulnerability to conflict, violence and climate change.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
1. Continued improvement and traction of IMF surveillance and policy advice, with a particular focus on openness, inclusive growth, and gender empowerment
Canada has supported this objective through the ongoing emphasis of principled international cooperation, and the early identification of macroeconomic vulnerabilities that pose risks to equitable job-rich growth and poverty reduction. Over the reporting period, IMF research has shed light on how open trade can boost incomes and living standards by driving opportunities for inclusive growth and development. The IMF has also sought to reorient its domestic and international policy advice to better assess the impact of inequality on growth outcomes, examine the distributional impacts of policies and reform, and mitigate the possible adverse consequences of global economic integration on vulnerable groups, such as women and youth.
Progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) hinges on a country’s ability to increase spending in areas such as education, health, and infrastructure, while ensuring that their external debt remains sustainable. For governments, payments on high public debt can crowd out spending on important areas that foster more sustainable and equitable growth. As such, the IMF is committed to working on identifying and reducing debt vulnerabilities to ensure countries maintain the ability to invest in the future of their citizens. Over the reporting period, the IMF introduced the low-income-country debt sustainability framework, which takes into account the significant challenges these countries face.
2. A sufficiently resourced IMF that applies an effective and appropriate lending toolkit to facilitate macroeconomic adjustment and financial stability, as needed
Canada plays an important role in advocating for the efficient use of IMF resources, especially those directed toward improving resiliency among its poorest and most vulnerable members. Since the late 1980s, Canada and a few other donor countries have committed significant resources to support the IMF’s work in its poorest member countries through its concessional lending window, the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).
During the reporting period, the IMF committed concessional loans of over $428 million to its low-income-country members under PRGT-supported programs, and completed important work on the 2018-2019 Review of Facilities for Low-Income Countries. The Review feeds into the IMF’s ongoing and comprehensive assessment of the adequacy of its toolkit for meeting the evolving economic development and financial stability needs of its members.
Low-income countries that do not want an IMF loan can access the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) to secure IMF support. This flexible tool is a valuable complement to the IMF’s lending facilities under the PRGT. The PSI delivers a clear signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets that the IMF endorses the strength of a member’s policies. In 2018-2019, the IMF completed PSI reviews for Senegal and Rwanda.
3. Provision of high-quality technical assistance and capacity development that is appropriately integrated with the IMF’s core business lines
Canada has long been a key partner in IMF efforts to deliver effective technical assistance and capacity development (TA/CD), with a recent emphasis on the importance of women’s economic empowerment and the need to strengthen recipients’ implementation capacity. In 2018-2019, Canada committed $20 million in additional funding for increased TA/CD in small island developing states (SIDS) and low-income countries, and played an important role in promoting the development of resilient debt instruments for SIDS that are vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change.
Over the reporting period, TA/CD represented almost one third of IMF administrative spending. Low-income developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, receiving the most technical advice and training. Enhancing TA/CD integration with policy advice and lending in order to better tailor strategies to each country’s institutional capacity and specific needs was a key focus of the 2018 Review of the IMF’s Capacity Development Strategy.
The recently launched Data for Decisions (D4D) Trust Fund provides assistance to strengthen national statistical systems in mainly low- and lower-middle-income member countries to enhance evidence-based policies and support achievement of the SDGs. Over the reporting period, the Financial Access Survey administered by D4D began mainstreaming the collection of gender-disaggregated data to deepen the understanding of implications of financial inclusion for women and girls.
4. Continued evolution of members’ voice and representation to better reflect the growing importance of dynamic emerging economies, and modernization of the IMF’s corporate governance and accountability structures
As the global economic and financial landscape evolves, so too must the IMF. In 2018-2019, Canada advocated for a realignment of quota shares (which are commensurate with a country’s IMF voting power) to increase the voices of underrepresented member states. Canada remains committed to ensuring the IMF becomes a more globally representative institution.
Canada also played a constructive role in continuous IMF efforts to strengthen its internal governance and accountability structures. Canada did so by fostering a more representative, inclusive, and effective institution that delivers equal representation of women in all of its roles and leadership positions.
African Development Bank (AfDB)
As a major shareholder, Canada has been deeply involved in discussions with the AfDB on ways to improve its efforts on gender equality, climate action and support to fragile countries. Canada has also been focused on ensuring the AfDB manages for development impact. As with all IFIs, Canada is also focused on the debt sustainability of borrowing countries.
In 2018-2019, Canada engaged with other like-minded countries on specific themes to advance the following Canadian priorities: mainstreaming of gender-equality, operational effectiveness and results, and support to fragile states. The AfDB started the negotiation process for a general capital increase as well as for the replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), which were completed in 2019-2020. Canada also welcomed the President of the Bank for an official visit to Montréal and Ottawa, in September 2018, where he met with the Minister of Finance, the Minister of International Development, and the Minister of International Trade and Diversification.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
In 2018-2019, Canada continued to encourage the ADB to do more in areas such as gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, climate change, small island developing states and fragile states, private sector development, and blended finance. The Bank’s Strategy 2030, released in July 2018, is closely aligned with Canada’s advocacy objectives and the priorities of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. For example, the ADB committed to having at least 75% of its operations mainstream or target gender equality by 2030, at least 75% of its operations support climate change mitigation and adaptation, and its number of private sector operations reaching one third of AfDB operations by 2024.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
Canada’s objectives at the AIIB, a nascent organization, differ from those at other MDBs. In 2018-2019, Canada’s objectives at the AIIB centered around joining the institution, and subsequently helping to build a robust and modern bank, drawing on strengths from existing MDBs and the private sector. In addition, Canada paid careful attention to how the AIIB can help advance inclusive growth, particularly as it relates to gender equality, and mobilize private capital. Canada has successfully helped to shape and influence the AIIB’s direction.
The AIIB is committed to a lean business model and has, for example, moved away from costlier elements, such as resident boards. The AIIB made significant progress on institutional governance, including by implementing the Policy on Public Information, which defines how the public accesses AIIB information; and the Project-Affected People’s Mechanism, which is a complaints handling mechanism. Such policies provide a sound basis for MDBs to undertake long-term investments in a transparent manner to foster inclusivity and attract private investors. Through discussions at the AIIB, and by drawing on our governance expertise, Canada helped shape both policies.
In 2018, the AIIB continued to build momentum on its core sector strategies, introducing new ones, such as the Sustainable Cities Sector Strategy and the Transport Sector Strategy. Canada helped influence the direction of these strategies, emphasizing the significance of inclusive growth and gender equality, and the importance of mobilizing private sector capital.
Canada believes that given the relationships that MDBs maintain with the private sector, there is a natural opportunity for MDBs to help attract private capital. By doing so, MDBs are not only helping to tap into new sources of capital, particularly from institutional investors, but also helping to develop capital markets. For a nascent organization, the AIIB has made considerable progress on mobilizing private capital, including through the AIIB ESG Enhanced Credit Managed Portfolio project. Canada continues to advocate for the AIIB to continue such efforts through its position on the Board of Directors.
Looking forward, Canada will continue to work on these issues, while also challenging the AIIB to tackle other cross-cutting policy issues, such as debt sustainability and climate resiliency.
Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
In 2018-2019, Canada continued to work closely with the CDB to ensure that all its strategies, policies and operations take into account gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; reduce poverty; and accelerate work in climate change adaptation. Given the pre-eminent role that the CDB has in the Caribbean Region and the fact that it is one of the strongest regional institutions, successful outcomes on Canada’s international assistance programming in the region will rely heavily on the CDB’s ability to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Bank’s recent evaluation of its gender strategy indicates some progress in gender mainstreaming. The Bank recently drafted a new gender strategy and has integrated it as a cross-cutting theme in the recent strategic planning documents for the 2020-2024 period. In terms of organization efficiency, the Special Development Fund has achieved better results in 2018, with a higher rate of project completion reports and a shorter average time from loan approval to first disbursement.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
1. Promote operations that advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and develop a strong base of evidence to support gender equality actions, building on the EBRD’s Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality and its Economic Inclusion Strategy
With strong support from Canada, the EBRD is strengthening its institutional capacity to mainstream gender considerations in its operations. The EBRD continued to implement its Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-2020, which mainstreams gender objectives in its operations and focuses on increasing women’s access to finance and business support, employment and skills development opportunities, and services. The EBRD is also integrating gender in country diagnostics and strategies, as well as sector strategies.
2. Work increasingly with other MDBs as a system to develop innovative approaches that could not otherwise be achieved by the EBRD or other organizations operating alone in, for example, private capital mobilization and green economy transition
In recent years, Canada has advocated for the EBRD and other MDBs to operate increasingly as a system to achieve outcomes that are beyond the ability of institutions acting alone. Important examples of EBRD collaboration with other MDBs in 2018 include: 1) the MDB Infrastructure Collaboration Platform to advance the G20 agenda on infrastructure as an asset class; 2) the Multilateral Development Banks’ Harmonized Framework for Additionality in Private Sector Operations; 3) a joint MDB approach to climate financing, aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement; 4) a joint MDB statement committing to high standards for the prevention of sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse, and sexual and gender-based violence both internal to the organizations and within MDB operations; and 5) a platform to enhance MDB collaboration on economic migration and forced displacement.
3. Prioritize resources to areas with the greatest need, notably Ukraine and countries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, while emphasizing the importance of continued political, economic and institutional reforms as a condition for support
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. With Canada’s strong support, the EBRD continued to invest heavily in Ukraine, committing €543 million in lending to new projects, making Ukraine the fifth-largest EBRD recipient in 2018. Over half of investments in Ukraine in 2018 supported green projects.
The EBRD provided a strong response to the crisis in Ukraine, which started in late 2013. In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent role in destabilizing eastern and southern Ukraine, Canada and other key shareholders have opposed EBRD lending to new Russian projects since 2014. As a result, the Bank has not invested in new projects in Russia for almost five years. However, it continues to maintain its investments when required.
In addition, Canada has been a strong supporter of deepening investments in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region. The Bank’s investments in the region reached close to €2 billion in 2018. In 2018, the EBRD began operations in Lebanon and in the West Bank and Gaza. Investments in Egypt also reached a record high, totalling €1.15 billion, making Egypt the largest recipient of EBRD investment in 2018. The EBRD provided strong support to small businesses and invested heavily in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The Bank continued to provide support to countries that have been severely affected by the Syrian refugee crisis, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Canada has also been a strong supporter of increasing the voice of the SEMED region within the EBRD. In 2018, the EBRD’s Annual Meeting was for the first time held in the SEMED region, with Jordan hosting the event.
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
In 2018-2019 Canada continued to engage with the IDB Group (comprising the IDB, its public sector arm; IDB Invest, responsible for private sector operations; and IDB Lab, a trust fund that serves as the Group’s innovation laboratory by testing innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth) to: 1) promote full integration of gender equality and diversity considerations in its strategies, policies, and operations; 2) continue progress on climate change adaptation and mitigation; and 3) improve its results-based management.
Canada, with the support of other shareholders, succeeded in securing a commitment from the IDB Group to accelerate progress on gender equality and diversity in its update to its institutional strategy for 2020-2023.
Following on its 2015 commitment to double the volume of its total climate-related financing by 2030, the IDB Group increased its total climate-related financing to 27% of its operations in 2018, up from 16% in 2015. In addition to policy dialogue, Canada engages the IDB on climate change through joint programming, including the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas (C2F), which supports private sector projects across the region to help countries reduce their carbon footprint and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Section B: Canada’s engagement in World Bank Group operations
The Bretton Woods Act came into force in 1985 to govern Canada’s engagement with the Bretton Woods institutions: the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank Group (that is, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency). The Bretton Woods institutions constitute important channels through which Canada delivers international assistance and supports global economic and financial stability.
As laid out in sections 13 and 14 of the Bretton Woods Act, the Minister of Finance is required to table an annual report in Parliament that provides a general summary of operations under the Act and details of operations that directly affect Canada, along with communiqués issued by the institutions’ governing committees. Sections B and C meet these reporting requirements.
For more information, refer to the text of the Bretton Woods Act on Justice Canada’s website: Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act.
Governance and representation
Canada’s capital subscriptions and shareholding
The World Bank Group is governed by member countries, each of which owns shares of the agencies that make up the World Bank Group. Decision-making power is exercised primarily by countries, through their representative on the Board of Governors and their Executive Directors.
Canada is among the 10 largest shareholders at the World Bank Group. Since the World Bank’s creation in 1945, Canada has contributed a total of US$8.6 billion in capital subscriptions to the IBRD, IFC, and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and US$12.3 billion in contributions to IDA (see Table 1).
Canada’s current voting power ranges from 2.5% to 3% within the Bank’s different institutions. Voting power at the Bank is a function of the shareholdings held by a country. A small share of a member’s voting power is also determined by basic votes, which are distributed equally among all members.
|1 Represents Canada’s cumulative contributions to IDA and commitments made as part of our commitment to IDA’s 18th replenishment.|
Note: Figures are from the 2019 financial statements and annual reports for the World Bank, IFC and MIGA.
|Capital subscriptions and contributions||8,499.3||12,250.21||81.3||56.5|
|Amount paid in||619.5||12,250.2||81.3||10.7|
|Amount not paid in but contingent on future capital requirements||7,879.8||-||-||45.8|
|Subscription or contributions share (%)||3.04||4.57||3.17||2.95|
|Voting power (%)||2.90||2.65||3.02||2.50|
Information on the World Bank Group’s 2018-2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) is provided in the financial statements of each entity. Further information on the WBG’s performance can be found on its Results webpage.
Canada at the Board of Governors
Each member appoints a Governor to represent it on the Board of Governors, the highest authority governing the World Bank Group. Governors are responsible for core institutional decisions, such as admitting or suspending members, increasing or decreasing the Bank’s authorized capital stock, determining the distribution of net income, and reviewing financial statements and budgets. Canada’s Governor at the World Bank Group is the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Morneau, and the Alternate WBG Governor is Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Development, which was Diane Jacovella during the reporting period.
Canada at the Executive Board
Governors delegate responsibility for the day-to-day running of the organization to 25 full-time Executive Directors, located at the WBG’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Executive Directors are appointed for two years. They each represent a constituency, which can include more than one country. Canada holds one of the 25 seats on the Executive Board and represents a constituency of Ireland and 11 Caribbean countries. Representatives of the governments within the constituency provide advice to the Executive Director on issues discussed at the Executive Board. During 2018-2019, Canada’s Executive Director to the WBG was Christine Hogan. During her three-year term, Ms. Hogan was one of the few women at the Executive Board. At the Board, she was successful in increasing attention to the lack of gender representation and was the inaugural chair of the working group on gender diversity.
The Executive Board usually makes decisions by consensus. In the event of a formal vote, however, the relative voting power of individual Executive Directors is based on the shares held by the constituencies they represent. Further information on Canada’s Executive Director’s office can be found on the World Bank website.
To learn more about the governance of the Executive Board, please visit the World Bank Group’s Board of Directors’ webpage.
Canada at the Development Committee
By virtue of its significant shareholding, Canada’s Governor is also accorded a seat at the Development Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and IMF. The committee meets twice a year, at the Spring Meetings and the Annual (Fall) Meetings. The Development Committee is a ministerial-level forum of the World Bank Group and the IMF for intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues and the financial resources required to promote economic development in developing countries.
In 2018-2019, Canada’s Governor tabled two Development Committee statements on behalf of Canada’s constituency, on October 13, 2018, in Bali, Indonesia, and on April 13, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Among other things, the Governors highlighted the need to take action against climate change, to tackle the issue of debt sustainability, to empower women and girls, and to develop innovative financing tools.
Canada’s financial contributions to the World Bank Group in 2018-2019
Canada is an important provider of funding to the World Bank Group. In 2018-2019, Canada made the following contributions, which are reported as Canadian official development assistance:
IBRD capital increase: Can$250.4 million in paid-in capital and US$1,273.4 million in callable capital
The IBRD capital increase was formally adopted in October 2018. It is expected to allow the institution to significantly increase its development financing to support the United Nations’ SDGs and the WBG’s Twin Goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. The capital increase also included a significant reform agenda, such as ambitious targets to improve support toward gender equality and women empowerment, as well as efficiency measures to further optimize WBG resources.
As part of the capital increase, Canada subscribed to 12,101 additional shares for an amount of Can$250.4 million in paid-in capital, and US$1,273.4 million in callable capital.Footnote 19
IDA contribution: $441.6 million
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Strongly aligned with Canada’s international assistance priorities, IDA-financed operations address primary education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, environmental safeguards, business climate improvements, infrastructure, and institutional reforms. IDA provides countries with low-interest loans, interest-free loans and grants based on a country’s level of income and record of success in managing their economy and their ongoing IDA projects.
During the reporting period of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, Canada provided $441.6 million, as agreed under the IDA18 replenishment. This contribution supports IDA’s efforts to enhance aid effectiveness, finance large regional projects such as infrastructure projects, and provide special assistance for fragile states, such as Afghanistan and Haiti, while ensuring countries do not take on unsustainable levels of debt.
Multilateral debt relief through the World Bank: $51.2 million
Under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), the World Bank, IMF and African Development Fund (ADF) agreed to cancel 100% of eligible debts owed by heavily indebted poor countries. At the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, United Kingdom, in 2005, Canada and other donor countries agreed to fully compensate the World Bank, IMF and ADF for the debts they cancelled on behalf of poor countries, so as not to undermine the ability of these institutions to provide new financial support to low-income countries. Canada’s total commitment over the 50-year lifespan of the MDRI is $2.5 billion and payments are made annually. Debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the MDRI has substantially reduced debt burdens in recipient countries. During the July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 reporting period, Canada provided $51.2 million to the World Bank Group for the MDRI.
World Bank Group trust funds: $365.5 million
World Bank Group trust funds are an effective instrument for channelling donor funding to address key strategic development issues at the country, regional or global level. In particular, trust funds leverage bank funding for development programs, particularly in post-disaster and post-conflict situations; enable donor and private sector financiers of development activities to partner with the Bank, consistent with harmonization objectives; build capacity to work in innovative areas; and work with civil society organizations. Trust funds can either be single- or multi-donor; Canada contributes to both types, with the majority of its contributions going to multi-donor trust funds.
Canada’s engagement with the World Bank Group reflects a strong focus on:
- the Feminist International Assistance Policy, which puts the empowerment of women and girls at the centre of its development efforts;
- the poorest countries and countries in conditions of fragility and conflict through both IDA and the IBRD/IDA trust fund portfolio;
- global public goods, such as health, including maternal and child health, and climate change mitigation, through IBRD/IDA trust funds and financial intermediary funds (FIFs);
- private sector development, reflected in the funding of IFC advisory services and investments and FIFs (such as the Global Infrastructure Facility); and
- country operations, with the majority of IBRD/IDA trust fund agreements either country- or region-specific. A high share (85%) of overall IBRD/IDA trust funds are recipient-executed.
Global Affairs Canada manages Canada’s trust fund relationship at the World Bank Group. Table 2 provides a list of Global Affairs Canada trust fund disbursements in 2018-2019.
|Trust funds||Disbursements between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 ($ millions)|
|1 Total may not add due to rounding.|
Sources: Global Affairs Canada, Chief Financial Officer – Statistics
|Supporting Renewable Energy in Africa - Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)||89.0|
|Strengthening Regional Disease Surveillance (West Africa)||5.0|
|Support to Phase II of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program||4.0|
|Strengthening National Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (Mozambique)||15.0|
|Enhancing Extractive Sector Benefit Sharing (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Kenya)||3.2|
|Improving Girl’s Access to Secondary Education (Haiti)||4.0|
|Global Concessional Financing Facility - Venezuelan Migrants (Colombia)||18.0|
|Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (South Pacific)||0.6|
|Natural Resources for Development Program (Indonesia)||2.3|
|Accelerating Sustainable Public-Private Investment for Infrastructure Renewal (Indonesia)||1.8|
|Strengthening Health Systems and Services (Bangladesh)||7.0|
|Support to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (2017-2020)||55.0|
|Middle East and North Africa|
|Jordan Program Support Facility (Middle East)||0.2|
|Global Concessional Financing Facility for the Middle East and North Africa Region (Jordan and Lebanon)||5.5|
|Municipal Services and Social Resilience (Jordan)||5.0|
|Gender and Social Protection in Iraq: Towards Women’s Economic Empowerment||1.3|
|Support for an Analytical Roadmap for Syria and the Region (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria)||0.6|
|Mashreq Gender Technical Assistance Facility - Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan||8.1|
|Global initiatives and strategic policy|
|Support to the Global Financing Facility (Global)||40.0|
|Global Partnership for Education - Institutional support (2018-2020) (Global)||30.0|
|Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research - Institutional support (2018) (Global)||10.0|
|Global Financing Facility: Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire)||10.0|
|Addressing Barriers to Education (Africa)||50.0|
Objectives and results of Canada’s WBG trust funds
As Canada continues to engage with the World Bank Group through trust fund arrangements, the effectiveness of these partnerships is assessed to ensure that development outcomes are being achieved. Key areas of progress include:
Global Partnership for Education (GPE)
Canada contributed $30 million to the GPE in 2018-2019, the first disbursement of $150 million over three years (2018-2019 to 2020-2021). At the GPE Replenishment event in Dakar, Senegal, in February 2018, Canada announced this pledge of $180 million, of which $150 million is new money. Canada is the tenth-largest donor to the GPE.
In 2018, GPE grants supported an estimated 22.2 million students: 20.2 million in primary school and 2 million in lower secondary. Of these, 16.6 million were in fragile and conflict-affected states, which surpassed GPE’s goal for support to countries affected by fragility and conflict by more than 45%. Nearly half—10.6 million—of the students were girls.
Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Woman Every Child
As a founding donor to the GFF, Canada has committed a total of Can$290 million to the GFF between 2015 and 2023. The GFF held its first replenishment in November 2018, when they raised US$1 billion with the support of 15 donors, including 10 new ones. At that replenishment, Canada announced a Can$50-million pledge for girls’ education in fragile states (2018-2023).
The GFF is now working with 27 countries. In the 16 original countries, the GFF has mobilized US$3.5 billion in World Bank concessional financing using US$492 million of GFF trust fund grants.
Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)
Canada, along with other G7 partners, is supporting the goals of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). This African-owned platform is governed by a board, which is constituted by African heads of state.
The AREI aims to achieve at least 10 gigawatts (GW) of new and additional renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and mobilize African potential to generate at least 300 GW by 2030. Ultimately, the Initiative will lead to 340,000 metric tons of CO2 per year being reduced or avoided, which will benefit up to 930,000 people through improved access to clean energy. The Initiative will adopt a gender-sensitive implementation approach.
Canada’s Can$150-million contribution in support of this African-led action plan is part of a loan fund managed by the World Bank Group’s IFC. The loan fund will accelerate African countries’ efforts to transition to more efficient, less expensive, and cleaner forms of energy. This contribution is expected to leverage US$350 million in additional public and private investments.
World Bank procurement from Canada
The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) works closely with Canadian companies to increase awareness and pursuit of multi-sectoral procurement opportunities at the IFIs. The TCS maintains the Offices of Liaison with International Financial Institutions (OLIFIs). The Washington, D.C., OLIFI helps businesses access WBG procurement opportunities.
|World Bank Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30)||Amount|
|Note: Based on World Bank Group figures as of July 31, 2019.|
|Note: Based on World Bank Group figures as of July 31, 2019.|
|WNL Development Solutions||Agriculture, fishing, and forestry||Consultant services||4,130,478|
|Acacia Consulting||Agriculture, fishing, and forestry||Consultant services||452,005|
|Dillon Consulting Ltd||Agriculture, fishing, and forestry||Consultant services||452,005|
|Turcotte Paul Andre||Agriculture, fishing, and forestry||Consultant services||24,104|
|Groupement Spatial Dimension (lead) and Hi-Tech||Education||Consultant services||483,550|
|Geotech Ltd||Energy and extractives||Non-consulting services||5,316,687|
|Hatch Limited||Energy and extractives||Consultant services||3,405,911|
|WSP Canada Inc||Energy and extractives||Consultant services||801,264|
|Artelia||Energy and extractives||Consultant services||602,481|
|Bleakburn Capital L.P.||Health||Goods||289,745|
|Socodevi||Industry and trade/services||Consultant services||1,654,070|
|Jv Sogema Technologies Inc (lead) and Cowatersogema Interna||Public administration||Goods||6,089,372|
|Cowater International Inc.||Public administration||Consultant services||1,568,595|
|Setym International||Public administration||Consultant services||622,943|
|C2d Services||Public administration||Consultant services||199,876|
|Lea Consulting Limited||Transportation||Consultant services||1,646,814|
|Individual Consultant||Transportation||Consultant services||655,501|
|Canadian Leader International||Transportation||Consultant services||576,149|
|Morrison Hershfield International Inc, in Association With AR||Water, sanitation, and waste||Consultant services||1,100,000|
|Exp. International Services Inc.||Water, sanitation, and waste||Consultant services||858,647|
|Jv Aecom Artelia||Not assigned||Consultant services||12,027,520|
|Freebalance Inc.||Not assigned||Goods||6,200,120|
|Grand Challenge Canada||Not assigned||Non-consulting services||2,000,000|
|Groupement Ceci-Socodevi-Aecom||Not assigned||Consultant services||1,129,242|
|Ciedd/Fokabs/Arbonaut||Not assigned||Consultant services||357,497|
|Individual consultant||Not assigned||Consultant services||189,100|
|Individual consultant||Not assigned||Consultant services||76,260|
|Individual consultant||Not assigned||Consultant services||75,460|
Communiqués of the Development Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and IMF (as required under the Bretton Woods Act)
World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings 2018: Development Committee Communiqué
October 13, 2018
1. The Development Committee met today, October 13, in Bali, Indonesia.
2. Global economic growth remains strong, but uneven, while manufacturing and trade growth have moderated. Downside risks to global growth have intensified for multiple reasons. These include policy uncertainty, geopolitical developments, the gradual tightening of global financing conditions, as well as rising debt levels and currency volatility. We underline the crucial role of international trade for economic growth, job creation and sustainable development. We call on member countries, with support from the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to implement policies that ensure robust and inclusive economic growth, reduce risks, and foster competitiveness, while strengthening fiscal sustainability and financial resilience.
3. We remain concerned about the rise of debt vulnerabilities in some emerging markets and low-income countries, which risks reversing the benefits of earlier debt relief initiatives. Deteriorating debt outlooks are increasing these countries’ vulnerabilities as global economic risks mount. This necessitates solid policy frameworks, adequate fiscal and external buffers, and sustainable and transparent lending practices. We ask the WBG and IMF, based on their respective mandates, to help member countries strengthen their fiscal positions by improving debt management capacity, increasing domestic resource mobilization and deepening local capital markets. We support the WBG-IMF multipronged approach to work with borrowers and creditors to improve the recording, monitoring, and transparent reporting of public and private debt obligations, as well as efforts to strengthen creditor coordination in debt restructuring situations, drawing on existing fora.
4. Our meetings had a strong focus on building human capital, particularly given the implications of technological advances on jobs, the financial sector, and other aspects of development. New jobs are being created that did not exist a decade ago, while some skills that were formerly relevant are becoming obsolete. We discussed the need to ensure that all individuals have access to the skills and capabilities to adapt and prosper in the face of digital disruption. Given the strains on public finance systems, new approaches will be required.
5. We welcome the World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work and its approach to facilitate policymakers’ understanding of near- and long-term challenges. Building human capital demands significant investment and evidence-based policymaking, which will require new and effective revenue mobilization strategies and approaches, including for social protection, health and education systems with universal coverage. We urge the WBG to provide targeted financing and advice to help clients address these challenges while also building incentives for work. To help countries prioritize investing in people, we call on the WBG and IMF to provide tailored support and capacity building to increase domestic resource mobilization, combat illicit financial flows, fight against tax avoidance and evasion, encourage investors, and create innovative financing tools for development.
6. We support the WBG emphasis on the need for increased and more effective and inclusive investments in better learning and health outcomes. We welcome the Human Capital Project (HCP) and the launch of the Human Capital Index (HCI), with the supporting program of country engagement. These can provide a platform to support clients’ long-term efforts to invest in national and global health and learning systems, helping them prepare for an economic future that will be transformed in profound ways by technological change. We call on the WBG to continue this work, recognizing the potential for further methodological refinements, including through the development of comprehensive disaggregated data on health and education, in cooperation with relevant multilateral agencies.
7. Technology offers new opportunities to accelerate progress towards the twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. At the same time, it introduces new risks, including increased inequality within and between countries. Urgent action is needed to maximize potential benefits and mitigate risks. We support the role the WBG can play in helping countries find new pathways to sustainable, inclusive growth by building the foundations of the digital economy; boosting the capacity of people, firms and institutions; and brokering technology solutions. We ask that WBG management prepare an approach to mainstream the agenda by Spring 2019, taking into account the need to work strategically with client countries and relevant partners, including the private sector and multilateral development banks (MDBs).
8. Financial technology (Fintech) is a key pillar in the WBG’s larger engagement on disruptive technologies. Fintech can support inclusive sustainable growth and poverty reduction by strengthening financial development and inclusion for households and firms, as well as improving efficiency and competition in the financial sector. However, Fintech may also pose risks to financial stability, integrity, and consumer and investor protection. We welcome development of the Bali Fintech Agenda by the WBG and the IMF, which brings together key considerations for policymakers and the international community. Working within their respective mandates, and in close collaboration with other partners, the institutions should help harness the potential of Fintech to deepen financial markets, enhance responsible access to financial services, facilitate cross-border payments, strengthen remittance systems, and better manage risks associated with use of these technologies. A focus should be placed on low-income countries, small states, and marginalized communities, especially to close gaps in access to finance for women and for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
9. The private sector is especially critical to creating jobs and well-functioning economies, including in IDA countries and in fragile and conflict-affected states. We urge the WBG to continue efforts to operationalize Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) through the "cascade” approach. The cascade entails the World Bank, IFC, and MIGA working jointly to level the playing field and pursue private sector solutions to help achieve development goals, while reserving public finance for projects that the private sector cannot support. We commend IFC for its strategic efforts to create markets, support pioneering investments, and provide opportunities where they are most needed. IFC can help investments succeed through its due diligence, mobilization, capacity building and advisory services. We also commend MIGA’s contributions to increasing investment in developing countries through access to long-term financing at lower cost and anticipate MIGA playing a greater role in MFD.
10. We reiterate our support for IDA and acknowledge its central role in achieving the WBG’s twin goals as well as its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome the strong progress on IDA18 implementation including regional programs, support to refugees, the launch of the new Private Sector Window, and the first IDA bond issuance. We call on IDA to continue to innovate, focus on development outcomes, and prioritize the IDA18 themes: jobs and economic transformation; gender; climate; fragility, conflict and violence; and governance and institutions. We look forward to the outcomes of the IDA Midterm Review.
11. The most vulnerable people are disproportionately affected by fragility, pandemics, natural disasters, and climate change. At the same time, they often lack access to basic infrastructure for food, energy and water. We call on the WBG, in cooperation with partners across the public and private sectors, to continue exploring innovative solutions, applying evolving technologies, and broadening South-South cooperation on crisis risk management. We also urge the WBG to continue mainstreaming crisis preparedness, prevention, response and resilience, working at the humanitarian-development nexus. It should also deliver financing and policy advice that enables clients, especially low-income countries and small states, to make greater use of risk financing instruments and develop quality climate- and disaster-resilient infrastructure and investments.
12. We thank the WBG Boards and management for submitting the draft resolutions on the IBRD and IFC capital increases to Governors. We welcome the adoption of the IBRD capital increase resolutions, which is a critical first step towards effective implementation. We are encouraged by the rapid pace of approvals of the IFC resolutions and we welcome the ongoing efforts by shareholders to secure outstanding adoptions. We look forward to an update at the Spring Meetings 2019 on implementation of the capital package commitments.
13. The Committee would like to express its appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for hosting the Annual Meetings. We also express our condolences for the tragic loss of lives and devastation in Central Sulawesi and Lombok. We thank Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia, for her invaluable guidance and leadership as Chair of the Committee during the past two years. We welcome her successor, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance of Ghana.
14. The next meeting of the Development Committee is scheduled for April 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings 2019: Development Committee Communiqué
April 13, 2019
1. The Development Committee met today, April 13, in Washington, D.C.
2. The global outlook foresees a moderate slowdown in economic activity, while lingering downside risks remain. Global trade growth has weakened, investment prospects have softened, debt vulnerabilities persist, and policy uncertainty weighs on confidence. We reiterate the important role of international trade and investment as engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and sustainable development. We continue to support the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in their multipronged approach, with borrowers and creditors, to improve the recording, monitoring, and reporting of public and private debt, as well as efforts to strengthen creditor coordination in debt restructuring situations, drawing on existing fora. We stress the importance of adopting growth-enhancing policies while containing risks and protecting the most vulnerable. We call on both institutions to work jointly with policy makers to identify the right balance, given country circumstances, between supporting demand and rebuilding fiscal space; to help countries improve debt management capacity, sustainability, and transparency; and to strengthen domestic resource mobilization.
3. We endorsed a transformative capital package for IBRD and IFC one year ago. This package and the Forward Look guide the WBG’s strategic direction to 2030. We welcome the paper Update: The Forward Look and IBRD-IFC Capital Package Implementation and the significant policy reforms delivered, including: IBRD loan pricing and Single Borrower Limit differentiation, the IFC additionality framework, the IBRD Financial Sustainability Framework, and the revised methodology for staff compensation. We also note the strong yet selective WBG engagement in countries above the graduation discussion income as reflected in the revised guidance for country partnership frameworks. We encourage the Bank Group to continue implementing and monitoring the agreed efficiency measures. We request management to continue tracking progress against the Forward Look and capital package commitments and to update the Governors in one year.
4. We welcome the ongoing work by shareholders to start the subscription documentation and payment process for the IBRD capital increase launched on October 2, 2018. We urge that all outstanding adoptions of IFC resolutions be secured by September 18, 2019.
5. We remain committed to the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity as well as the WBG’s global role and the objectives set out in the Forward Look: (i) serving all clients; (ii) leading on the global public goods agenda, (iii) creating markets, and (iv) continually improving the business and operational model. Effective implementation will require strong country partnership with IBRD and IDA clients with a focus on measurable development outcomes. The capital package will enhance WBG leadership in the key areas of crisis preparedness, prevention and management; situations of fragility, conflict and violence (FCV); climate change; gender equality; knowledge and convening; and regional integration.
6. The Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, IDA, is critical to reaching the WBG’s goals as well as to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We welcome the strong delivery of the ambitious and innovative IDA18 package and support recently proposed adjustments, particularly the reallocation across IDA windows. We call on the Bank Group to strengthen emphasis on jobs and economic transformation in IDA countries, one of the IDA19 special themes. We also support the other special themes—governance and institutions, gender, climate change and FCV—as well as the cross-cutting areas of debt, disability, human capital and technology. We observe the rising debt levels in IDA countries and encourage measures to enhance their debt sustainability. We look forward to the outcomes of the upcoming meeting of IDA Deputies and their guidance on strategic directions and the IDA19 Roadmap.
7. We welcome the Mainstreaming the Approach to Disruptive and Transformative Technologies at the World Bank Group paper and the WBG’s efforts to make these technologies affordable and accessible for developing countries. We encourage the WBG to create opportunities for the poor and mitigate risks associated with technology. We ask the Bank Group to continue to work with countries as well as private and public sector partners to mainstream this agenda across sectors. We particularly welcome its work on competitiveness, innovation and consumer protection by supporting agile regulations. We also call on the WBG and IMF to continue work on fintech issues, building on the momentum generated by the Bali Fintech Agenda.
8. Investments in human capital that produce better learning and health outcomes are critical to productivity and economic well-being. We welcome the strong start on the Human Capital Project and the fact that close to 60 countries have joined thus far. We request further development of disaggregated data and refinement of indicators under the Human Capital Index and an emphasis on policy reforms that achieve tangible results. We look forward to an update on the Human Capital Project in October 2019.
9. The private sector plays a key role in providing sustainable solutions to development challenges, creating markets, mobilizing investment and generating jobs. We encourage the WBG to foster enabling business environments, leverage capital, and implement the Cascade to maximize finance for development. We support the IFC 3.0 strategy to catalyze private sector investments. We acknowledge IFC and MIGA efforts to increase investments in IDA countries and fragile situations, and we support the use of the IDA Private Sector Window to reach the most vulnerable, recognizing that such projects come with higher risks. We call on the World Bank, IFC and MIGA to be innovative and work together in mobilizing private sector solutions and resources, leveraging sectoral reforms, and mitigating investment risks.
10. Fragility, conflict and violence cause human suffering, vulnerability and displacement, and economic stress, all posing challenges to delivering the 2030 Agenda. In addition, economic crises, natural disasters, and pandemics can test countries’ resilience and threaten development gains. Building institutional capacity, developing disaster resilience, and encouraging knowledge sharing and South-South cooperation are also key priorities, particularly for small states. We support strengthening domestic resource mobilization, addressing illicit financial flows and corruption, as well as investing in quality infrastructure and enhancing energy security to improve the response to crises. We reiterate the importance of delivering on the WBG’s Climate Change Action Plan. We look forward to the development of a strategy on FCV.
11. As the WBG scales up work in high-risk scenarios, where institutional capacity is often weak, strong environmental and social protections and accountability processes are critical, and we support the WBG’s continued commitment in these areas. We acknowledge the important role that the World Bank’s Inspection Panel and the IFC and MIGA Compliance Advisor Ombudsman play in accountability, lessons learned, and mitigating risks in an efficient and effective way.
12. We urge the WBG to continue to work closely with public and private partners including international financial institutions and the UN, on the most pressing development challenges. We note that heads of state will gather in September for the UN summit focusing on climate, universal health coverage, SDGs, financing for development, and small island developing states. We also underscore the importance of continued WBG and IMF collaboration in implementing their respective mandates as well as the potential of multilateral development banks working as a system to improve their response to common challenges, including through a coordinated country platform approach.
13. We are encouraged by progress on diversity and inclusion among WBG staff and management, and we continue to support the Board in its work to enhance and promote gender diversity at the WBG Executive Boards. Closing gender gaps is smart economics, while balanced representation and full gender equality are central to the Bank’s mission. We urge continued work on this front.
14. We congratulate Mr. David Malpass on his selection as President of the World Bank Group and look forward to working closely with him. We value his strong commitment to the Bank Group, its mission and strategy. We express our appreciation to Dr. Jim Yong Kim for his leadership of the WBG and its significant accomplishments during his tenure. We also thank Ms. Kristalina Georgieva for her leadership and effective management of WBG affairs as Interim President.
15. The next meeting of the Development Committee is scheduled for October 19, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
Section C: Canada’s engagement in International Monetary Fund operations
As one of 29 signatories to the original IMF Articles of Agreement, Canada has been an influential member of the IMF since 1945. Canada is engaged in all aspects of IMF governance and activities, and plays a collaborative role with our international partners to ensure that the IMF is effectively fulfilling its mandate. A healthy and stable global economy creates more jobs for Canadians, promotes stable prices for goods and services, and improves our standard of living.
Governance and representation
Canada’s voting share
Member countries’ voting shares are based largely on their relative global economic weight and openness to international trade. Canada holds a sizeable 2.22% IMF voting share, making Canada the 11th-largest member during the reporting period.
Canada at the Board of Governors
The IMF is accountable to its member countries through a number of mechanisms. The Board of Governors, composed of a Governor and an Alternate Governor appointed by each member country, is the IMF’s highest decision-making body. The Board of Governors is responsible for the most important institutional decisions required under the Articles of Agreement (e.g. approving quota increases, admitting new members, and amending Articles and by-laws). Canada’s Governor to the IMF is the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Morneau, and the Alternate Governor is Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.
Canada at the Executive Board
The Board of Governors delegates authority over the IMF’s regular business to the 24-member Executive Board, which is chaired by the IMF’s Managing Director. The constituency system allows the 24 Board members to represent all 189 member countries, making it easier to conduct day-to-day business.
Canada holds one of the 24 seats on the Executive Board and represents a constituency of 12 countries.Footnote 20 With all constituency members combined, the Executive Director for Canada holds a voting power of 3.38%—making our constituency the 12th-largest by voting share. Given Canada’s financial contributions and level of IMF engagement, a Canadian has always held the Executive Director position within our constituency. Canada’s current Executive Director is Louise Levonian. Ms. Levonian is supported by a small staff of seconded individuals from the countries represented within our constituency.
The Executive Board usually operates on a consensus basis, so formal votes are rare. Canada attempts to contribute to the development of policy proposals before they are brought to the Board through informal discussions with staff and management, or through consultation with other members of the Executive Board.
To learn more about the governance, representation and accountability structures of the IMF, please visit the IMF’s Governance Structure website.
Canada at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)
The IMFC advises and reports to the Board of Governors on international monetary and financial matters, and responses to emerging issues of global importance. While it has no formal decision-making powers, it plays an important role in setting the strategic direction of the Fund. The composition of the IMFC mirrors that of the Executive Board. Therefore, Canada’s Minister of Finance occupies one of the 24 seats at the IMFC table. The IMFC usually meets twice a year, during the IMF-World Bank Annual and Spring Meetings, and produces communiqués providing strategic direction and policy guidance to the IMF Managing Director and the Executive Board. The Minister of Finance tables written statements on behalf of our constituencyFootnote 21 during the Annual and Spring Meetings that outline our collective views on the specific governance, surveillance and lending activities of the Fund. These statements are published on both the Department of Finance Canada and IMF websites.
IMF resources, lending, and capacity development
IMF financial resources
The IMF’s total financial resources are composed of both permanent and temporary resources. Members’ permanent quotaFootnote 22 subscriptions are the primary component of IMF financial resources. These are supplemented by New Arrangements to Borrow, a renewable multilateral borrowing arrangement that represents a second line of defence, in which Canada participates. Additionally, the IMF currently maintains temporary bilateral borrowing arrangements with 40 members (including Canada), which serve as a third line of defence. In the event of another major global economic crisis, the Fund can draw on these multi- and bilateral lines of credit after all other resources have been effectively depleted. Further information can be found at the IMF’s multilateral and bilateral borrowing website.
While the resources outlined above can be used to support the macroeconomic adjustment needs of any member country, the IMF also maintains a special trust fund to enable concessional lending to the poorest and most vulnerable members.Footnote 23 The Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) is financed through loan and grant contributions from members such as Canada, as well as through the transfer of IMF net-income resources.
IMF financial operations are conducted in Special Drawing Rights (SDR)Footnote 24, an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries. Table 2 summarizes the IMF’s financial resources, and Canada’s commitments to and financial position at the Fund as of April 30, 2019. For more information on IMF finances, see the IMF’s 2019 Annual Report of the Executive Board.
|Drawn from Canada’s|
|1 Estimate based on the Can$/SDR exchange rate on April 30, 2019.|
2 On April 30, 2019, SDR 0.14 billion was outstanding.
Sources: IMF: Canada: Financial Position in the Fund; Department of Finance Canada calculations.
|General Resources Account|
|New arrangements to borrow||182||3.9||7.2||0.3|
|Bilateral borrowing agreements||317||8.2||15.2||0|
|Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust|
|Active loan commitments||1.0||1.9||0.22|
IMF lending programs
The IMF makes its resources available to help members finance temporary balance of payments problems while they implement economic policy adjustments. The IMF provides this assistance through two types of lending arrangements: non-concessional lending that is available to all members, and concessional lending available to qualifying low-income member countries. Non-concessional lending is financed out of the Fund’s normal resources grouped under the General Resources Account, whereas concessional lending is financed out of the PRGT. Details on the IMF lending process and instruments are available on the IMF lending website.
During its 2018-2019 fiscal year (May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019) the IMF approved seven new non-concessional lending arrangements, as well as one augmentation and one diminution to two existing arrangements, totalling SDR 50.5 billion (approximately $93.9 billion). There are currently 21 active non-concessional arrangements with the Fund, totalling SDR132.1 billion (approximately $245.7 billion).
The IMF also approved two new concessional arrangements and two augmentations to existing arrangements under the PRGT, amounting to SDR 0.2 billion (approximately $0.4 billion). Overall, there are 16 active PRGT arrangements totalling SDR 2.4 billion (approximately $4.5 billion).
Table 3 provides a summary of new IMF lending arrangements approved in 2018-2019. Chart 1 provides an overview of active IMF lending arrangements. A complete list of the IMF’s active lending arrangements is available in its annual report and on the IMF Lending Arrangements website.
|Description||Number of new|
|Source: IMF, Department of Finance Canada calculations.|
|Augmentations to existing arrangements||2||-3.6||-6.7|
|Concessional lending (PRGT)||4||0.2||0.4|
|Augmentations to existing arrangements||2||>0.1||>0.1|
Chart 1: Current IMF lending arrangements
|Current IMF lending arrangements||Size|
|Current IMF lending arrangements||Size|
|Source: IMF, Department of Finance Canada calculations.|
|Non-concessional precautionary agreements||$63.5B|
|Non-concessional lending agreements||$68.6B|
|Rest of Americas||$4.4B|
|Rest of Asia||$2.3B|
|Rest of Africa||$5.5B|
|Rest of Europe||$0.5B|
For more than 50 years, the IMF has provided technical assistance and capacity development (TA/CD) to members to strengthen their domestic institutions’ ability to foster effective policies that lead to greater economic stability and growth. IMF TA/CD activities are both internally and externally financed at about equal proportions. They accounted for nearly one third of its budget in 2018-2019. Total spending on TA/CD was US$306 million, including US$168 million that was funded externally. For more information, see IMF Capacity Development.
Canada’s contributions to capacity development
External partnerships allow the IMF to scale up its capacity building efforts for members in need. Canada has historically been among the largest external contributors to IMF TA/CD, having provided approximately US$127.3 million (approximately $170.5 million) since 2010 (see Table 4 for details). This support has helped low- and middle-income countries build their governance capacity in areas such as central bank functions, public financial management, and financial sector development and oversight. Canadian-financed TA/CD is generally delivered in three distinct ways:
1. Regional Technical Assistance Centres (RTACs): The IMF has developed a regionally tailored approach to TA/CD delivery. In addition to the training offered at the IMF Institute for Capacity Development in Washington, D.C., the IMF operates seven regional training institutes and nine RTACs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, China, the Middle East, and the Pacific. For more information, see IMF Regional Capacity Development Initiatives.
2. Country-directed initiatives: Member countries, other IFIs, and IMF project financing vehicles (e.g. RTACs, multi-donor trust funds, and country-specific trusts) can maintain “subaccounts” for targeted technical assistance initiatives and/or retaining a strategic reserve for rapid response to emerging priorities. Canada maintains a subaccount to support various TA/CD activities in the Caribbean, Ukraine, the Middle East, and Africa. In 2018, Canada topped-up its subaccount as part of a broader, $20-million commitment to increase its support for IMF TA/CD for small island developing states and other low-income countries.
3. Multi-donor trust funds: The IMF manages several thematic funds. Examples include the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Fund, along with others that focus on improving data availability, public debt management and other public financial management issues. In addition, there are two fragile state funds that specifically focus on supporting South Sudan and Somalia. Canada has previously supported multi-donor trust funds, including the AML/CFT Thematic Trust Fund, the IMF-Somalia Trust Fund for Capacity Development, and IMF participation in the World Bank’s Supporting Economic Management in the Caribbean project. For more information, see Thematic Funds for Capacity Development.
|Description||Total disbursed from|
2010-2011 to 2017-2018
|Notes: IMF capacity development financing is denominated in US dollars. On April 30, 2019, 1 US dollar equaled 1.33955 Canadian dollars. Table only includes initiatives to which Canada has contributed. Numbers may not add due to rounding.|
|Regional Technical Assistance Centres|
|Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre||23.3||6.3|
|Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Centre||11.0||1.6|
|Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centres||10.4||0|
|Canadian Global Technical Assistance Subaccount||16.7||6.8|
|Ukraine Selected Capacity Development Activities||21.7||0|
|Canada-Caribbean Enhanced Public Financial Management Project||12.1||4.5|
|AML/CFT and other Selected Fund Activities||2.2||0.2|
|Multi-donor thematic trust funds|
|Somalia Trust Fund for Capacity Development||2.5||0|
|AML/CFT Thematic Fund||2.3||0|
|World Bank Subaccount for Selected Fund Activities||5.9||(0.2)|
|Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative||0.1||0|
Additional details on IMF operations (including IMF surveillance, lending, capacity building, and institutional governance) are available on the IMF website.
Communiqués of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the IMF (as required under the Bretton Woods Act)
Communiqué of the Thirty-Eighth Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)
October 13, 2019
Chaired by Mr. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank
We extend our deepest sympathies to the people and Government of Indonesia on the recent tragic events. We thank them for hosting the 2018 Annual Meetings in Bali and for their warm hospitality.
Global outlook and policy priorities
1. The global expansion remains strong. Growth is projected to be steady in the near term and moderate thereafter. However, the recovery is increasingly uneven, and some of the previously identified risks have partially materialized. Overall, risks are increasingly skewed to the downside amid heightened trade tensions and ongoing geopolitical concerns, with tighter financial conditions particularly affecting many emerging market and developing countries. Policy uncertainty, historically high debt levels, rising financial vulnerabilities, and limited policy space could further undermine confidence and growth prospects.
2. With the window of opportunity narrowing, we will act promptly to advance policies and reforms to protect the expansion, mitigate risks, rebuild policy space, enhance resilience, and raise medium-term growth prospects for the benefit of all. Fiscal policy should rebuild buffers, where needed; be flexible and growth-friendly; avoid procyclicality; and raise the quality of infrastructure and workforce skills, while ensuring that public debt is on a sustainable path. Central banks, in line with their mandates and mindful of financial stability risks, should maintain monetary accommodation where inflation is below target, and withdraw it in a gradual, well-communicated, and data dependent manner where inflation is close to or above target.
3. Strong fundamentals, sound policies, and a resilient international monetary system are essential to the stability of exchange rates, contributing to strong and sustainable growth and investment. Flexible exchange rates, where feasible, can serve as a shock absorber. We recognize that excessive volatility or disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability. We will refrain from competitive devaluations and will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.
4. Advancing financial and structural reforms is critical to lifting potential growth and employment and strengthening resilience, while effectively assisting those bearing the cost of adjustment. We stress the importance of timely, full, and consistent implementation and finalization of the financial sector reform agenda as soon as possible, and the evaluation of the effects of those reforms. We will monitor and, as necessary, tackle financial vulnerabilities and emerging risks; and, through continued regulatory cooperation, avoid fragmentation. We will also continue to adapt regulation to structural changes and close data gaps. We will strive to address challenges from demographic shifts and enhance inclusion to widely share the gains from technological advancement and economic integration. We will work together to reduce excessive global imbalances in a way that supports sustainable global growth.
5. We will enhance our cooperation to tackle shared challenges. We recognize the need to continue to step up dialogue and actions to mitigate risks and enhance confidence in international trade, including on ways to improve the WTO to face current and future challenges. We acknowledge that free, fair, and mutually beneficial goods and services trade and investment are key engines for growth and job creation. We reaffirm the importance of implementing the conclusions of the G-20 Hamburg Summit on trade. We will continue to work for a globally fair and modern international tax system, and where appropriate, address competition and tax challenges, including from digitalization. We will strengthen collaboration to leverage financial technology to enhance efficiency and inclusion while addressing associated risks, and tackle sources and channels of money laundering and terrorism financing, proliferation financing, corruption, and other illicit finance.
6. We support efforts toward achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In light of rising debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries (LICs), we are working together to enhance debt transparency and sustainable financing practices by debtors and creditors, both public and private; and strengthen creditor coordination in debt restructuring situations, drawing on existing fora. We will continue to support countries’ efforts to build resilience to, and deal with, the macroeconomic consequences of pandemics, cyber risks, climate change and natural disasters, energy scarcity, conflicts, migration, and refugee and other humanitarian crises.
7. We welcome the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda. In line with its mandate, the IMF will continue to support its members and collaborate with others to:
- Promote a resilient international monetary and financial system. We welcome continued efforts to conduct a rigorous, even-handed, candid, and transparent assessment of external positions based on updated methodologies. We also welcome the IMF’s advice to members on dealing with large and volatile capital flows and call for further efforts to strengthen the global financial safety net (GFSN), including by deepening collaboration with regional financing arrangements.
- Facilitate multilateral solutions for global challenges. We call on the IMF to support efforts to mitigate risks and enhance confidence in trade, including through its trade-related macroeconomic analyses. We support the IMF’s continued role in international tax issues and domestic resource mobilization, including through the Platform for Collaboration on Tax and by applying the experience with medium-term revenue strategies. We welcome the endorsement by the Executive Boards of the IMF and the World Bank of the Bali Fintech Agenda that brings together key considerations for policymakers and the international community. We ask the IMF to support efforts to build on the Agenda, including through further work on financial technologies including crypto assets. Within its mandate, the IMF will provide guidance on members’ implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
- Help members enhance resilience and raise growth prospects. We welcome the enhanced engagement on governance, including corruption, and the operationalization of the new governance framework; the development of a strategic framework for engagement on social spending; and work on corporate market power, the digital economy, infrastructure governance, demographic shifts, and gender and inequality issues. We support the IMF’s continued assistance to countries affected by conflict and refugee crises, and look forward to proposals to help vulnerable countries build resilience to natural disasters.
- Adapt policy tools to members’ evolving needs. We look forward to the 2020 comprehensive surveillance review and reviews of program conditionality, the Financial Sector Assessment Program, the AML/CFT strategy, and the policy on multiple currency practices. We support further efforts to address the causes and consequences of the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships and help countries deal with them. We also look forward to further enhancing the effectiveness and accountability of the IMF’s technical assistance and training in the context of the ongoing review of the capacity development strategy.
- Strengthen debt sustainability and transparency. We look forward to reviews of the debt sustainability framework for market access countries and the debt limits policy. We ask the IMF to continue to work with members to strengthen fiscal frameworks, improve debt management capacity, and implement the updated debt sustainability framework for LICs. We support the IMF-World Bank multi-pronged approach to work with borrowers and creditors to improve the recording, monitoring, and transparent reporting of public and private debt obligations, as well as efforts to strengthen creditor coordination in debt restructuring situations, drawing on existing fora.
- Support LICs, and fragile and small states. We welcome the review of LIC facilities and the ongoing work on small states. We endorse the Managing Director’s Statement on the IMF and Fragile States and call for full and timely implementation of management’s plan in response to the IEO’s recent evaluation. We support further work and analysis to help countries achieve the SDGs.
IMF resources and governance
8. We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF to preserve its role at the center of the GFSN. We are committed to concluding the 15th General Review of Quotas and agreeing on a new quota formula as a basis for a realignment of quota shares to result in increased shares for dynamic economies in line with their relative positions in the world economy and hence likely in the share of emerging market and developing countries as a whole, while protecting the voice and representation of the poorest members. We note the recent progress report to the Board of Governors and call on the Executive Board to work expeditiously toward the completion of the 15th General Review of Quotas in line with the above goals by the Spring Meetings of 2019 and no later than the Annual Meetings of 2019. We call for full implementation of the 2010 governance reforms.
9. We call on the IMF to maintain a high-quality staff and strengthen efforts to meet 2020 diversity benchmarks. We are looking forward to the timely conclusion of the comprehensive review of compensation and benefits. We support increasing gender diversity in the Executive Board.
10. Our next meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., on April 13, 2019.
Communiqué of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)
April 13, 2019
Chaired by Mr. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank
We express our sympathy for the human loss and devastating impact of the recent natural disasters in Iran, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
Global outlook and policy priorities
The global expansion continues, but at a slower pace than anticipated in October. Growth is projected to firm up in 2020, but risks remain tilted to the downside. These include trade tensions, policy uncertainty, geopolitical risks, and a sudden sharp tightening of financial conditions against a backdrop of limited policy space, historically high debt levels, and heightened financial vulnerabilities. Other longstanding challenges also persist.
To protect the expansion, we will continue to mitigate risks, enhance resilience, and, if necessary, act promptly to shore up growth for the benefit of all. Fiscal policy should rebuild buffers where needed, be flexible and growth-friendly, and strike the right chord between ensuring debt sustainability, supporting demand while avoiding procyclicality, and safeguarding social objectives. In line with central banks’ mandates, monetary policy should ensure that inflation remains on track toward, or stabilizes around targets, and that inflation expectations remain anchored. Central bank decisions need to remain well communicated and data dependent. We will monitor and, as necessary, tackle financial vulnerabilities and emerging risks to financial stability, including with macroprudential tools.
Strong fundamentals, sound policies, and a resilient international monetary system are essential to the stability of exchange rates, contributing to strong and sustainable growth and investment. Flexible exchange rates, where feasible, can serve as a shock absorber. We recognize that excessive volatility or disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability. We will refrain from competitive devaluations and will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.
Advancing financial and structural reforms is critical to boosting potential growth and employment, enhancing resilience, and promoting inclusion. To this end:
- We stress the importance of timely, full, and consistent implementation and finalization of the financial sector reform agenda as soon as possible, and the ongoing evaluation of the effects of these reforms. We will also address fragmentation through continued regulatory and supervisory cooperation, adapt regulation to structural changes, and close data gaps.
- We commit to strong governance, including by tackling corruption. We will implement policies that foster innovation and fair market competition. We will strive to address challenges from demographic shifts, ensure that gains from technological change and economic integration are widely shared, and effectively assist those bearing the cost of adjustment.
We will continue to take joint action to strengthen international cooperation and frameworks.
- We will work together to reduce excessive global imbalances through macroeconomic and structural policies that support sustainable global growth.
- Free, fair, and mutually beneficial goods and services trade and investment are key engines for growth and job creation. To this end, we recognize the need to resolve trade tensions and support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization to improve its functioning.
- We will expedite work for a globally fair and modern international tax system and address harmful tax competition, artificial profit shifting and other tax challenges, such as those related to digitalization. We look forward to results as soon as possible. We will tackle sources and channels of money laundering and terrorism financing, proliferation financing, and other illicit finance. We will also address correspondent banking relationship withdrawal and its adverse consequences.
- We are working together to enhance debt transparency and sustainable financing practices by both debtors and creditors, public and private; and strengthen creditor coordination in debt restructuring situations, drawing on existing fora.
We recognize that joint action is also essential to confront broader global challenges. We will continue to support countries’ and international efforts to build resilience to, and deal with, the macroeconomic consequences of pandemics, cyber risks, climate change and natural disasters, energy scarcity, conflicts, migration, and refugee and other humanitarian crises. We will also continue to collaborate to leverage financial technology while addressing related challenges, including from privacy and data security and fragmentation issues. We support efforts toward achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We welcome the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda Update. In line with its mandate, the IMF will continue to support its members and collaborate with others to:
- Help members enhance resilience and secure sustainable higher growth: We support the IMF’s efforts to provide tailored policy advice and, when needed, financial support for balance of payments needs. We look forward to discussing the IMF’s work on a more integrated policy framework that further considers the interactions between monetary, exchange rate, macroprudential, and capital flow management policies. We welcome the enhanced engagement on governance, including corruption, in line with the new governance framework; work on central bank governance; and continued work on infrastructure governance and structural reforms, including market competition issues.
- Strengthen debt sustainability and transparency: We support the continued implementation of the IMF-World Bank multi-pronged approach to work with borrowers and creditors to improve the recording, monitoring, and transparent reporting of public and private debt obligations. We ask the IMF to continue to work with members to strengthen fiscal frameworks, improve debt management capacity, and implement the updated debt sustainability framework for low-income countries. We look forward to reviews of the debt sustainability framework for market access countries and the IMF’s debt limits policy.
- Promote policies to foster inclusion and opportunities: We look forward to the IMF proposing a strategy to more systematically engage on social spending issues. We welcome the macroeconomic analyses of gender and inequality issues. We appreciate further efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of engagement with fragile and conflict-affected states, and provide analysis and advice for developing countries to achieve the SDGs. We call on the IMF to help members improve domestic resource mobilization, including through collaboration with other partners of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax and by applying the experience with medium-term revenue strategies and tailoring efforts to support domestic resource mobilization in countries with limited capacities. We welcome the IMF’s continued support for the G20 Compact with Africa initiative to improve investment frameworks.
- Upgrade global cooperation: We support the IMF’s efforts to mitigate risks and enhance confidence in trade through policy advice and trade-related macroeconomic analyses. We welcome continued efforts to conduct a rigorous, evenhanded, and multilaterally-consistent assessment of external positions and look forward to further analysis of the role of exchange rates in the external adjustment process. In collaboration with other institutions, we welcome the IMF’s contributions to the global regulatory reform agenda; its continued role in international tax issues; and its work on measuring and addressing illicit financial flows. We call for further efforts to strengthen the global financial safety net (GFSN) and promote a resilient international monetary and financial system, including by reconsidering elements of the IMF’s lending toolkit and deepening collaboration with regional financing arrangements.
- Facilitate global solutions to global challenges through macroeconomic analysis and policy advice: We welcome the IMF’s work on the implications of fintech for cross-border flows and financial stability, inclusion, and integrity, consistent with the Bali Fintech Agenda; on supporting countries’ efforts to enhance resilience to cyber risks through enhanced financial supervision and promotion of good practices; and on addressing the causes and consequences of the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships and helping countries deal with them. We look forward to further work on challenges faced by countries with demographic shifts. In line with its mandate, the IMF will continue to provide guidance on members’ implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. We support the IMF’s continued assistance for resilience-building in countries vulnerable to natural disasters, especially small states and low-income countries, in collaboration with other institutions. We also support the IMF’s ongoing assistance to countries affected by conflict and refugee crises.
- Adopt policy tools to lead and support change: We welcome the IMF’s efforts to enhance its surveillance through the 2020 Comprehensive Surveillance Review; the reviews of the Financial Sector Assessment Program and the policy on multiple currency practices; and work on the Data Standards Initiatives and data provision to the IMF for surveillance purposes. We support improving lending policies, including through the reviews of program design and conditionality and concessional facilities; and integrating capacity development with surveillance and lending.
IMF resources and governance
We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF to preserve its role at the center of the GFSN. We note the recent report to the Board of Governors on progress on the 15th General Review of Quotas. We request the Executive Board to continue its work on IMF resources and governance reform as a matter of the highest priority, and to report on its outcome when it concludes its work on the 15th General Review of Quotas and by no later than the Annual Meetings of 2019. We call for full implementation of the 2010 governance reforms.
To continue providing high value-added support to its members, we call on the IMF to maintain a high-quality staff and strengthen efforts to meet the 2020 diversity benchmarks; and look forward to the IMF’s initiatives to modernize its operations, including through the timely conclusion of the comprehensive review of compensation and benefits. We support increasing gender diversity in the Executive Board.
Our next meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., on October 19, 2019.
Section D: Canada’s engagement in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development operations
The EBRD Act came into force in 1991 and provides the legal framework for Canada’s membership in the EBRD. As a founding member and the eighth-largest shareholder in the Bank, Canada actively contributes to the development of EBRD policies while providing oversight of the Bank’s financial activities. This is primarily achieved through Canada’s seats on the Board of Governors and Board of Directors.
As laid out in section 7 of the EBRD Act, the Minister of Finance is required to provide to Parliament an annual report of operations containing a general summary of all actions taken under the Act, including their sustainable development and human rights aspects. This section meets these reporting requirements.
For more information, refer to the text of the EBRD Act on Justice Canada’s website: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act.
Governance and representation
Canada’s capital subscriptions and shareholding
As of December 31, 2018, the EBRD had 69 shareholders: 67 countries, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. India joined the Bank in July 2018. The EBRD is active in 38 economies in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.
The EBRD’s share capital is provided by member countries that hold proportional voting rights. Decision-making power is primarily exercised by member countries through their representatives on the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors.
Canada is the eighth-largest shareholder of the EBRD, with its shares representing 3.4% or €1.02 billion of the institution’s capital. Of Canada’s total share, €213 million is paid-in capital and the remaining is callable capital.
|Note: Figures are from the 2018 financial report for the EBRD.|
|Capital subscriptions and contributions||1,020.49|
|Amount paid in||212.85|
|Amount not paid in but contingent on future capital requirements||807.64|
|Subscription or contributions share (%)||3.43|
|Voting power (%)||3.43|
Information on the EBRD’s 2018 fiscal year (January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018) is provided in its Annual Review and Financial Report. Further information on the EBRD’s performance can be found in the Sustainability Report and Transition Report. The Bank releases considerable information on its various activities. Bank publications include information guides (such as the Guide to EBRD Financing), evaluation reports, special reports, country strategies, and assorted fact sheets. Information can be obtained on the Bank’s website.
Requests for EBRD information can be addressed to:
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London, EC2A 2JN
Canada at the Board of Governors
The highest authority in the EBRD is the Board of Governors. The Board meets annually and approves the EBRD’s Annual Review, net income allocation and financial statements, the independent auditor’s report, the election of the chair and vice-chair for the next Annual Meeting, as well as other items requiring governors’ approval. Governors provide a written statement at the EBRD annual meetings. Canada’s statement outlines its priorities at the Bank.
A Governor and an Alternate Governor represent each of the 69 shareholders. The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, is the Canadian Governor. Ian Shugart, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the Alternate Governor during 2018-2019. Marta Morgan is Canada’s current Alternate Governor, effective May 2019.
To learn more about the governance of the Board of Governors, please visit the EBRD’s Board of Governors webpage.
Canada at the Executive Board
The Board of Directors is responsible for the general operations of the Bank. It comprises 23 members, with each representing either one member or a constituency of member countries. The Board helps to set the strategic and financial course for the Bank, in consultation with the Bank’s management. Since November 2016, Canada has been represented on the EBRD Board of Directors by Douglas Nevison. The director for Canada also represents Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia at the EBRD Board of Directors.
To learn more about the governance of the Executive Board, please visit the EBRD’s website. The office of the Director for Canada, Morocco, Jordan, and Tunisia, can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Canada at board committees
The Board of Directors has established four committees to oversee Bank activities: the Board Steering Group, the Audit Committee, the Budget and Administrative Affairs Committee, and the Financial and Operations Policies Committee. This division of labour is consistent with good corporate governance practices and provides an appropriate system of checks, balances and incentives. In addition, the structure ensures a more effective discussion by the Board, once initiatives are ready for approval.
The Board Steering Group is responsible for the coordination of the committees’ work programs to avoid overlap and ensure timely completion. In addition to some administrative duties, the Group’s chair is the main liaison between the Board of Directors and management. In 2018, the Group was chaired by the Director for the European Union.
The Audit Committee’s primary objective is to ensure that the financial information reported by the Bank is complete, accurate, relevant and timely. The Committee oversees the integrity of the Bank’s financial statements, and the compliance of its accounting and reporting policies with the requirements set out in the International Financial Reporting System. It also reviews the EBRD’s system of internal controls and its implementation, as well as the functions of the internal audit, evaluation, compliance and risk management teams. In 2018, the Committee was chaired by the Director for Canada, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia.
The Budget and Administrative Affairs Committee is responsible for ensuring that the Bank’s budgetary, staff and administrative resources are aligned with its strategic priorities. To this end, the Committee reviews the medium-term resource framework, annual budgets and the business plan. It also oversees the Bank’s human resources policies, including ethics and the Code of Conduct. In 2018, the Committee was chaired by the Director for Bulgaria, Albania and Poland.
The Financial and Operations Policies Committee oversees the Bank’s financial and operational policies, including the annual borrowing plan prepared by the Treasury Department. The Committee is responsible for the transparency and accountability of the Bank’s operations, as laid out in the Public Information Policy and the Project Complaint Mechanism. Since 2007, the Committee has also been charged with overseeing the net income allocation process. As well, it is responsible for the Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy and EBRD sector strategies. In 2018, the Committee was chaired by the Director for Belgium, Slovenia and Luxembourg.
Benefits of EBRD membership
Canada’s membership in the EBRD, and its active participation in the discussion of policy and operational issues, is an important means to help shape economic and social development in the EBRD’s countries of operations. Canada strongly supports the overriding objective of developing a strong private sector in its countries of operation by mobilizing financing for projects with a high transition impact and by providing advice and technical assistance to businesses and governments. The Bank provides Canada with a vehicle to contribute to development in transition countries that are not currently part of our bilateral development assistance programs. Furthermore, Canadians are well represented on EBRD staff. At the end of 2018, there were 36 Canadians on the staff of the EBRD, representing 1.05% of total positions.
Finally, Canada’s engagement helps to raise awareness among Canadian companies of opportunities presented by the EBRD. Canadian companies can seek financing for projects undertaken in the Bank’s countries of operations. The Bank often relies on the procurement of goods and services from the private sector to implement transition projects. Canadian consultants were awarded 30 contracts valued at €0.9 million in 2018. Canadian financial institutions also played an active role in managing EBRD global bond issuances.
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