Statistical Report on International Assistance 2016-2017

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About this report

In accordance with the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA or the Act), the Minister of International Development is required to issue the following two key reports on behalf of the Government of Canada:

The Statistical Report on International Assistance is produced on an annual basis to further enhance the efficiency and accountability of Canada's international assistance. This report covers the reporting period April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017 (fiscal year 2016–2017).

As one of the two annual reports legislated by the Act, this report provides a single source for international assistance expenditure statistics, including official development assistance (ODA) and other official assistance, for Canada as a whole.

Transparency and accountability

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring information on its international assistance funding is open and transparent.

All reports prepared in accordance with the ODAAA are available on the Development Reports web page. To further enhance the efficiency and accountability of Canada's international assistance, Global Affairs Canada also provides all Canadian international development statistical data on its Open Data web portal.

In addition, Global Affairs Canada provides detailed and up-to-date information on its international assistance projects on the Project Browser application. This information is also published daily in accordance with the standard of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), of which Canada is a member and outgoing chair.

Finance Canada and the International Development Research Centre also publish data in accordance with the IATI standard.

Understanding this report

This report is presented on an expenditures basis and uses international standards that facilitate historical comparison of Canada’s ODA as well as comparison with reports from other international assistance donors.

Expenditures are counted when the payment is recorded in the accounting systems, with the understanding that organizations receiving Canadian funding would utilize it over the length of the project.

Repayments of loans previously extended to developing countries are shown for information purposes (see appendices 1 and 2).

Certain costs (e.g. refugee resettlement costs) are calculated based on agreed-upon international standards. Such standards are regularly revised in forums such as the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC).

Scope of international assistance statistics

International assistance includes all financial resources provided by Canadian governments (federal, provincial, or municipal) toward development assistance.

The International Assistance Envelope (IAE) is the Government of Canada’s dedicated pool of resources and main budget planning tool to support international assistance objectives.

The IAE funds over 85% of Canada’s international assistance. The envelope is used to fund the majority of Canada’s ODAAA-related activities and other specific activities that do not meet the definition of ODA, such as certain peace and security efforts.

Canada’s International Assistance (IA)

Infographic: Scope of international assistance statistics

Note: overseas programs that are not ODA, nor funded by the IAE, such as military operations, are not considered international assistance.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) represents the vast majority of Canada’s international assistance. Canada accepts two definitions of ODA:

  1. ODA, as defined by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC). This definition is used to compare ODA among donors.
  2. ODA, as defined by Canada’s Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (denoted as ODAAA). This definition is used in Government of Canada publications.
  1. The OECD-DAC defines ODA as flows to countries and territories on the DAC List of ODA Recipients and to multilateral institutions. Funding must meet the following criteria:
    1. provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and
    2. each transaction of which:
      1. is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective; and
      2. is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25% (calculated at a rate of discount of 10%).
  2. Canada’s ODAAA spending is compatible with the definition above, but in addition must meet the three criteria set out in Section 4.1 of the Act: a) contribute to poverty reduction; b) take into account the perspectives of the poor; and c) be consistent with international human rights standards.

Given the ODAAA applies to federal spending only, it excludes international assistance provided by provinces, territories and municipalities. International assistance to alleviate the effects of a disaster or other emergencies occurring in an ODA-eligible country is also counted as ODA under the Act.

Canada’s international assistance by department or source

2016–2017 disbursements in C$ millions on a gross basis
 of which
DEPARTMENT/SOURCEInternational assistancePrograms funded by the IAEODA: ODAAA (Statistical Report)Footnote *ODA: OECD-DACFootnote **
Departments reporting under the ODAAAGlobal Affairs Canada4,176.064,102.983,907.123,907.12
Department of Finance Canada492.82492.82492.82492.82
International Development Research Centre146.37146.37146.37146.37
Royal Canadian Mounted Police26.3626.3626.0326.03
Environment and Climate Change Canada16.638.4616.6316.63
Department of National Defence4.45-4.454.45
Canada Revenue Agency1.82-1.821.82
Public Health Agency of Canada1.04-1.041.04
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada1.01-1.011.01
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Labour Program0.98-0.980.98
Natural Resources Canada0.76-0.760.76
Parks Canada0.72-0.720.72
Canada Post - Universal Postal Union0.40-0.400.40
Canadian Food Inspection Agency0.39-0.390.39
Statistics Canada0.20-0.200.20
Royal Canadian Mint0.07-0.070.07
Canadian Intellectual Property Office0.03-0.030.03
Health Canada0.01-0.010.01
Cost of refugees in Canada (1st year) - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada397.90-397.90397.90
Services received without charge by Global Affairs Canada19.40-19.4019.40
Subtotal - Departments reporting under the ODAAA5,287.414,777.005,018.145,018.14
% of international assistance 90%95%95%
Other departments, sourcesCost of refugees in Canada (1st year) - Provincial Governments208.24--208.24
Imputed foreign student subsidies72.72--72.72
Provinces, territories and municipalities38.41--38.41
Subtotal - Other departments, sources319.37--319.37
Total 5,606.774,777.005,018.145,337.50
% of total international assistance 85%90%95%

Canada uses a whole-of-government approach to deliver effective results

Finance CanadaFootnote 1 manages Canada’s relationship with the World Bank Group, including the International Development Association (IDA), as well as the relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in addition to multilateral and bilateral debt relief initiatives.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world.

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  • Global Affairs Canada: $4,176M; 74%
  • Finance Canada: $493M; 9%
  • IDRC: $146M; 3%
  • Other Departments and Provinces, Territories and Municipalities: $792M; 14%
  • Total: $5.6BFootnote 2

  • International Security and Democratic Development, $656M
  • International Development, $2,717M
  • International Humanitarian Assistance $803M

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police deploys Canadian police in fragile and conflict-affected countries to provide technical assistance and capacity building.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provides health care and financial assistance to refugees arriving in Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada supports various organizations to assist developing countries in improving environmental conditions and aiding climate change adaptation and contributes to various channels of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Canadian provinces and territories support a wide variety of development projects.

Global Affairs Canada leads Canada’s international assistance efforts to reduce poverty and inequality by leveraging Canadian expertise and financial resources, providing bilateral development assistance and institutional support to multilateral organizations, humanitarian assistance responses, as well as security and stability assistance in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Geographic distribution of Canada’s international assistance

Includes bilateral and estimated multilateral assistance

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Top 20 recipients of Canada’s international assistance
13Congo, Dem. Rep.50,018,39841,694,78591,713,184
11IraqFootnote 1101,059,8881,598,590102,658,478
8South Sudan111,908,9122,924,970114,833,882
7SyriaFootnote 5120,688,3112,151,772122,840,083

HDI RankFootnote 6: 169/188

Widespread poverty and the deterioration of the country’s infrastructure from ongoing conflict have left many Afghans without access to basic services. In 2016–2017, Afghanistan was the largest recipient of Canadian international assistance. Canadian support is helping to create a more peaceful environment that is safe and secure for all Afghans by strengthening the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and supporting the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to eliminate all known landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Afghanistan by 2023. Canadian development initiatives in Afghanistan are framed by a “Women’s and Girls’ Right’s First” approach toward health, education, and women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment programming.

HDI RankFootnote 6: 174/188

Canada’s development assistance program in Ethiopia focuses on increasing agriculture, food security and nutrition for the poorest and most vulnerable; fostering economic growth, particularly targeting women and youth entrepreneurs; ending child, early and forced marriage; addressing sexual and gender-based violence against women, and sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescent girls; and promoting accountable governance and pluralism. Canada’s assistance improves year-round access to food and helps men and women farmers improve their agricultural productivity, to build their resilience to climate change through better soil and water conservation practices, as well as improve their access to markets. This assistance is particularly important to reduce vulnerability to hunger and malnutrition due to frequent drought conditions.

HDI RankFootnote 6: 86/188
Since the onset of the Syrian conflict, Jordan has provided refuge to over 700,000 Syrians. This influx of people is straining the Government of Jordan’s ability to meet the needs of its citizens in health, education, water and municipal service delivery. As a response, Canada’s assistance to Jordan has increased dramatically over the past few years, from being the 19th recipient of Canadian assistance in 2014–2015 to second in 2016–2017. In line with Canada’s Middle East strategy in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria, Canada’s programming in Jordan is strengthening the resilience and capacity of government, communities and people in education, economic growth and municipal service delivery.

Responding quickly and effectively to international humanitarian crises

Top bilateral humanitarian assistance partners and initiatives

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Top 15 recipients of bilateral humanitarian assitance ($M)
15Central Afr. Rep.11.8
10West Bank and Gaza23.3
9Dem. Rep. of Congo25.9
5South Sudan50.2
1SyriaFootnote 598.9

Canada spent $823M in humanitarian assistance in 2016 – 2017Footnote 7

Note: Bilateral humanitarian assistance refers to assistance for specific countries or emergencies.


The ongoing Syrian conflict resulted in 6.3 million internally displaced people and increasing humanitarian needs. Canada’s humanitarian programming in Syria focussed on life-saving assistance such as food assistance, safe water treatment, health services and support to protect civilians. Programming also contributes to addressing sexual and gender-based violence and meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls.

Jordan / Iraq / Lebanon

Canadian support assisted thousands of Syrian refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons with cash assistance, food, shelter, protection, and health and education services in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as in Egypt, Turkey and Syria. Sexual and gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health needs were also addressed in Canadian programming.

South Sudan

Ongoing conflict and ethnic violence, massive population displacement, widespread human rights violations and rapid economic decline contributed to increased humanitarian needs in South Sudan. Canada’s support included the provision of food, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as increasing access to emergency and basic health services for vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls.

Responding to regional crises

In order to respond to regional crises and protracted humanitarian situations, Canada also provides funding through an established international humanitarian response system that includes the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, experienced non-governmental organizations and UN organizations, such as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF and the World Food Programme.

Canada’s major financial commitments

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

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Canada’s bilateral aid targeting or integrating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, 2011-2022
 Average 2011–20162016–20172021–2022

In 2017, through its Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada committed to increasing to 95% the proportion of its bilateral international development assistance investments that target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2021–2022. In fiscal year 2016–2017, Canada reached the 82% target for integrated and targeted programming. The Policy will contribute directly to progress on the sustainable development goal 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), while also supporting the 2030 Agenda’s other goals and targets.

Canada’s strategy for Gender equality and empowering women and girls

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

In June 2017, the Government of Canada launched Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy that seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world. It will be put into action through six action areas:

  • Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
  • Human dignity;
  • Growth that works for everyone;
  • Environment and climate action;
  • Inclusive governance; and
  • Peace and security

The policy is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Infographic: Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

In 2017, as part of its commitment to the empowerment of women and girls and gender equality, Canada announced $650 million over 3 years to support a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and adolescents. This includes the full range of SRHR services, including safe, legal abortion and post-abortion care; family planning; comprehensive sexuality education; and prevention of all forms of sexual and gender-based violence.

Canada’s commitment to SRHR announcement, including a list of recently approved projects

Strong focus on health

Canada has long supported the improvement of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), as reflected in its commitment to intensify efforts for 2015–2020 by pledging to spend $3.5 billion. This support has focused on strengthening health systems, reducing the burden of disease, improving nutrition and improving data generation and use. Canada is well on track to reaching its goal, having spent $1.38 billion within the first 2 fiscal years on initiatives aiming to improve access to health care and nutrition, and reduce illness and disease for the target population.

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Canada’s MNCH Financing (2010-2020):

  • MNCH Assistance, 2010–2015, $2.85B
  • MNCH Assistance, 2015–2016, $635M
  • MNCH Assistance, 2016–2017, $741M
  • Planned for 2017–2020, $2.1B
  • Total for 2015–2020, $3.5B

Environment and climate action

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Canada’s international climate financing (Cumulative, 2015-2021):

  • 2015–2016 $168M
  • 2015–2017 $430.4M
  • 2015–2021 Total $2,65B

Canada is delivering on its pledge to contribute $2.65 billion between 2015 and 2020 toward climate change projects and initiatives in developing countries. Between 2015 and 2017, Canada disbursed over $430 million on projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase climate resilience, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable. So far, Canada’s assistance helped financing a great variety of projects, including strengthening climate risk management in Africa, developing climate smart agriculture in Central America and supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Caribbean. This action on climate change supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

Canada’s Global environmental protection strategy

Canada’s Middle East Strategy

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Canada’s Disbursements in the Middle East for Security, Humanitarian Assistance, and Development Assistance:

  • 2016-2017 disbursements, $429M
  • Planned 2017-2020 disbursements, $871M
  • Total target for 2020: $1,3B

In February 2016, Canada announced its renewed and enhanced strategy in the Middle East in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impact on Jordan and Lebanon. Canada’s Middle East Strategy will allocate $2 billion over three years to the region for humanitarian, development and security assistance, as well as to the Operation IMPACT military mission.Footnote 8 A significant portion of this amount, $1.3 billion, is under Global Affairs Canada’s responsibility and focuses on security for civilians, humanitarian assistance and development assistance. During 2016–2017 Canada spent $429 million on these 3 objectives, providing food assistance, protection and education for those affected by the Syrian crisis in that country and in surrounding countries.

Canada’s Middle East engagement strategy

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