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© UNICEF / Urdaneta

Report to parliament on the Government of Canada’s international assistance 2020-2021

Table of contents

Volume 1

Message from the Minister of International Development and Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The past year was undeniably a difficult one. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating social and economic impact on many countries. In 2020-2021, the world witnessed the first increase in extreme poverty in 2 decades. We saw food insecurity grow to unprecedented levels, education disrupted on a global scale, and the emergence of a “shadow pandemic” as reports of sexual and gender-based violence increased around the globe. Further, we witnessed an increase in the circulation of disinformation and threats to democracy at large.

In response, Canada has advocated for fair and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. We have continued to address financial stresses caused by the pandemic and support global efforts to stabilize the economies of developing countries. Notably, last year Canada doubled its international climate finance commitment to help developing countries meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“The pandemic has brought into sharp relief the interconnectedness of our world and reinforced the importance of global collaboration and the value of a rules-based multilateral system.”

Canada and our partners have worked tirelessly to respond to the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, through support for food security, education, humanitarian responses, equitable economic growth, and peace and security. Displaced communities and those affected by conflict have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and Canada has played a leadership role to address the devastating impacts of crises and conflict in countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Haiti, Afghanistan and Venezuela. And, most recently Canada has provided steadfast humanitarian support to Ukraine and its people following Russia’s brutal attack, working with our international partners.

Beyond this, events close to home and around the world have highlighted the importance of doing more to fight racism and promote greater diversity and inclusion. In response, Canada launched a number of ambitious initiatives to reduce inequality and apply a human rights based approach to all the work we do.

Of course, none of our work would be possible without our partners. The Canadian international development sector plays a critical role in designing, delivering and monitoring our international assistance programming— and we know that this year was a difficult one for them. Their resilience and adaptability in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed Canada to respond quickly and effectively to the extraordinary operational challenges the pandemic has presented.

This report highlights the significant results achieved in 2020-21 by Canada’s international assistance as we continue to implement the Feminist International Assistance Policy. Over the past year, Canada’s international assistance has focused on stopping the pandemic and responding to its social, political and economic effects in developing countries, while making every effort to maintain momentum toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We are proud of the work we have accomplished this year and the concrete results that have been achieved—on behalf of all Canadians—to promote an inclusive and sustainable pandemic recovery, and ultimately, build a world that is more peaceful and prosperous for all.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan
Minister of International Development

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Message from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Canada is committed to building a stable, peaceful, and more prosperous world that protects human rights, advances gender equality, upholds justice, and helps grow prosperous communities and economies.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy has helped more than 30 million vulnerable people by funding projects aimed at eliminating child, early, and forced marriage; and preventing, responding to, and ending sexual violence, including female genital mutilation. Canada has committed to allocating no less than 95 per cent of its bilateral international assistance to projects advancing gender equality by 2021-22. These efforts are generating results, such as the world’s first investment by a donor country focused on paid and unpaid care work, which Canada made in 2021.

Urgent action is needed to support people living in regions of the world that are most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of climate change. That is why, in 2021, Canada doubled its international climate finance commitment to $5.3 billion over five years and called for its international partners to follow suit.

In the wake of Russia’s barbaric and ongoing war in Ukraine, there is a dire need today for emergency international assistance. Russia’s war has forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes, causing the greatest migration crisis in Europe since the Second World War. Canada will continue to stand with Ukraine and work with its international partners to uphold peace, democracy, and the rules-based international order.

Together with the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am pleased to present the Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance 2020–2021.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance


Executive summary and highlights

The world has witnessed a series of cascading crises this past year—from the COVID-19 pandemic to threats to international peace and security to the increasing difficulties of the climate crisis. Despite these challenges, Canada has continued to improve the lives of millions of people and address global inequities through international assistance programming.

Supporting the global response to the pandemic

Canada has been a leader in the global effort to stop COVID-19 and address its devastating health, social, economic and security impacts. To date, Canada has committed $2.7 billion in international assistance to fight the pandemic. In 2020-2021, Canada provided $1.97 billion in humanitarian and development assistance, including reprioritizing $370 million for international partners to pivot project activities to address pandemic-related needs. Canada made an additional $1 billion available for International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to low-income countries to promote an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic and help low-income countries facing liquidity challenges. Complementing this funding, Canada’s leadership as part of the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative focused on identifying concrete policy options to guide global economic recovery efforts.

Facilitating equitable access to vaccines

The pandemic exacerbated inequalities between nations, as citizens in the richest countries quickly received life-saving vaccines, while those in developing countries were left waiting. Canada has played a leadership role in the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX Facility by committing $1.3 billion to promote equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. Canada is working with international partners to improve the global capacity to manufacture vaccines. For example, by supporting the establishment of the South Africa Technology Transfer Hub in October 2021, Canada is building Africa’s capacity to develop and produce mRNA vaccines and technologies in the future.

Bringing about change through the Feminist International Assistance Policy

The Feminist International Assistance Policy commits Canada to direct 95% of its bilateral international development assistance toward projects that advance gender equality. These efforts are generating significant and lasting results. In the last 2 years, Canada has reached more than 34 million people through projects aimed at ending sexual and gender-based violence, including harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation and cutting.

Canada has taken steps to safeguard women’s and girl’s rights, strengthening the ability of some 2000 women’s organizations and movements in more than 100 countries to promote gender equality, end discrimination and empower women and girls. In 2020-2021 Canada provided $23 million to Women’s Voice and Leadership initiatives and dedicated $195 million for support to the Equality Fund. In addition, Canada has worked with women’s rights organizations to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services and raise awareness of the heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

The Sustainable Development Goals – more important than ever

Since the beginning of the pandemic, extreme poverty has spiked for the first time in 3 decades and 320 million people lack access to adequate food. More than a billion children have experienced schooling disruptions. These trends illustrate the urgent need to redouble our efforts to advance progress toward meeting the SDGs by 2030. In 2021, UN member states, including Canada, re-committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the blueprint for building back better after the pandemic. In February 2021, Canada released its national strategy for the 2030 Agenda, Moving Forward Together, which details our plan to work with civil society, the private sector and all stakeholders to advance the SDGs in Canada and abroad. It lays out a clear strategy for how Canada can play its part in building a world that works for everyone – a world that leaves no one behind.

Addressing humanitarian crises during the pandemic

A recent increase in the number and intensity of armed conflicts and natural disasters has resulted in unprecedented levels of humanitarian need. In 2020-2021, Canada worked with trusted partners to provide life-saving assistance—such as food, clean water and sanitation, and health care—to those who need it most. For instance, Canada provided close to $1.2 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of some 115 million people around the world.

Responding to crises and conflict-affected countries

Increasingly, protracted and long-standing crises contribute to regional instability and increased poverty and human suffering. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for displaced populations and those affected by conflict as they often live in poor and crowded conditions with limited access to health services.

  • Canadian support for the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh helped improve the living conditions for vulnerable and conflict-affected populations in Myanmar, as well as refugees in camps and settlements in Bangladesh, and helped assist host communities. Canada sought to address root causes of both the coup and the Rohingya crisis and has led on international efforts for accountability and ending impunity.
  • Canada has also responded to humanitarian, development and stabilization needs resulting from the crisis in Venezuela. This included responding to needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants across the Latin America and Caribbean region.
  • As the second largest donor in Haiti, Canada provided assistance to address food insecurity, sexual reproductive health and rights, education and the COVID crisis as well as reinforcing institutions to strengthen the security sector.
  • In Afghanistan, Canada supported stabilization, development and humanitarian efforts, focusing on the security sector, education, health, as well as human rights and the rights of Afghan women and girls.

Working together with Canada’s partners for a more sustainable future

Canada is proud to work collaboratively with our many Canadian and global partners, and countless dedicated and inspiring individuals, who play an integral role in ensuring Canada’s international assistance achieves results and reaches those in the greatest need. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canada has issued a series of flexibility measures to facilitate project delivery. Canada recognizes that partners have continued to deliver international assistance effectively and achieve results in the face of the unique operational challenges the pandemic has posed.

Top 10 recipient of international assistance
Top 10 recipient of international assistance
Text version
1 - Ethiopia$215.50 million
2 - Afghanistan$198.55 million
3 - Bangladesh$197.46 million
4 - Tanzania$133.82 million
5 - Mali$132.93 million
6 - Mozambique$132.50 million
7 - South Sudan$129.20 million
8 - Lebanon$127.08 million
9 - Nigeria$126.56 million
10 - Democratic Republic of the Congo$120.73 million
Disbursements by action area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy
Disbursements by action area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy
Text version
Action areaInternational assistance
Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls$377 million
Global health and nutrition$2,232 million
Education$452 million
Humanitarian action$1,162 million
Jobs, opportunities and economic growth$877 million
Climate and environment$1,080 million
Inclusive governance$446 million
Peace and security$257 million

Government of Canada’s International Assistance and Official Development Assistance Disbursements by Organization, 2020–2021

The Government of Canada disbursed $8.1 billion in international assistance in 2020-2021, of which official development assistance (ODA) made up 98% or $7.9 billion. The Statistical Report on International Assistance provides further details on international assistance and ODA expenditures.

The Government of Canada delivered international assistance through 20 federal organizations.

Amount disbursed ($ million) by each of the 20 federal organizations:

Canadian International Assistance 2020-2021
Department/SourceInternational assistanceof which
Programs funded by the IAEODA: ODAAAODA: OECD-DAC*
* The “ODA: OECD-DAC” figures presented in this table are shown on a fiscal year basis, in Canadian dollars, in order to compare and contrast reporting under the ODAAA versus the ODA reported to the OECD-DAC. When Canada reports to the OECD-DAC, figures are reported on a calendar-year basis in U.S. dollars. Their depiction in this table is for illustrative purposes only. The ODAAA reports on departments gross disbursements, whereas the OECD-DAC reports on a grant equivalent basis.
** Includes costs of refugees in Canada (first year) and other projects.
Departments reporting under the ODAAA
Global Affairs Canada6,970.276,954.156,846.086,846.08
Department of Finance Canada511.50511.50503.95503.95
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada**354.49-354.49354.49
International Development Research Centre152.74152.74150.79150.79
Environment and Climate Change Canada17.179.4615.3015.30
Royal Canadian Mounted Police14.1414.1414.1414.14
Canada Revenue Agency7.
Department of National Defence7.02-7.027.02
Natural Resources Canada2.322.322.322.32
Employment and Social Development Canada - Labour Program1.75-1.751.75
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada0.90-0.900.90
Parks Canada0.83-0.830.83
Canadian Food Inspection Agency0.57-0.570.57
Canada Post - Universal Postal Union0.55-0.550.55
Statistics Canada0.13-0.130.13
Canadian Space Agency0.09-0.090.09
Canadian Intellectual Property Office0.06-0.060.06
Correctional Service Canada0.04-0.040.04
Canadian Museum of Nature0.02-0.020.02
Services received without charge from Public Services and Procurement Canada25.0711.2825.0725.07
Subtotal - Departments reporting under the ODAAA8,066.947,660.857,931.387,931.38
% of international assistance 95%98%98%
Other departments, sources
Cost of refugees in Canada (first year) - provincial governments229.88--229.88
FinDev Canada100.00--100.00
Imputed foreign student subsidies----
Provinces, territories and municipalities32.96--32.96
Subtotal - Other departments, sources362.84--362.84
% of total international assistance 91%94%98%


Canada's global response to COVID-19

Since the pandemic was officially declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020, Canada has committed more than 2.7 billion dollars in support. COVID-19 has touched every country—resulting in millions of deaths globally and devastating social and economic impacts. Health systems have been stressed and many countries have been unable to deliver essential services such as immunizations for children and access to family-planning.

The pandemic has set back development gains across all sectors and has exacerbated inequalities, both within and between countries. More than 1 billion children have experienced disruptions to their schooling and another 320 million people went without access to adequate food for the first time.

In 2020-21, Canada responded by:

  • contributing $1.97 billion in international assistance to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic, including 370 million in repurposed funding to help our partners in developing countries address urgent health needs
  • leading discussions at the United Nations (UN) as part of the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative
  • providing an unprecedented level of funding for crisis response and economic recovery in developing countries through multilateral development banks, with the World Bank Group alone committing more than US$157 billion between April 2020 and June 2021
  • making an additional $1 billion available for IMF loans to low-income countries
  • providing more than $80 million in temporary debt service relief for the poorest countries through the G20 and Paris Club agreed Debt Service Suspension Initiative

Canada’s International COVID-19 Response: Key Events Timeline

Canada’s key COVID-19 commitments

Canada took a leading role in responding to the pandemic, organizing its response around 3 pillars:

  • addressing COVID-19’s immediate health impacts and providing support for testing, treatments and vaccines
  • supporting an equitable economic recovery by focusing on enabling financial liquidity and stability for developing countries
  • working to help the most vulnerable by addressing the pandemic’s socio-economic effects, including through support for humanitarian assistance, education and food security
Fighting the pandemic

In 2020-2021, Canada co-chaired the Development Ministers’ Contact Group on COVID-19 and participated in the Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19. Canada acted quickly to address the acute phase of the pandemic. This included support for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a platform launched by the WHO and health partners to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 medical interventions. Canada joined the global ACT-Accelerator platform as a co-lead and co-hosted its first pledging event in May 2020.

Canada has been a strong advocate for equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. The government contributed $90 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and acted as the co-lead of the vaccine pillar (COVAX) under the ACT-Accelerator to speed up the development, testing and licensing of vaccines. Canada co-hosted a vaccines and therapeutics pledging conference alongside the European Union and Japan, raising US$8 billion to better test for and treat COVID-19, particularly in vulnerable countries.

Over the course of 2020-2021, Canada committed $940 million to the platform and reallocated US$25 million to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) through the completion of an AMC related to pneumococcal disease. The reallocation was part of the seed funding to which GAVI donors agreed to in support of the launch of the COVAX AMC in June 2020.

The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and girls in developing countries. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, sexual and gender-based violence has emerged as a shadow pandemic, with the number of reports of domestic violence skyrocketing around the world. As a direct result of the pandemic, 10 million more cases of child marriage are expected in the next decade. Global maternal and fetal outcomes have worsened, with the number of maternal deaths and stillbirths increasing.

To enable women to access the support and services they need during the pandemic, Canada committed more than $9 million in funding to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage, and to access contraceptives and safe abortion services. In recognition of the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on women and girls as frontline workers and caregivers, Canada has called for greater attention to the issue of paid and unpaid care work.

Safeguarding and supporting critical health services

Throughout the pandemic, Canadian partners have played an important role in supporting the health sectors in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Haiti. In total, $52.8 million was committed in 2020-2021 to projects working to:

  • support the dissemination of science-based information and increase public awareness of COVID-19
  • strengthen community-based health and social services to minimize the gendered impact of the pandemic on health systems, social services and economic activity
  • support health-care staff through additional training on COVID-19 screening, detection and prevention
  • provide health-care workers and community health volunteers with appropriate protective gear
  • improve water, sanitation and hygiene in health-care facilities and project areas

Through this support, more than 48,000 health-care workers were trained and some 10 million men and women were provided with information on preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence.

Managing stresses and stabilizing economies

Canada provided debt relief to the poorest countries through the Paris Club and the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. In 2020-2021, Canada successfully advocated for a broad set of countries to be included in these initiatives, including least developed countries and small island developing states.

To help meet the unprecedented demand from low-income countries for financial support, Canada increased its loan commitment to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust from $2 billion to $3 billion. Canada has been a leading advocate for the continued free flow of essential goods and services. This included acting as chair of the Ottawa Group on World Trade Organization reform, which endorsed a COVID-19 action plan focused on trade facilitation, and trade and health.

Supporting the most vulnerable and reinforcing recovery

Canada drew international attention to the pandemic-related food security crisis through its leadership in the UN’s Group of Friends for Food Security and Nutrition, the G20 and the G7. Canada invested almost $159 million in agriculture, food security and nutrition response programming. Canada allocated $99 million to respond to educational disruptions and school closures. In February 2021, Canada launched the Together for Learning campaign to promote quality education and lifelong learning for children and youth who are refugees, forcibly displaced or living in host communities.

Canada provided critical support to address humanitarian needs as needs continued to grow throughout the pandemic. Canada was one of the first countries to provide ongoing flexible funding to humanitarian partners such as the WHO’s Central Fund for Emergencies, which allowed the WHO to rapidly scale up its initial response to outbreaks in vulnerable regions. With the support of Canada and other donors, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and Country Based Pooled Funds were able to allocate more than US$490 million to humanitarian partners in 48 countries. These funds provided US$226 million to international and national NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, and other local partners who provided the frontline response to the virus.

Results in focus

Canada provided a total of $90 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to research, develop and deploy vaccines. Through support from Canada and other donors, CEPI developed the world’s largest portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including 4 that showed clinical efficacy in preventing severe disease and 2 that received WHO emergency use licences. CEPI has invested in the “next generation” of vaccines to respond to new emerging variants.

Canada is a leading supporter of COVAX Facility’s Advance Market Commitment window, which focuses on supporting low- and middle-income economies. As a supporter of the facility, Canada helped ship more than 37 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 53 Advance Market Commitment countries and territories between February 24 and March 31, 2021. Through our participation in the ACT-Accelerator diagnostics pillar, Canada has helped to:

  • reserve 120 million rapid antigen tests for low- and middle-income countries
  • procure more than 32 million molecular tests and 32 million rapid antigen tests for low- and middle-income countries
  • train more than 23,000 health workers in almost 200 countries

Canada supported partner countries and organizations’ response to COVID-19 in a variety of ways, including:

  • providing 400,000 items of PPE, valued at $3 million, to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which were distributed to 27 member countries
  • providing 690,000 items of PPE, valued at $4.5 million, to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat and 6 ASEAN member states
  • providing more than 4.5 million items of PPE and critical medical supplies to 23 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean thanks to $7.5 million allocated to the Pan-American Health Organization
  • providing a $5 million grant from the Weapons Threat Reduction Program (WTRP) to the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide 27 COVID-19 diagnostics toolkits to 25 partner countries
  • helping acquire PPE and other critical supplies for the Institut Pasteur de Laos and fully equipping 20 mobile diagnostic laboratories for the National Health Laboratory Service in South Africa

Key initiatives in the spotlight

Transportation of Covax humanitarian and medical supplies

Bangladesh, 2021 - Transportation of Covax humanitarian and medical supplies.

© UNICEF / Chakma

Getting supplies to those in need

In May 2020, the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued an appeal for assistance to transport urgently needed medical and humanitarian supplies to countries around the world. In response, in July 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces airlifted and delivered 82,500 kg of COVID-19 related humanitarian and medical supplies to various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on behalf of the World Food Programme and the WHO. Canada was one of only 3 countries that responded to the UN’s global request for assistance.

Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

Through the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative, Canada led discussions, alongside Jamaica and the UN, to promote an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. Launched in May 2020, this initiative identified more than 250 concrete policy options to help guide global economic recovery efforts. To date, Canada has co-hosted 3 meetings of heads of state and government to galvanize joint action for the least developed countries and small island developing states.

Responding to local needs

Operating in more than 130 countries, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) has strong connections with local civil society organizations. When the pandemic began, this allowed Canada to respond quickly to requests for assistance from local partners and repurpose funding to focus on COVID-19. In 2020-2021, a total of 315 CFLI projects supported local organizations in 114 countries to prepare for, respond to or recover from the pandemic.

Tackling pandemic misinformation

Canadian media partners worked with Journalists for Human Rights to address misinformation regarding the pandemic in 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. Canada also partnered with BBC Media Action in 4 countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to address the primary and secondary effects of COVID-19 in local communities. Both projects involved engaging with trusted and influential local media organizations and led to results such as:

  • 300 journalists receiving training and mentoring
  • producing 1,200 scientifically sound local stories
  • producing radio and television segments looking at the effects of the pandemic on marginalized groups and those facing vulnerabilities, with a specific focus on women and girls
  • updating and sharing reports with humanitarian actors and organizations
Providing tax administrators with tools during the pandemic

Through the Knowledge Sharing Platform for Tax Administrations (KSPTA), tax officials from more than 200 jurisdictions and 25 international and regional organizations share information and make use of tools hosted on the platform. In 2020-2021, the KSPTA helped provide tax officials with information on emergency initiatives, business continuity and resumption plans in response to the pandemic.

Protecting those facing vulnerabilities

In response to the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provided funding to the International Organization for Migration to deliver COVID-19 pre-departure medical services for all refugees resettling in Canada. This included providing testing, isolation services, pre-boarding health checks and vaccinations, where available.

Studying the long-term impact of the pandemic

In 2020-2021, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) invested nearly $55 million in COVID-19 programming in more than 65 countries. These investments have focused on priorities ranging from health protection for marginalized people to supporting adaptations in education, with a particular focus on gender equality and inclusion. More than 60 IDRC-supported research projects are currently studying the impact of the pandemic as well as developing and testing effective interventions.

Providing policing support during the COVID-19 pandemic

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Canadian Police Arrangement made the difficult decision to repatriate many of its police officers from overseas peace operations. However, not a single mission was completely closed down. Instead, the RCMP’s International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations program reduced deployment numbers or continued their activities virtually. Those officers who were deployed during the pandemic were provided enhanced medical screening, COVID-19 specific training, in-mission support and PPE supplies.

Supporting civil society partners’ COVID-19 response

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) have been at the forefront of Canada’s global response. Partners pivoted to deliver international assistance programming remotely and engaged more with local partners. Canada streamlined processes to amend projects, top-up projects’ budgets and approve new projects focusing on COVID-19. In 2020-2021, Canada allocated close to $166 million in COVID-19 international assistance funding to more than 60 Canadian CSO partners. This funding was used to adapt or implement close to 100 projects addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic in a range of sectors. As a result, Canadian partners were able to:

  • support health systems to prevent the spread of infection and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic
  • provide support for education, including distance learning, teacher training, child protection and psychosocial support
  • work to prevent sexual and gender-based violence
  • support for the safe return to school
  • combat COVID-19 disinformation

Canada’s support for World Vision Canada’s Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Asia (ENRICH) innovative initiative had significant results in 2020-2021. These included:

  • training more than 6,000 health workers and volunteers on COVID-19 prevention and case management in Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Tanzania
  • equipping 13 facilities with telehealth communication equipment and connecting them to telemedicine services
  • reaching some 4.9 million people through radio ads about sexual and gender-based violence and COVID-19 prevention
  • providing more than 4.5 million people with COVID-19 health promotion and sensitization information

Canada supported the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s (PWRDF’s) COVID-19 response activities in Burundi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania. Working with 4 local partners, PWRDF focused on aggressive measures to interrupt transmission, identify and isolate cases, trace contacts, as well as continue maternal, newborn and child health services. In addition, 2.5 million people were able to access health services and more than 75 health facilities received PPE, medical supplies and training for their employees.

Addressing the global financing gap

International financial institutions are helping to deal with an annual financing gap to achieve the SDGs and promote a green recovery. The UN estimates this gap could total up to US$3.7 trillion annually. To address this, the IMF has provided 90 countries with more than US$170 billion in financial assistance since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Canada provided more than $1.4 billion to multilateral development banks in 2020-2021. This included more than $423 million to the International Development Association of the World Bank, which has used the funding to deliver a swift, targeted and agile response to the pandemic in low-income countries.

Stories of change

Promoting health in the streets of Buenos Aires

Canada helped homeless people in Buenos Aires get access to basic health services and mental health support.

Using the power of radio to fight COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa

Canadian funding helped radio stations in sub-Saharan Africa to raise awareness about COVID-19.

Working on the ground to fight COVID-19 in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, health workers gave out masks and life-saving messages about COVID-19.

Canada in the world: International assistance in action

2030 Agenda and the SDGs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global framework that includes 17 indivisible and interrelated SDGs as well as their targets and indicators. These goals work together to balance the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UN member states, including Canada, recommitted to the 2030 Agenda as the blueprint for recovery. They reaffirmed the goal of reaching the SDGs to build more sustainable, peaceful, just, equitable, inclusive and resilient societies, and to address the inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

In 2021, Canada released a national strategy to guide efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda. Canada is committed to taking a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to implementing the agenda at home and abroad. Global Affairs Canada has developed a departmental strategy to promote greater coherence and effectiveness in supporting the achievement of the 2030 Agenda internationally.

Key initiatives in the spotlight
Continuing our commitment to realizing the SDGs globally

Canada engages bilaterally and multilaterally to advocate for and contribute to the 2030 Agenda. These international efforts recognize the importance of working with governments, Indigenous peoples, civil society, the private sector, academics, the non-profit and voluntary communities, and other stakeholders.

In February 2021, Canada released Moving Forward Together – Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy. It aims to foster an enabling environment for whole-of-society participation in implementing the 2030 Agenda and advancing the SDGs in Canada and abroad. The strategy builds on the 30 actions and 5 core principles outlined in the Towards Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy, and lays out how the government will contribute to advancing the strategy.

To monitor progress on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, Canada has implemented a Canadian Indicator Framework to complement the Global Indicator Framework. It lays the foundation for Canada to track and report on progress toward achieving the SDGs at home. The data is publicly available on the Statistics Canada SDG Data Hub website.

Implementing the 2030 Agenda

In 2020-2021, the Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program, which supports Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy, assisted projects that helped to:

  • increase public awareness of the SDGs
  • facilitate improved social, economic and environmental outcomes for Canadians
  • advance Canada’s implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda in general

Internationally, Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy, Feminist International Assistance Policy, Inclusive Approach to Trade, and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security all worked toward achieving the 2030 Agenda. Canada’s emphasis on supporting the poorest and most vulnerable in addition to our focus on gender equality aligns with the 2030 Agenda’s commitment to leave no one behind.

Monitoring and evaluating progress

Statistics Canada co-chairs the UN’s Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators that developed and is implementing the global indicator framework for the 2030 Agenda. During 2020-2021, the group shared experiences and best practices on monitoring the SDGs, reviewing methodological developments and developing a work stream on data disaggregation. Statistic Canada prepared and presented a report on COVID-19 and the SDG indicators for the UN’s Statistical Commission, which examined the effects of the pandemic on progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Moving closer to achieving the SDGs

In July 2020, Canada participated in the UN’s High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, the UN’s first major virtual conference during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada’s Ministers of International Development, as well as Children, Families, and Social Development presented a joint national statement by pre-recorded video. Canada’s delegation included federal government officials and non-governmental stakeholders, including Indigenous representatives and youth.

In 2021, Global Affairs Canada launched a departmental strategy for implementing the 2030 Agenda. The goal was to apply a sustainable development lens to all of Canada’s international engagement efforts to accelerate progress to achieving the SDGs during the Decade of Action.

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 1 - No poverty

No poverty

Sustainable Development Goals 2 - Zero hunger

Zero hunger

Sustainable Development Goals 3 - Good health and well-being

Good health and well-being

Sustainable Development Goals 4 - Quality education

Quality education

Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Sustainable Development Goals 6 - Clean water and sanitation

Clean water and sanitation

Sustainable Development Goals 7 - Affordable and clean energy

Affordable and clean energy

Sustainable Development Goals 8 - Decent work and economic growth

Decent work and economic growth

Sustainable Development Goals 9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Sustainable Development Goals 10 - Reduced inequalities

Reduced inequalities

Sustainable Development Goals 11 - Sustainable cities and communities

Sustainable cities and communities

Sustainable Development Goals 12 - Responsible consumption and production

Responsible consumption and production

Sustainable Development Goals 13 - Climate action

Climate action

Sustainable Development Goals 14 - Life below water

Life below water

Sustainable Development Goals 15 - Life on land

Life on land

Sustainable Development Goals 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Sustainable Development Goals 17 - Partnerships for the goals

Partnerships for the goals

© Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE)

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 2 - Zero hunger

Zero hunger

Sustainable Development Goals 10 - Reduced inequalities

Reduced inequalities

Sustainable Development Goals 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Gender inequality remains pervasive in many parts of the world, resulting in discrimination, violence and socio-economic marginalization. This prevents women, girls and gender-diverse people from being powerful actors and agents of change in their own lives and in their communities.

Across all areas of our work, almost 93% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance investments targeted or integrated gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

The pandemic has further stalled progress and exacerbated gender inequalities. School closures, economic stress, service disruptions, early and unwanted pregnancies and parental deaths are putting the most vulnerable girls at increased risk. According to UNICEF, this could result in an additional 10 million more child marriages over the next decade. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum estimates that the time it will take to reach gender equality globally has increased by a generation—from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.

At its core, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy adopts an intersectional approach, advancing gender equality that empowers women and girls so that all people, regardless of their sex, gender identity or expression, can enjoy the same opportunities. Through this policy, Canada aims to break down barriers to achieving gender equality by:

  • addressing sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation or cutting
  • supporting and strengthening women’s rights organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
  • supporting evidence-based policymaking and program delivery for gender equality
Key commitments

In 2020-2021, the Government of Canada invested $377 million in international assistance to advance gender equality and support the empowerment of women and girls. Of this, $375 million was official developmental assistance. These investments are part of the following commitments:

  • $150 million over 5 years to Women’s Voice and Leadership to support local women’s organizations that advance women’s rights and gender equality
  • A total of $300 million to the 15-year Equality Fund initiative to strengthen women’s organizations and movements in developing countries through a unique government, philanthropy, private sector and civil society partnership
  • $95 million in 2020-2021, of which $33 million in COVID-19 response funding, toward eliminating sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation or cutting, part of Canada’s commitment to reach $700 million a year for sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2023-2024
Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
Text version
Top 5 recipients for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
1 - Ukraine$10.5 million
2 - Bangladesh$10.1 million
3 - Afghanistan$8.9 million
4 - Senegal$6.9 million
5 - Ethiopia$6.5 million

In 2020-2021, Canada, along with other multilateral and global partners, contributed to achieving the following resultsFootnote 1Footnote 2:

  • reaching almost 35 million people through projects that help prevent, respond to and end sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage and/or female genital mutilation, with an additional 18 million people reached through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • enabling more than 1,900 women’s organizations and networks to expand their activities and strengthen their capacity to advance women’s rights and gender equality, with an additional 3,350 women’s organizations and networks supported through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • providing $248 million to women’s rights organizations and movements, including the last $195 million of a $300 million contribution to the Equality Fund, a 15-year investment that will generate sustainable funding and provide grants to women’s rights organizations and movements over several years to come
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Engaging in global initiatives to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence

In 2020-2021, Canada and our partners made significant progress toward enhancing the response to and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. Canada provided $12 million in additional funding to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women’s COVID-19 emergency response. This enabled frontline civil society and women’s rights organizations to meet the urgent needs of women and girls. Key results included:

  • enabling fund grantees to provide services to more than 31 million people
  • directly supporting more than 240,000 women and girls to bring about transformative changes in their lives
  • providing services to more than 26,500 women and girls who are survivors of violence

Canada’s support to the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage enabled it to adapt its programming to the COVID-19 crisis. The funding helped provide digital solutions in 12 countries in Asia and Africa, resulting in:

  • more than 4 million adolescent girls participating in life skills and comprehensive sexual education interventions
  • 160,000 adolescent girls receiving support to enrol or remain in school
  • more than 6 million boys and men being reached with messages about harmful masculinities and gender norms

Through long-term institutional support to UN organizations, Canada contributed to the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, including by:

  • providing more than 1.7 million girls with UNFPA-supported prevention or protection services and care related to child, early and forced marriage
  • providing direct support and services to more than 7,800 girls and 6,800 boys in Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Niger and Mali, with a primary focus on preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence and keeping girls in school
  • enabling more than 5,300 community-based organizations to fight both the pandemic and its “shadows”—domestic violence, human rights abuses, racism, xenophobia, stigma and other forms of discrimination
  • saving more than 350,000 girls from female genital mutilation or cutting and providing more than 930,000 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence with essential services
  • contributing funding to the Global Safe to Learn Campaign to enable a technical gender equality expert to integrate gender equality, diversity and inclusion into the campaign’s work
Supporting women’s rights organizations and movements

Women’s Voice and Leadership Program

The Women’s Voice and Leadership program has been a “game changer” when it comes to how Canada supports and strengthens local women’s rights organizations. In 2020-2021, Canada provided more than 800 organizations across 31 countries with direct funding or capacity-building assistance. In total, the program directly reached more than 700,000 people through its activities and services. Some 24 million people benefited indirectly from its media and advocacy outreach.

In 2020-2021, Canada began using a Feminist Evaluation Framework for the program. This included bringing together all relevant stakeholders to identify and prioritize the program’s evaluation questions, its approach to data collection and which case studies should be included.

Equality Fund

In 2020-2021, the Equality Fund provided small grants to 93 women’s organizations and movements across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Canada’s $300 million contribution to the fund continues to leverage and generate funds from various sectors to support grantmaking to women’s rights organizations and feminist movements.

Generation Equality Forum

In 2020, Canada became the co-leader of the Generation Equality Forum Multi-Stakeholder Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership. At the first virtual Generation Equality Forum in March 2021, Canada was part of a call to action to establish a Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements. The Alliance’s aim is to sustain, increase and improve financial and political support for women’s rights organizations around the world.

Enhancing the evidence base to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

As part of the Evaluation of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in the Middle East initiative, Canada helped to develop a new data collection tool to assess women’s empowerment. Incorporating feminist elements of participation, inclusivity, intersectionality and empowerment, the Empowerment Measurement Tool focuses on ensuring that women’s voices are at the centre of the evaluation.

Stories of change

Countering discrimination and violence against women and people with disabilities in Haiti

Canada helped counter violence towards women and people with disabilities in Haiti.

Strengthening the rights of women and girls in Senegal

The When She Leads, Everyone Succeeds project promotes women and girls as agents of change in Senegal.

Relaunching the CNP-EGAL as a platform for discussion and advocacy in Tunisia

Canada helps promote equality between women and men in managing local affairs in Tunisia.


Global health and nutrition

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 2 - Zero hunger

Zero hunger

Sustainable Development Goals 3 - Good health and well-being

Good health and well-being

Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

In most countries around the world, COVID-19 has disrupted essential health services—and vulnerable and marginalized groups have been the most severely affected. Many people have not been able to access treatments for diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis B and C, and have experienced disruptions in cancer screening, family-planning and contraception, as well as increases in malnutrition and mental health issues.

Many people, especially women and adolescents, have been more reluctant to seek health care due to lockdowns, lack of financial resources and fear of infection. As a result, fewer people are visiting health clinics for services such as family-planning, sexual health and childbirth—particularly women and girls, who already face barriers to accessing health care.

Key commitments

Canada’s 10-year commitment to global health and rights (between 2020 and 2030) will raise our health funding to an average of $1.4 billion annually by 2023. This investment will help support women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health around the world. Half of this annual investment will directly support sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as maternal, newborn and child health.

In 2020-2021, Canada invested $2.23 billion in international assistance in global health and nutrition, of which $2.21 billion was official developmental assistance.

Results in focus

In 2020-2021, Canada worked with partners to directly reach more than 10 million people with critical health and nutrition services. Canada provided assistance to some 5,000 health-care facilities and funded training for more than 140,000 health-care workers.

Top 5 recipients for global health and nutrition
Text version
Top 5 recipients for global health and nutrition
1 - Tanzania$79.2 million
2 - Mozambique$69.1 million
3 - Bangladesh$62.0 million
4 - South Sudan$46.3 million
5 - Nigeria$45.4 million

Canada’s assistance, along with that of other multilateral and global partners, contributed to achieving the following additional resultsFootnote 1Footnote 2:

Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • providing safe abortions and post-abortion care to more than 76,000 women in 17 countries through 14 projects
  • providing more than 2.3 million women and 85,000 men with family-planning services in 28 countries through 24 projects
  • preventing close to 9.5 million unintended pregnancies, including by providing more than 2.6 million abortions, saving the lives of more than 25,000 women and 150,000 children
  • providing growth monitoring and promotion services to almost 333,000 children in 5 countries through 7 projects
  • delivering nutrition counselling to more than 785,000 adults in 15 countries through 15 projects
  • providing more than 98 million children with 2 annual doses of vitamin A, preventing the deaths of more than 78,000 children and 425,000 cases of stunting
Health services
  • providing more than 1.1 million women with antenatal care
  • ensuring that more than 580,000 women had safer deliveries
  • providing more than 490,000 women with postnatal care in 17 countries through 19 projects
Key initiatives in the spotlight

Health was at the forefront of people’s minds throughout 2020-2021. While focused on helping partners respond to the pandemic, Canada continued to provide support to address other critical health issues during this challenging period.

Providing essential health services in a challenging time

The aim of the Born on Time public-private partnership is to reduce infant deaths in Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Mali. Between 2016 and 2021, the partnership significantly increased the percentage of women who delivered at a health facility in the 3 countries. This involved working on both the supply and demand side of health services, with a particular focus on adolescent girls. The partnership improved the attitudes of health-care workers and increased awareness of services, which played a significant role in influencing women’s decisions to seek health care.

For example, the project trained more than 2,000 health workers and almost 4,000 community health workers on providing gender-responsive sexual health and nutrition services.

Through the Enhancing Nutrition Services to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Asia program, Canada continued to expand universal coverage of essential health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, through equipping static health facilities and training community and other health workers.

In Tanzania, the Uzazi Uzima project helped to significantly reduce maternal and newborn deaths by addressing the barriers many women face accessing the health care they need. In 2020-2021, the project provided more than 16,000 clients with comprehensive family-planning services and more than 25,000 clients with integrated services. As a result of this integrated approach, the project successfully prevented an estimated 36 maternal deaths, 446 child deaths and more than 5,000 unsafe abortions.

Addressing gender and health equity

In 2020-2021, the Inter Pares Strategic Interventions to Build Momentum on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights project in Bangladesh, El Salvador and the Philippines provided free counselling, reproductive health-care services, family-planning supplies, and follow-up at clinics and mobile clinics. For example, in the Philippines, the NGO Likhaan provided free access to rights-based sexual health and family-planning services to more than 6,700 women and girls who experience poverty and stigmatization. In Bangladesh, the NGO Nijera Kori established a hotline that delivered sexual health and family services to more than 7,500 women and girls, helping them to make informed decisions during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Advocating for rights-based health services

In 2020-2021, the Protecting Access to Safe Abortion and Contraception project created opportunities for dialogue at the district, regional and national levels to advocate for safe abortion services for women. For instance, workshops with government officials in Nepal increased awareness among decision makers regarding the need to reduce barriers preventing women from accessing safe abortions and sexual health services during the pandemic.

Stories of change

Providing a “one-stop centre” for sexual and gender-based violence survivors in South Sudan

Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in South Sudan, now have Family Protection Centres. There, they can access a range of services under one roof.

Getting fathers involved to increase vitamin A coverage in Tanzania

With our help, men are getting involved in Tanzania’s vitamin A supplement program.

Providing training on the power of zinc to save children’s lives in Bangladesh

Information about diarrhea, hygiene and nutrition weren't enough. Zink was the solution.

© UNHCR / Shawkat Alharfosh


Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 4 - Quality education

Quality education

Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Despite recent progress, barriers to accessing education persist. These barriers are deeply rooted in power dynamics and social inequalities, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Feminist International Assistance Policy commits Canada to supporting access to quality education for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, with a focus on women and girls.

Canada’s investments in education are helping children and youth, particularly girls and women, access safe, quality, gender-responsive and innovative education. Ultimately, the aim is to improve learning outcomes for girls and boys and enhance the employability of youth, women and men, particularly for the poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable people. This includes people living in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected and humanitarian settings.

Gaps in knowledge, limited access to evidence and weak systems to support innovations are at the root of inequalities in education systems in many parts of the world. Insufficient teacher training, a lack of gender equity, varying access to learning opportunities and the absence of data to inform planning are barriers to achieving SDG 4 - Quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Crisis, conflict and fragility exacerbate existing inequalities in access to quality education and skills training for girls and women, especially those with disabilities. The pandemic has prevented many children from attending school and getting the education they deserve. It is estimated that due to the pandemic, anywhere from 11.2 million to more than 20 million girls and young women could drop out of school over the next year. Many of them will never return and, as a result, will be at higher risk of early marriage and teenage pregnancy.

In 2020-2021, Canada focused on addressing the educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring continued access to education. Our rapid response to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on education was based on 3 pillars:

  • continued learning
  • a fair, healthy and safe return to school
  • fighting against systemic obstacles to education
Key commitments

In 2020–2021, Canada invested $452 million in international assistance in education, of which $451 million was official developmental assistance (ODA).

Canada is committed to allocating 10% of its bilateral international development assistance budget to basic education. In early 2021, Canada launched Together for Learning, an international campaign to ensure that all refugee, forcibly displaced and host community children and youth get a quality education.

Some of its significant commitments in recent years include:

  • $400 million between 2018 and 2021 in support of the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education, including $50 million to Education Cannot Wait between 2019 and 2021
  • $185 million to the Global Partnership for Education between 2018 and 2020, as well as the recently announced multi-year commitment of $300 million for 2021-2025

In 2020-21, Canada allocated almost $79 million in new funding to address the effects of the pandemic on education, including:

  • $35 million for the Global Partnership for Education
  • $12.5 million for Education Cannot Wait
  • $9.4 million to fund Canadian civil society organizations

Founded in 2002, the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the largest multi-stakeholder partnership and fund dedicated to improving education in the world’s poorest countries. It works with partner governments and organizations at the country level to develop, fund and implement comprehensive national strategies and initiatives to improve education systems and learning outcomes. The GPE targets countries with large out-of-school populations and a high percentage of youth facing vulnerabilities. Canada is a long-time supporter of the GPE and currently ranks 11th among its donors.

Education Cannot Wait is the primary multilateral organization addressing gaps in capacity, coordination and financing for education in emergencies, conflict and fragile situations. With a focus on girls’ education, it currently operates in more than 29 countries facing emergency, crisis and conflict situations. Canada has been highly involved in the organization since its inception in 2016 and is currently its sixth-largest donor.

Through programs such as these, Canada is working to remove barriers to education for refugees, forcibly displaced children, and children and youth living in host communities. In 2020-2021, we launched a call for concept notes for Canadian organizations entitled “Education for Refugee and Displaced Children and Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Valued at approximately $40 million over 5 years, the campaign will fund projects designed to increase access to education for refugee and displaced children and youth.

Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for education
Text version
Top 5 recipients for education
1 - Jordan$24.9 million
2 - Mozambique$23.1 million
3 - Burkina Faso$19.0 million
4 - Haiti$17.9 million
5 - West Bank$17.7 million

In 2020-2021, Canada, along with other multilateral and global partners, contributed to achieving the following resultsFootnote 1Footnote 2:

  • training more than 85,000 teachers according to national standards and/or an approved teacher training program, with an additional 354,000 teachers trained through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • helping almost 5,000 schools to create welcoming spaces that meet the specific needs of girls, with another almost 49,000 schools making these changes through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • providing almost 14,000 people with demand-driven, technical and vocational education and training
  • enabling more than 680,000 learners to enrol in formal or non-formal education, with another 22 million learners reached through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Students in a classroom in South Sudan

Students in a classroom in South Sudan.

© UNICEF / Chol

Fulfilling Canada’s $400 million Charlevoix Education commitment

In 2020-2021, Canada fulfilled its pledge to contribute $400 million over 3 years as part of the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries. This initiative supports 55 projects across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, reaching more than 4 million girls and women. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and the closure of schools around the globe, these projects have been able to pivot their activities. Some were even able to scale up in response to the crisis.

Ensuring quality education for all in conflict regions

Canada's support is helping to ensure that women and girls in fragile, crisis and conflict-affected settings continue to have access to quality education. For example, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, War Child Canada’s Making Waves project is providing gender-inclusive education through radio broadcasting. This project helped develop a ministry-approved radio education curriculum for 3 levels of education, enabling students to access distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic using the radio. It provided school materials and supplies to some 2,000 students, over half of whom were girls. The project reached almost 2,400 other beneficiaries through training and awareness-raising programming.

Canada supported the UNESCO Institute of Statistics to develop and provide gender-disaggregated data collection in developing countries, including conflict-affected and fragile states. In 2020-2021, the Institute made 9 new methodological data resources available to monitor equity in education globally.

Supporting gender-responsive education

Canada’s support to Right to Play’s Gender-Responsive Education and Transformation project is helping to promote inclusive education in Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda. In Ghana, the project helped school-management committees and parent-teacher associations to address gender-specific problems through the development of action plans. Approximately 80% of schools were able to either partially or fully execute these plans. In Rwanda, the project trained 400 volunteers to lead gender equality awareness campaigns in 200 villages. These campaigns reached more than 40,000 parents and 27,000 children through broadcast messages. In Mozambique, the project helped more than 1,200 teachers integrate gender-responsive learning methods into the classroom.

Making a difference through multilateral initiatives

Canada’s participation in multilateral education initiatives continues to play a key role in improving national education systems and addressing education in emergencies.

For instance, with funding from Canada and other donors, Education Cannot Wait enabled more than 9 million children and youth in 33 crisis-affected regions to continuously access education by providing:

  • distance, online and radio learning
  • information campaigns on health and hygiene
  • risk communication and community engagement in local languages
  • psychosocial and mental health support
  • water and sanitation facility upgrades in schools and learning centres

In 2020-2021, the Global Partnership for Education provided US$500 million to its 66 partner countries to deliver their COVID-19 response plans. This funding enabled 355 million children to either access remote learning or safely return to school in countries where they had reopened.

Canada provided $2.6 million in institutional support to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to foster open, distance and technology enabled learning. From 2015 to 2020, COL helped almost 2.8 million people access and make use of quality learning opportunities. Its GIRLS Inspire project provided more than 100,000 women and girls in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Mozambique and Tanzania with life skills training to help prevent, respond to and end sexual and gender-based violence and child, early and forced marriage.

Understanding what undermines education systems

In 2020-2021, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) launched regional hubs as part of a $100 million joint endeavour with the Global Partnership for Education to deliver the GPE Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX). Dedicated to bridging the knowledge gaps that undermine education systems in developing countries, KIX funds research and supports knowledge sharing. In November 2020, it launched a COVID-19 observatory to collect, synthesize and mobilize information on the impacts of and responses to the pandemic in primary and secondary education systems in Africa.

Stories of change

Developing lifelong readers by better preparing teachers

Mozambique has a teacher shortage. One-on-one literacy mentoring may be the answer.

Supporting the transition to online learning during times of crisis

Public school teachers and students in Lebanon got digital learning resources and the training they needed to adapt.

Using virtual technologies to strengthen Colombian adolescent women’s right to participate

A Canada-funded project helps teen girls to connect, receive training and engage with their peers.

© UNICEF / Omar Albam

Humanitarian action

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 1 - No poverty

No poverty

Sustainable Development Goals 2 - Zero hunger

Zero hunger

Sustainable Development Goals 3 - Good health and well-being

Good health and well-being

Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Through our humanitarian assistance, Canada helps to save lives, alleviate human suffering and maintain the dignity of populations affected by humanitarian crises in developing countries. However, an increase in the number and intensity of armed conflicts and the scope and frequency of natural disasters, have resulted in unprecedented levels of humanitarian need.

Through our UN partners, NGOs and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Canada provides assistance for food and nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter, protection, health services (including sexual and reproductive health services) and other urgent assistance.

That is why Canada is actively engaged in multilateral and multi-stakeholder initiatives to improve the international humanitarian response system and strengthen the international refugee policy regime.

Canada’s gender-responsive approach to humanitarian action considers pre-existing vulnerabilities and intersectional discrimination—such as sex, race, ethnicity, age, ability and refugee status. This allows humanitarian actors to better respond to the needs of those affected by crisis, particularly women and girls.

In particular, Canada works to increase the gender-responsiveness of humanitarian action through targeted and crosscutting approaches in 4 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
  • the empowerment of women and girls
Key commitments

In 2020-2021, Canada invested $1.16 billion in international assistance in humanitarian action, of which $1.16 billion was official developmental assistance, through UN partners, NGOs and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

This assistance:

  • helped meet the humanitarian needs of more than 115 million people
  • included more than $370 million to address the humanitarian implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Canada remains strongly committed to advancing the Grand Bargain commitments to provide more flexible and predictable humanitarian funding. In 2020-2021, Canada provided more than 35% of its humanitarian funding as unearmarked or softly earmarked, and 58% of its funding through multi-year agreements.

Through our Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), Canada’s approach is focused on empowering women and girls, meeting their assistance and protection needs, and reducing incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse. In 2020-2021, 97% of Canada’s bilateral development humanitarian assistance projects integrated gender equality considerations. As lead of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, Canada helped to develop a 2021-2025 Strategic Road Map. Canada spearheaded joint statements on behalf of the Call to Action’s 87 partner states, international organizations and NGOs. This included advocating for the recognition of sexual and gender-based violence services as being essential and life-saving in all humanitarian responses to the pandemic.

Canada provided $41.7 million in support to sexual reproductive health services as part of its humanitarian assistance programming. This support helped to prevent death, disease and disability related to unwanted pregnancies, obstetric complications and reproductive disorders, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for humanitarian action
Text version
Top 5 recipients for humanitarian action
1 - Syria$93.5 million
2 - Lebanon$89.3 million
3 - Yemen$52.2 million
4 - Iraq$47.5 million
5 - Ethiopia$46.4 million

In 2020-2021, Canada, along with other international donors, provided support that:

  • directly assisted more than 115 million people by supporting the World Food Programme’s emergency food assistance and nutrition programming
  • provided more than 39 million refugees and internally displaced persons with COVID-19 related assistance through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
  • provided food to more than 4 million people as well as water to 35 million people, through the International Committee of the Red Cross
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Supporting those living in protracted crises

In 2018, Canada committed $300 million in funding over 3 years to respond to the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh. This included $124 million in humanitarian assistance. In 2020-2021, this humanitarian funding enabled Canada’s partners to:

  • deliver emergency food assistance to more than 1.3 million Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, and 560,000 people in Myanmar
  • provide health care services to more than 1.2 million refugees and host community members in Bangladesh and 520,000 vulnerable individuals across Myanmar
  • provide shelter and supplies for 855,000 Rohingya refugees and 250,000 people living in Myanmar
Addressing sexual and gender-based violence and SRHR through humanitarian assistance

Through its support to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Canada helped provide essential sexual and reproductive health and sexual and gender-based violence services to women, girls and vulnerable populations throughout the Middle East.

In Syria, the program funded integrated sexual and reproductive health services in almost 200 health facilities. In Jordan, Canada’s support helped provide more than 130,000 people with sexual and reproductive health services, including antenatal care, safe deliveries, counselling and psychosocial support. In Ethiopia, Canada provided support to address the humanitarian needs of people affected by conflict, displacement, locust infestation and other weather-related crises. Assistance of $3 million in flexible funding was provided to partners to enable them to respond quickly to the growing needs of people affected by the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Providing critical assistance after disasters

Following the Beirut port explosion in August 2020, Canada quickly responded with a $30 million contribution to meet the city’s immediate humanitarian needs and support early recovery efforts. Among other initiatives, support provided through the Lebanon Matching Fund has helped the Humanitarian Coalition’s members:

  • distribute monthly food parcels
  • provide cash assistance to families who lost their homes
  • deliver essential medical supplies
  • offer physical rehabilitation to injured people
  • help disaster-affected children improve their coping skills
Supporting rapid emergency response during crisis

Canada delivered grassroots support for rapid emergency response through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. It provided $550,000 in direct funding to local partners to support 15 projects aimed at responding to sudden-onset emergencies around the world. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Eta and Iota in Nicaragua, more than 1,100 Indigenous families affected by the storms were provided hygiene products, water, food and basic housing reconstruction kits.

Providing assistance to the West Bank and Gaza

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is mandated to assist millions of Palestinian refugees across its 5 areas: West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Canada’s continued support to the program enabled the delivery of basic health, education and social services, including:

  • providing more than 5.7 million primary health care consultations
  • reaching more than 530,000 children with basic education services
  • providing more than 8,700 youth with technical and vocational education
  • providing more than 390,000 people with social safety net assistance such as cash and food
  • issuing microfinance loans to more than 21,000 people
  • providing more than 7,000 Palestinian refugees with disabilities with services, either directly or through partnerships with community-based rehabilitation centres
  • delivering vital cash assistance to more than 415,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria
  • providing in-kind food assistance to more than 145,000 vulnerable refugees
  • providing psychosocial support services to more than 18,000 refugees

Canada helped to improve food security for small-scale breeders and mixed farming households living in the West Bank. Last year, Canada’s support helped 117 households to repair greenhouses, 120 households to reconstruct sheds and 127 households to rehabilitate their land. Canada worked to address the water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs in the region, with more than 700 people assisted through the distribution of water storage tanks in 7 communities.

Stories of change

Helping Venezuelan girls, boys and adolescents start of a new life in Peru

The Lord of Miracles chapel in Lima helps Venezuelan girls, boys and adolescents feel at home in Peru.

Using space technology to better respond to disasters

In November 2020, the charter helped 500 people evacuate a potential volcano eruption.


Jobs, opportunities and economic growth

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 1 - No poverty

No poverty

Sustainable Development Goals 2 - Zero hunger

Zero hunger

Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Sustainable Development Goals 6 - Clean water and sanitation

Clean water and sanitation

Sustainable Development Goals 8 - Decent work and economic growth

Decent work and economic growth

Sustainable Development Goals 10 - Reduced inequalities

Reduced inequalities

Inclusive economic growth is critical to achieving the SDGs. Canada's support for the Growth that Works for Everyone Action Area contributes to eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality and economic growth, building resilient infrastructure and supporting sustainable industrialization.

To support developing countries as they recover from the pandemic, it is critical that we work together to build a future that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. Canada is committed to addressing the financial stresses of those most in need and helping to alleviate the negative effects the pandemic has had on developing countries' economies.

Canada is committed to ensuring that economies thrive and economic growth benefits more people by helping to:

  • eliminate barriers to women's economic empowerment
  • build more inclusive and sustainable economies
  • strengthen economic resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened pre-existing gender inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social and economic systems. It has decreased women’s employment by more than 4%.

Key commitments

In 2020-2021, Canada invested $877 million in international assistance, of which $869 million was ODA, toward Growth That Works for Everyone initiatives.

Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for jobs, opportunities and economic growth
Text version
Top 5 recipients for jobs, opportunities and economic growth
1 - Bangladesh$58.4 million
2 - Ethiopia$53.6 million
3 - Ghana$37.5 million
4 - Kenya$29.0 million
5 - Senegal$25.8 million

In 2020-2021, Canada, along with other multilateral and global partners, contributed to achieving the following resultsFootnote 1Footnote 2:

  • reaching almost 6 million people through projects that support women’s economic empowerment, with an additional 3.4 million people reached through projects funded through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • providing almost 7 million entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders with financial and/or business development services, with another almost 1 million provided services through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Providing support to Pacific Alliance nations

In 2020-2021, Canada’s support helped Pacific Alliance governments to sustainably manage and regulate their natural resource sectors. More than 130 public servants from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru participated in certification and diploma programs offered by Canadian post-secondary institutions. As part of the Pacific Alliance Education for Employment Program, 1,600 public and private-sector participants, civil society representatives and international experts from these countries and Canada participated in the International Forum on Technical and Vocational Education and Training. This training strengthened regional dialogue and led to the exchange of best practices on economic development, prosperity, labour market demands, management of natural resources and environmental stewardship.

Supporting women entrepreneurs through the We-Fi Initiative

The We-Fi initiative provides assistance to women-owned or led businesses in developing countries. Last year, more than 3,300 businesswomen benefited from financial and non-financial support from the initiative. In addition, it provided more than 3,000 women-led businesses with access to finance through almost $78 million in loans and grants. More than 1,500 businesses gained access to entrepreneurial support programs through the initiative and 15 pieces of legislation or regulations were created to support businesses owned or led by women.

Enabling women to take part in commercial activities

Canada’s support of the Agricultural Training and Support Program for Youth Entrepreneurship in Peru project has increased the number of women taking part in commercial activities in the country. In doing so, it has helped to transform traditional social norms and provided women with more opportunities to produce and sell their products. The project has enabled more than 10,000 farmers, half of whom were women, to increase their family income by 27% by transitioning from subsistence agriculture to commercial production. The project helped to create 35 new collective commercial enterprises, associations and cooperatives and 78 family businesses.

Engaging in income-generating activities

Through support of the Livelihood Support and Women’s Empowerment project, Canada is helping women in Bangladesh to become more financially independent. The project has enabled 3,600 women improve their living conditions and 2,700 youth (half of whom were girls) and 6,300 women to engage in income-generating activities. These included skills training, market links and apprenticeship-based training. More than 1,200 women and youth have been able to find work because of the skills they developed through the project.

Succeeding in the technology sector

In the West Bank and Gaza, Canada’s support to the Technology Enabled Careers Harnessing Untapped Potential project is enabling youth, especially young women, to get the training they need to succeed in the technology sector. Almost all the program’s participants reported that it had provided them the skills to start a sustainable online business, and 92% of women and 94% of men said it reduced barriers to entrepreneurship and employability. One year after graduation, all of the 153 program graduates reported that they were continuing to earn a sustainable income (approximately US$300 per month).

Helping farmers in Ethiopia learn new practices

In Ethiopia, Canada’s participation in the Agriculture Growth Program has helped thousands of farmers to make use of new agricultural practices such as fertilizer and better irrigation for small-scale farms, and gain access to markets. By the end of 2020, this flagship initiative had assisted more than 1.5 million people, including almost 640,000 women farmers. It has resulted in Ethiopians eating a more varied diet, including more legumes, meat and dairy.

Stories of change

Making business ownership a reality for women in Gaza

Canada is helping to make young women’s dreams of owning their own business a reality.

Helping young entrepreneurs get a start

Ghada from Gaza benefited from an entrepreneurship training workshop. She learned skills she used to secure funding to start her own business.

Mentoring women entrepreneurs in Indonesia

A Canadian mentorship program helps Hayati expand and diversify her business.

© Carlos Ly, SUCO

Climate and environment

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Sustainable Development Goals 6 - Clean water and sanitation

Clean water and sanitation

Sustainable Development Goals 7 - Affordable and clean energy

Affordable and clean energy

Sustainable Development Goals 13 - Climate action

Climate action

Sustainable Development Goals 14 - Life below water

Life below water

Sustainable Development Goals 15 - Life on land

Life on land

Climate change and biodiversity loss pose a fundamental threat to the health of the planet and people around the world. Developing countries are often the hardest hit and the least equipped to prevent and cope with the consequences of these environmental changes. For example, small island developing states are facing structural and systemic vulnerabilities due to their vulnerability to increasingly dangerous and intense natural disasters. These countries need solutions that specifically address their interests and strengthen their ability to play a role in safeguarding the planet.

Addressing the growing environmental and climate threats facing the world today requires concerted global, national and local efforts from both the public and private sectors. Climate action needs to be entrenched in pandemic recovery in order to slow temperature increases, avoid biodiversity collapse and leave a healthy planet for generations to come.

The Feminist International Assistance Policy helps to guide Canada’s efforts to support a global transition to low-carbon, resilient and nature-positive economies that empower women.

Canada remains committed to supporting developing countries as they work toward reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement. Canada participates in a range of initiatives that support ambitious action on climate change mitigation, adaptation and nature, including the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the Global Ocean Alliance and the Leaders Pledge for Nature. Canada is focused on transitioning toward climate sustainability, halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, and to being carbon neutral by 2050.

Canada is working along 3 pathways to improve the state of the environment and boost climate resilience for marginalized and vulnerable populations by enabling them to:

  • ensure equal access to, sustainable use of, and protection of natural resources, land and water
  • adapt to climate change
  • mitigate the impacts of climate change

By supporting local involvement, knowledge-building and ownership of environmental practices, infrastructure and technologies, Canada is enabling those who are marginalized or facing vulnerabilities to adapt more effectively to climate change. These efforts include the sustainable use and management of natural resources, support for sustainable agriculture development and food systems, and the use of nature-based solutions.

Canada recognizes the harmful effect of some subsidies on the environment and the need to reform policies. Therefore, Canada is looking for opportunities to increase the use of renewable energy, phase out carbon-based energy and increase energy efficiency, to support greater access for people living in developing countries to access affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.

Key commitments

In 2020-2021, the Government of Canada invested $1.08 billion in international assistance, of which $1.08 billion was ODA, toward environment and climate action initiatives.

Canada has fully delivered on its commitment to provide $2.65 billion over 5 years to help developing countries tackle climate change. As of 2022, the programs and projects supported under this commitment are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 228 metric megatons and help at least 6.6 million people adapt to the effects of climate change and mobilize important climate finance contributions from the private sector.Footnote 4

In 2021, Canada doubled its previous commitment to international climate finance, pledging $5.3 billion over the 5-year period from 2021 to 2026. This includes increasing funding for climate change adaptation and allocating of increased funding to projects that leverage nature-based climate solutions and contribute to biodiversity co-benefits.

Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for climate and environment
Text version
Top 5 recipients for climate and environment
1 - Burkina Faso$8.6 million
2 - Peru$7.7 million
3 - Jordan$7.1 million
4 - Mali$5.8 million
5 - Haiti$5.6 million

In 2020-2021, Canada, along with other multilateral and global partners, contributed to achieving the following resultsFootnote 1Footnote 2:

  • delivering climate adaptation projects that benefited more than 2.8 million people and an additional 67 million people through projects funded through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • reducing or avoiding 4.16 metric megatons of greenhouse gas emissions, with Canada’s support to multilateral and global partners contributing to reducing an additional 1,313 megatons of gas emissionsFootnote 3
  • employing almost 2,900 people in the environment sector, including in technical, supervisory and management roles

Over the past 5 years, Canada has delivered $350 million of our $600 million commitment to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) financing mechanism. This funding is part of Canada’s commitment to help developing countries transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. In 2020, the fund approved an additional 46 projects and 92 readiness grants in 91 countries.

These projects are expected to eliminate 918 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and increase the resilience of nearly 147 million people.

Last year, Canada remained the sixth-largest donor to the Global Environment Facility, the global financial mechanism that helps developing countries to meet their obligations under 5 multilateral environmental agreements. This support contributed to protecting biodiversity, managing international waters, adapting to and mitigating climate change, preventing land degradation and addressing the disposal of chemicals and waste. In 2020-2021, an additional 109 projects were approved which are expected to:

  • help 3.2 million people adapt to climate change, half of whom will be women
  • foster climate resiliency for 1.3 million hectares of land
  • lead to 89 million hectares of terrestrial and marine protected areas
  • improve practices to protect biodiversity in 76 million hectares of marine habitats
  • avoid 385 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Combating land degradation with gender-responsive approaches

Canada is providing $6 million to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s (UNCCD’s) Gender Action Plan. This contribution is helping to integrate gender-transformative approaches within the Convention, with a focus on land tenure and sustainable land management technologies and practices. In 2020-2021, the UNCCD’s Global Mechanism supported the development of strong gender analyses in the design phase for programs in 13 countries.

Supporting adaptation through climate-smart agriculture

With the help of Canada and other donors and investors, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is supporting smallholder farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, Canada provided $25 million in institutional support grants to IFAD as well as $270 million for a concessional climate finance loan. This funding is helping farmers become more resilient to economic and climate shocks, to adopt gender-sensitive practices and to reduce their carbon footprint. In 2020-2021, IFAD projects reached more than 128 million people, with about 35% of projects being climate-focused.

Strengthening climate risk management in Africa

The Strengthening Climate Risk Management project helps the African Risk Capacity Agency to enable member states to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters such as drought, floods and cyclones. In 2020-2021, 11 countries benefited from this initiative, including Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. For instance, Madagascar received more than US$2 million to cover anticipated losses from a crop failure in the just-concluded farming season. This funding enabled the Government of Madagascar to respond quickly to the drought and provide:

  • 15,000 vulnerable households with unconditional cash transfers and “cash for work”
  • 2,000 children under the age of 5 years with nutritional support
  • 84,000 households with water
Boosting climate resilience in developing countries

In 2020-2021, Canada provided $1.6 million to the InsuResilience Global Partnership’s Centre of Excellence on Gender-Smart Solutions to quickly move toward gender-smart climate and disaster risk finance and insurance. The project identifies emerging good practices and effective strategies on gender approaches and provides policymakers and practitioners with guidance. It provides a platform where they can collaborate and a directory to connect with those who have expertise in climate change and gender approaches.

Canada’s support of the Community Resilience Building initiative is helping to ensure communities in Belize, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname are better prepared to manage disasters. By strengthening comprehensive disaster management at the national and local levels, the project is helping vulnerable communities to prepare for natural disasters and crises. In 2020-2021, the project:

  • helped more than 2,000 people to become more disaster resilient
  • trained 460 people in disaster response
  • enabled more than 400 people to participate in designing and implementing 10 community micro-projects that address natural disaster preparedness, climate-smart agriculture, waste disposal, recycling and reuse, and nature-based solutions for vector-borne diseases
Strengthening climate governance to help countries adapt

The National Adaptation Plan Global Network, implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, is a multi-donor global initiative that helps developing countries build national climate adaptation processes. In 2020-2021, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Somalia and Kenya were able to improve the effectiveness and/or gender‐responsiveness of their processes by participating in the program. As a result, 2.25 million people in these countries, half of whom were women, benefited from climate adaptation initiatives.

Supporting initiatives to mitigate climate change

These projects are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20 million tons and to generate 587.6 MW of installed renewable energy capacity.

Established in March 2017, the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II is a $200 million fund designed to attract private sector investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. The fund works in low- and lower-middle-income countries as well as upper-middle-income small island developing states in Asia and the Pacific. By December 2020, more than US$84 million in concessional financing had been distributed to 8 projects in 7 countries, with more than US$895 million mobilized in third-party financing.

Supporting sustainable forest management in Latin America

The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) is the world’s largest network dedicated to sustainable forest management practices. In 2019, the IMFN Secretariat at Natural Resources Canada-Canadian Forest Service and 8 International Model Forest partners in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Guatemala joined together to deliver RESTAURacción.

The aim of the project was to ensure women played a leadership role in restoring ecosystems after devastating fires in the Amazon. It promotes longer-term investments in sustainable land use. Through RESTAURacción, 51 training workshops, courses and knowledge sessions were held to support women’s leadership and empowerment, as well as environmental governance. These activities allowed some 1,000 people, more than half of whom were women, to access accurate information on gender gaps and their consequences, and to identify potential solutions to reduce them.

Reducing short-lived climate pollutants to address climate change

In 2020-2021, Canada delivered on its commitment to provide $10 million to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, an international initiative aimed at reducing short-lived pollutants that cause significant near-term climate change. These pollutants include methane, hydrofluorocarbons, black carbon and tropospheric ozone. Canada is a founding partner of the coalition and actively supports initiatives to reduce these pollutants from the agriculture, transportation, cooling and municipal solid waste sectors.

Protecting biodiversity and the natural world

The Canadian Museum of Nature is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Through this organization, the museum’s scientists collaborate with other museums, NGOs, universities and research institutes around the world to better understand the natural world and the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss and low scientific literacy. The museum is part of an ongoing IUCN initiative that is seeking funding to digitize the collections of natural history museums around the world so that the data can be used to advance knowledge, and inform public policy and industrial development.

Stories of change

Addressing Peru’s climate challenges with nature-based solutions

Women in Peru are helping keep wetlands and forests healthy. This will increase their communities' resilience to floods, droughts and landslides.

Pioneering an innovative solar project in Gaza

A rooftop solar power plant in Gaza is providing clean energy and helping a fragile economy.

Mitigating the effects of climate change in the Caribbean

A Canadian project addresses the need to invest in gender-responsive strategies, action plans and policies.

© Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF)

Inclusive governance

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Sustainable Development Goals 10 - Reduced inequalities

Reduced inequalities

Sustainable Development Goals 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions

Peace, justice and strong institutions

Sustainable Development Goals 17 - Partnerships for the goals

Partnerships for the goals

Inclusive governance is fundamental to long-term sustainable development. However, the institutions, processes and values that underpin inclusive governance are increasingly being undermined. Civic space is shrinking, polarization and autocratization are growing, and the rule of law and elections are increasingly being manipulated. The digital spread of disinformation and the use of new technologies to control citizens threaten open, democratic and inclusive societies.

Canada’s approach to inclusive governance reflects a longstanding commitment to gender equality. This includes championing gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) internationally and adopting a human rights-based approach. By partnering with local grassroots organizations, Canada focuses on advancing the human rights of marginalized persons and those facing vulnerabilities, including LGBTQ2 people and those living with disabilities.

Governance affects how power is exercised, how resources are allocated and how stakeholders are heard. It affects how states manage complex challenges such as inequality, migration, urbanization, violence, natural resources and climate change. To be inclusive, governance must effectively serve and engage all groups, take gender into account and consider other facets of personal identity. All institutions, policies, processes and services must be accessible, accountable and responsive to all members of society.

By focusing on inclusion, countries can unlock the potential of their diverse populations and advance the 2030 Agenda. The following 4 broad paths are essential for inclusive economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability:

  • promoting and protecting human rights
  • providing equitable access to justice
  • enabling participation in public life
  • making public services work for everyone
Key commitments

In 2020-2021, Canada invested $446 million in international assistance in inclusive governance, of which $442 million was official developmental assistance.

Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for inclusive governance
Text version
Top 5 recipients for inclusive governance
1 - Afghanistan$80.0 million
2 - Iraq$20.0 million
3 - Nigeria$15.7 million
4 - Ukraine$14.8 million
5 - Haiti$14.1 million

In 2020-2021, Canada, along with other multilateral and global partners, contributed to achieving the following resultsFootnote 1Footnote 2:

  • providing approximately 230,000 people with support to enhance their capacity to advance human rights, with an additional 51,000 women receiving assistance through Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • enhancing the capacity of 70,000 people to deliver justice and/or legal services, and improving the ability of an additional 11,500 people to deliver these services as the result of Canada’s long-term support to multilateral and global partnersFootnote 3
  • promoting women’s participation and leadership in public life by increasing the awareness, knowledge and/or skills of more than 173,000 people
  • supporting more than 2,500 national, regional and local institutions to improve their capacity to deliver inclusive, responsive and sustainable public services
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Promoting and protecting human rights

In 2020-2021, Canada supported several initiatives to promote and protect the rights of LGBTQ2 persons. These included:

Combatting discrimination and violence against women

Through assistance provided to the Combatting Discrimination and Violence against Women project, Canada enabled the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect approximately 36,000 women and girls. It expanded access to justice for approximately 580 people, including LGBTQ2 and Indigenous groups who had petitioned for assistance in resolving violations of their rights.

Increasing equitable access to a functioning justice system

In Iraq, the Work Empowerment for Women project trained 62 lawyers on legal representation and consulting victims of gender-based harassment and discrimination in the workplace. It provided training on the Iraqi Labour Law, including monitoring, reporting and advocacy training on gender-based labour law violations in the workplace.

In Ukraine, Canada’s support helped the Council of Judges to adopt a new regulation to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest. Ukraine’s National School of Judges completed a gender equality analysis of the procedures used to select judges and provided recommendations on how to make interviews and selection procedures gender neutral. Canada supported a new judicially-assisted dispute resolution process, which has resolved 26% of cases through a more efficient civil court process. This new process will help reduce the significant backlog in civil court cases in Ukraine.

Increasing engagement in the legal system

In East Africa, the Inclusive Resource Development project, implemented by the Canadian Bar Association, worked with law societies to advocate for legal reform to reflect the principles of transparency, gender-sensitivity and accountability in the extractive industries. The project has increased community participation, particularly by women, in the legal system to advance human rights.

Enhancing democratic processes

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada’s support enabled the Projet d’éducation civique et électorale project to reach nearly 40% of the electorate to raise awareness on the importance of elections and participation in democratic life. The project produced textbooks on civic and electoral education that were adopted by the Ministry of Education.

Supporting women in leadership

Canada’s support to UN Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership project helped remove discriminatory candidacy requirements in the Central African Republic, enabling women to run for leadership positions. The project helped mitigate violence against women in Nigeria’s elections and mainstreamed gender equality in the Constitutional Review Process in Liberia. In Guinea, it supported the adoption of a law stating that women must make up half of the candidates in elections.

Improving the transparency of legislative work

In Latin America and the Caribbean, ParlAmericas trained members of 10 national parliaments on increasing the transparency of legislative work. In addition, Canada’s support enabled 15 parliamentarians to take action on gender equality and strengthen cooperation between parliaments and civil society by adopting 19 inter-parliamentary statements. Through the project, parliamentarians in the region participated in 71 capacity-building activities to increase transparency.

Removing barriers to women’s empowerment

In Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, Oxfam Canada’s Creating Spaces project worked with community leaders and youth to advance women’s leadership and rights, and to improve access to services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. In 2020-2021, 64 public declarations and actions were undertaken by influencers to end violence against women and girls as well as child, early and forced marriage.

Strengthening the capacity of the public service

In 2020-2021, Canada worked to make the delivery of public services more accountable and transparent through support to the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation’s international program. The program trained more than 700 national audit professionals in Guyana, Rwanda, Senegal and Vietnam to enhance their national auditing capacity.

In Ghana, Canada’s support of the Mobilising Domestic Revenues for Inclusive Poverty Alleviation project increased the revenue collection by local authorities by 66%. The project helped to set up social audit committees in 60 local authorities and trained 300 members in social auditing and gender-responsive planning and budgeting.

Improving local governance

In 2020-2021, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities shared Canadian expertise with municipal and local government associations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bolivia. As a result, 9 municipalities were able to promote local economic development by making sustainable changes in their policies, services and practices. The project provided training to more than 250 elected officials and municipal government staff to enable them to develop policies and programs to support their local economies.

Enhancing evaluation and professional training

In 2020-2021, Canada collaborated with the new Global Evaluation Initiative. It works with evaluation capacity development providers and experts from around the world to develop the necessary evidence to contribute to better policies and, ultimately, better lives for people in developing countries.

In partnership with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Canada supported a collaborative training program for patent examiners in Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.

Learn more about this theme
Stories of change

Providing services close to home in conflict-affected Ukraine

A service centre on wheels brings administrative and social public services to the people of Ukraine.

Helping young voters participate in Ghana’s elections

A Canadian project helps young Ghanaians understand how to make their voices heard by voting.

Supporting women working at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis in Jordan

Najah and Wedad Oweidat went above and beyond to assist other women and girls in need during the pandemic.

© Cpl. Judith Bertrand (RCMP)

Peace and security

Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals 5 - Gender equality

Gender equality

Sustainable Development Goals 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions

Peace, justice and strong institutions

In today’s increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, violent conflict, fragility and insecurity have widespread and lasting effects. The number of protracted conflicts has increased significantly over the last decade and threats to global peace and security continue to change as politics, economics and technology evolve. The COVID-19 pandemic has further undermined global peace and security by reversing development gains, increasing inequality and challenging collective efforts to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

Canada and the international community recognize that boosting economies and alleviating poverty are critical to building lasting peace, political inclusion and access to opportunity—particularly among marginalized groups and those facing vulnerabilities. However, these steps are not enough on their own. The 2030 Agenda underscores that, “there can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development.”

Canada’s foreign policy and Feminist International Assistance Policy guide our engagement on SDGs 5 and 16 by setting out a gender-responsive and an integrated approach to global peace and security challenges. We work to address the long-term, systemic drivers of conflict and insecurity through programs such as the:

  • Peace and Stabilization Operations Program
  • Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion
  • Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program
  • Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program
  • Weapons Threat Reduction Program

This approach is aligned with the Women, Peace and Security agenda. It recognizes that protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls is critical to building a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. In particular, Canada works to promote peace and security by:

  • supporting inclusive and gender-responsive violent conflict prevention, crisis response and sustainable peace in fragile and conflict-affected settings
  • supporting gender-responsive security threat reduction and security system reform
  • improving multilateral management of peace and security challenges

Canada is supporting key multilateral system reforms including pivoting from crisis management and response to conflict prevention, as well as averting violence before it escalates. Through our humanitarian-development-peace nexus work, Canada is improving the coherence between humanitarian assistance, development and peace programming.

Key commitments

In 2020-2021, Canada invested $257 million in international assistance in peace and security, of which $167 million was official developmental assistance.

Canada delivers on its peace and security commitments through dedicated programs and initiatives such as:

  • Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations
  • Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
  • Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, with additional funding for key priorities such as Afghanistan and the Middle East Strategy
  • the Weapons Threat Reduction Program
  • the Anti-Crime and Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Programs, with additional funding for key priorities including the Middle East Strategy
  • the Office of Human Rights, Freedom and Inclusion (OHRFI)
Results in focus
Top 5 recipients for peace and security
Text version
Top 5 recipients for peace and security
1 - Iraq$32.4 million
2 - Mali$16.5 million
3 - South Sudan$12.0 million
4 - Democratic Republic of the Congo$8.4 million
5 - Colombia$7.8 million

In 2020-2021, 35% of Canada’s bilateral international assistance, or $2.2 billion, went to fragile and conflict-affected settings. This is a decrease from previous years, as our total international assistance increased significantly last year due to new commitments to address the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Canada directly supported:

  • more than 200 initiatives to prevent, detect or respond to crime, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction and related materials
  • the training of almost 13,000 military, police and civilian personnel in peacekeeping competencies, including gender equality, and addressing sexual and gender-based violence, and sexual exploitation and abuse
  • 13 projects and 10 assessed contributions supporting international and national efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes committed in situations of violent conflict, including those involving sexual and gender-based violence
  • more than 200 civil society organizations, including women’s organizations, to increase the participation of women in peace negotiations and conflict prevention efforts

In addition, more than a quarter of Canada’s projects targeted gender equality, while almost three-quarters integrated gender equality.

Key initiatives in the spotlight

Canada disbursed $133 million toward the promotion of peace and stability in fragile and conflict-affected settings in 2020-2021.This included initiatives in Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan and Ukraine.

Building a more peaceful and stable world during the COVID-19 pandemic

In 2020-2021, Canada’s support to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue helped mediate and resolve conflicts in fragile and conflict-affected settings. This included support for the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire to provide COVID-19 health and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations. In Mali, Canada helped bring about a new peace agreement between the Fulani, Dafing and Dogon communities in February 2021.

The Weapons Threat Reduction Program played a central role in Canada’s international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020-2021, the program participated in a range of activities including providing $5 million to enable the International Atomic Energy Association to enhance 21 partner countries’ capacity to rapidly detect COVID-19.

In Ukraine, Canada supported police reform through its funding to Alinea International. In 2020-2021, Alinea responded to the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic by developing a domestic violence hotline, expanding awareness campaigns and building the capacity of Ukraine’s National Police to quickly respond to domestic violence reports.

Promoting democracy and human rights

In 2020-2021, Canada’s Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion disbursed more than $11 million toward initiatives to promote and protect democracy, its values, institutions, and processes, and to build societal resilience globally.

In Cambodia, support provided to the Canadian NGO IFEX has helped to launch a public call for the government to increase measures to protect survivors of gender-based violence during lockdowns. Due to the shutdown of democratic civic spaces during the pandemic, the call draws attention to the abuses faced by women, children and LGBTQ2 individuals in Cambodian quarantine centres and in abusive homes. It sets out a clear list of recommendations for government officials to ensure women can speak safely about their abuse without fear of reprisals or retaliation and to establish safe reporting systems, including online ones.

Increasing women’s participation in peace operations

Canada continues to champion the participation of uniformed women in UN peace operations through the signature Elsie Initiative. In 2020-2021, Canada continued to co-chair the UN Elsie Initiative Fund steering committee. The fund announced its first recipients, which included armed forces or police institutions from Senegal, Liberia and Mexico. All recipients have committed to identifying and addressing barriers to women’s participation in uniformed peacekeeping roles. An innovative tool—called the Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations methodology—was developed to help military and police identify barriers and solutions for women’s meaningful participation in UN peace operations. Published in October 2020, the methodology is being piloted in 7 countries.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, Canada dedicated $5 million to help grassroots women peacebuilders to address gaps in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Canada created an annual Women, Peace and Security awards program to highlight excellence in research and civil society leadership. In addition, Canada launched a year-long global advocacy campaign to recognize, support and protect the important work of women peacebuilders.

In 2020-2021, Canada’s funding to the Supporting the Implementation of Jordan’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 project helped increase the number of uniformed women in Jordanian security sector agencies, as well as the number of Jordanian women participating in UN Peacekeeping Missions. The project enabled Jordanian security sector agencies to develop gender mainstreaming strategies and to create structures to oversee and report on the implementation of the strategies. The project focused on addressing sexual and gender-based violence by:

  • providing funding to 4 women’s rights organizations to develop awareness campaigns and services
  • training 113 judges, prosecutors and police officers on handling sexual and gender-based violence cases
  • providing almost 12,000 women survivors with access to services, including psychosocial assistance, legal advice and shelter
Addressing and responding to nuclear and radiological threats

In 2020-2021, Canada continued to support nuclear non-proliferation initiatives around the world. Since 2018, Canada has contributed $19 million to support international efforts to contain and confront the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s illicit nuclear weapons program. In fact, Canada remains the largest contributor to the monitoring and verification activities of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

After the port explosion in Lebanon in August 2020, Canada provided support for INTERPOL’s Chemical and Explosive Terrorism Team to assess the blast site and collect forensic intelligence. Canadian funding supported the installation of equipment at Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport to help prevent, detect and disrupt attempts to smuggle nuclear or radiological materials. Within the first 3 months after installation, this new equipment scanned more than 40,000 shipments.

Detecting and disrupting the trade of illicit goods and weapons

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Canadian support to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Container Control program improved the capacity of customs and law-enforcement officers to detect and disrupt the flow of illicitly trafficked goods. In 2020-2021, the program conducted more than 320 seizures of illicit substances, including some 100 cases of cocaine, firearms, ammunition and chemical precursors. This included the seizure of 250 kilograms of cocaine destined for Canada.

In 2020-2021, Canada supported efforts in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to monitor the illicit cross-border trafficking of small arms and light weapons by armed and terrorist groups. This support improved the capacity of law-enforcement and security agencies in these countries to collect and analyze data for criminal and terrorism investigations, including 16 investigations linked to terrorism in Mali.

Mitigating the risks of explosive devices

Through a $1.5 million project with the UN Mine Action Service, Canada increased Burkina Faso’s capacity to safely and effectively mitigate risks posed by improvised explosive devices, particularly in 5 vulnerable regions of the country. This project provided:

  • more than 1,700 National Police and Gendarmerie with training on explosive devices
  • more than 200 security personnel with a better understanding of gender and human rights
  • approximately 15,000 people living in high-risk regions with risk education
Supporting peace and stability through overseas deployments

In 2020-2021, more than 33% of the 170 Canadian police officers deployed to peace missions were women. These officers were engaged in missions in the West Bank, Ukraine, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact, female contingent commanders headed two of the missions. Two Canadian police officers were deployed to the UN’s Institute for Training and Research to integrate gender considerations and a conflict-sensitive approach into its training materials. These officers helped to develop capacity-building initiatives on preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence.

Canada continued to support the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) Trust Fund in 2020-2021. As many as 12 deployed Canadian police officers helped to expand MINUSMA’s operational capacity in the region.

Correctional Service of Canada continued to deploy corrections specialists in peace operations. In December 2020, Canada assumed the co-chair role for the Group of Friends of Corrections in Peace Operations alongside Sweden and Burkina Faso. Through its participation in this group, Canada is providing expert advice and technical assistance for implementing corrections mandates in peace operations, developing policy, guidance and training materials, and establishing and strengthening links with the UN and external partners.

Facilitating security coordination in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza

Through Operation PROTEUS, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) continued its longstanding contribution to the Office of the United States Security Coordinator. The office’s mandate is to support Israeli-Palestinian security coordination and oversee international assistance for reform and capacity building in the Palestinian Authority security sector. Canada is the largest contributing nation, and 23 CAF personnel and 2 civilian police members currently support its mission.

In 2020-2021, under Operation PROTEUS, Canada focused on enhancing the various Palestinian Authority security and emergency response forces’ operational capabilities. In particular, the initiative concentrated on communications, logistics, policing, customs policing and work on their legal frameworks.

Enhancing the capacity to recognize and report crimes in Honduras

Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building program provided more than 5,200 Honduran teachers with training on cyber security, cyberbullying, sextortion, human trafficking and child sexual abuse material. This training increased teachers’ understanding of how to go about reporting these crimes to local justice and security authorities.

Stories of change

Providing critical training to deployed peacekeeping personnel

Funded through a Canadian program, this project trained 161 peacekeepers in 2020-2021.

Ensuring war crimes are investigated promptly and professionally

Canada focuses on supporting efforts to strengthen results-based management and resource-mobilization.

Helping to establish a National Police Academy in Haiti

To date, 482 commissioners and inspectors have graduated from the National Police Academy in Haiti.


Moving forward: Partnerships, innovation and inclusion

Collaboration with Canada’s partners

In 2020-2021, Canada fostered a variety of inclusive, innovative and effective partnerships through multilateral mechanisms and by collaborating with national, international and local organizations abroad. These partnerships play an integral role in designing, delivering and monitoring Canada’s international assistance programming. By providing the technical expertise, logistical knowledge, advocacy skills and necessary reach, they enable Canada to support the most vulnerable people in partner countries.

Civil society

The Policy for Civil Society Partnerships for International Assistance – A Feminist Approach continues to guide Canada’s engagement with all civil society organizations, whether national, international or local.

Canadian civil society

In 2020-2021, Canada delivered more than $1 billion in international assistance through more than 200 Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) such as NGOs, colleges and universities, and think tanks working in 132 countries. With this assistance, more than 30% of the CSOs specifically targeted gender equality and almost all integrated gender equality into their work.

Just over half of this assistance was delivered in sub-Saharan Africa. Assistance to Canadian CSOs this past year:

  • enabled 350 local CSOs to advocate for human rights and inclusive governance
  • supported more than 750 women’s organizations and networks
  • provided more than 8,600 graduates with technical and vocational educations
  • supported more than 590,000 entrepreneurs, farmers and smallholders with financial and business-development services

Canada strengthened the international assistance sector by funding the Digna project. It enables Canadian CSOs to implement measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. In 2020-2021, the project launched its website and organized its first annual conference to share policies and good practices.

Canadian civil society partner’s expertise and networks help expand the reach of Canadian international assistance. Since 2017, the Small and Medium Organizations (SMOs) for Impact and Innovation initiative has provided almost $70 million to 40 Canadian SMO development projects. This has resulted in 9 potentially innovative solutions being tested through the Fund for Innovation and Transformation. Additionally, the Spur Change program has improved the capacity of Canadian organizations to provide inclusive, gender-responsive, sustainable and innovative programming.

Total dollar amount in disbursements: over $1 billion

Number of organizations worked with: more than 200 CSOs

Local civil society abroad

Canada’s partnerships with local organizations demonstrate the value of lived experience and local expertise in meeting development challenges. Through local partnerships, Canada can improve the responsiveness of its international assistance to local needs and priorities. In 2020-2021, Canada continued to fund local civil society organizations directly through programs such as the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, Women’s Voice and Leadership Program and the Equality Fund. Canada launched a call for concept notes entitled Education for Refugee and Displaced Children and Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa, which will provide grants to local organizations.

In 2020-2021, the CFLI provided more than $33 million to 662 projects in 134 countries—with 80% of these projects being implemented by local organizations.

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) enables Canadian missions abroad to work directly with local partners to deliver small-scale, high-impact projects. During the pandemic, this connection with local organizations was a critical source of information on the evolving needs of difficult-to-reach communities. For example, in Honduras, local partners kept Canada’s diplomatic mission informed on how the pandemic was affecting rural communities and vulnerable women workers, as well as the ongoing risks facing LGBTQ2 human rights defenders.

Total dollar amount in disbursements: $574 million

Number of organizations worked with: more than 1,200 foreign CSOs

Multilateral engagement: Organizations, summits and forums

In 2020-2021, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of multilateral cooperation to ensure an impactful and wide-reaching response and recovery.

The G7 and the G20 have traditionally served as platforms for Canada to advance its international assistance priorities. In 2021, international assistance was a special focus for the United Kingdom’s G7 presidency and it put forward an ambitious program of development work.

During the 2020 Saudi Arabian G20 presidency, and in the lead-up to the 2020 Riyadh Summit, Canada actively participated in negotiations on the Development Working Group’s 5 deliverables. Canada’s alliances with key partners within the group helped to ensure that women’s empowerment and gender equality considerations were included in many of the G20’s deliverables.

Please see the G7 and G20 pages for more details on Canada’s role in these organizations.

United Nations organizations

Canada continued to pursue a multi-track approach to engaging with UN partners in 2020-2021. This consisted of bilateral meetings, strategic dialogues and regular exchanges through governing boards and executive committees. Each of these settings provide Canada with a platform to collaborate with multilateral partners to identify international assistance objectives and outcomes, in addition to governance and reform objectives.

In 2020-2021, Canada continued to leverage the experience, expertise and convening power of the UN system to reach the poorest and most vulnerable, and to contribute to achieving the SDGs.

Our close partnerships with development and humanitarian entities such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women, UNHCR and the World Food Programme provide an effective way to address complex global development problems and humanitarian situations.

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

In 2020-2021, the Organisation international de la Francophonie’s (OIF’s) programming prioritized support to empower Francophone youth and women. This was achieved through projects carried out in partnership with nearly 800 local civil society organizations, mainly in Africa. In addition, Canada’s support to specific OIF initiatives, such as La Francophonie avec Elles, helped to enhance women’s and girls’ access to economic development, education and health care, and to protect them from all forms of violence. In 2020, 14,000 women and girls benefited from this funding through almost 60 projects in 20 Francophone countries.

To learn more about Canada’s collaboration with the OIF, please visit the Canada and La Francophonie website.


Through our support to the Commonwealth, Canada helped to improve the lives of vulnerable and marginalized groups in 54 member countries in 2020-2021. This support enabled progress in areas such as the empowerment of women, inclusive governance, climate action and the rule of law. It helped to address the unique needs of small states and strengthen their voices in multilateral forums.

In 2020-2021, Canada contributed $6.91 million in institutional support to the Commonwealth Secretariat and another $1.22 million to the Commonwealth Foundation in assessed contributions.

International financial institutions

International financial institutions (IFIs) include multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These institutions are among Canada’s largest and most important international partners for delivering development results given their scale of operations, track record, technical and financial expertise, and convening role. They support economic growth and poverty reduction, and promote regional cooperation and integration. The IMF also focuses on fostering global monetary cooperation, securing financial stability and facilitating international trade. Member countries, including Canada, provide these institutions with capital, grants, loans and guarantees. IFIs use these resources to provide preferred interest rates to borrowing members and private-sector partners, as well as concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest countries, while delivering critical policy advice and capacity development to developing countries.

Canada is a member of several IFIs, including the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Inter-American Development Bank. Canada provides core contributions to support these institutions’ operations, activities and specific projects. Through our membership on IFI boards of governors and boards of directors, Canada actively contributes to developing policies and overseeing financial activities.

More information on Canada’s relationship with IFIs is available through the Partnerships and Organizations webpage. Volume 2 of this report provides additional information on Canada’s participation in the IMF, the World Bank and the EBRD.

Stories of change

Sowing seeds of hope in Jordan

Through Canada’s support of UN Women’s Gender Mainstreaming in the Government of Jordan’s Systems project.

Anti-racism, diversity and inclusion

As a global leader on intersectional feminism in international assistance, Canada applies an inclusive and human rights based approach to promote better practices on assessing and responding to intersectional discrimination—from a country to a global level. Over the past year, events around the world have brought the issues of systemic racism, intolerance, discrimination and other forms of exclusion to the forefront—both in Canada and globally. Recent calls for racial equality, justice and inclusion demonstrate that these issues run deep and will require effective responses across the government’s operations, policies and programs.

Along with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Feminist Approach Guidance Note seeks to clarify and put into use the analysis and elimination of systemic discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and religion.

Since 2015, Canada has been implementing an intersectional approach to its international assistance, which recognizes that individuals have multiple and intersecting identities that shape how they experience discrimination.

Key initiatives in the spotlight
Promoting inclusion and respect for diversity

In 2020-2021, Canada’s funding through the Inclusion, Diversity and Human Rights Fund of Global Affairs Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion (OHRFI) included:

  • $2.5 million for human rights and human rights defenders
  • more than $2 million to promote freedom of religion or belief
  • more than $500,000 to promote inclusion and respect for diversity

For example, Canada’s funding to New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC’s) Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies is helping participating states combat inequality and exclusion. Canada is proud to be one of the “Pathfinders,” a group of 39 UN member states, international organizations, global partnerships and civil society partners working together to accelerate progress on the SDG targets for peace, justice and inclusion (SDG16+).

The International Youth Aboriginal Internship (IAYI) initiative offers Indigenous youth, between the ages of 18 and 35, opportunities to gain professional experiences in international development. As a result of the pandemic, the program was adapted to enable future virtual internships opportunities, thus continuing to provide Indigenous youth with the opportunity to develop their skills and competencies to prepare them for future employment or to further their studies.

Addressing inequality and exclusion

Through OHRFI, Canada is supporting the Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion, one of CIC’s main initiatives. Most of the countries in the Grand Challenge have either recently undergone democratic transitions after periods of conflict or authoritarian rule, or have faced civil strife in the past. Throughout 2020 and early 2021, the Grand Challenge worked to identify and conduct research on the immediate and longer-term policy priorities needed to tackle inequality and exclusion. This included 9 policy briefs on how to support an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020-2021, Canada provided support to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Words into Action project. This project applied a holistic approach to addressing antisemitism and other forms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination, including hate crimes.

Ensuring dignity for all people

Canada’s contribution to the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights project helped to increase awareness of the impact that the armed conflict in Colombia had on LGBTQ2 people, particularly trans and lesbian women. As a result of Canada’s support, more than 30 people working with LGBTQ2 organizations have been trained on how to document human rights violations. Another nine people were trained on how to develop advocacy campaigns for Afro-LGBTQ2 victims of the armed conflict.

Canada provided funding to the Act Together for Inclusion Fund (ACTIF) managed by Equitas. ACTIF aims to advance the protection and realization of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit and intersex (LGBTQ2I) persons in ODA-eligible countries in collaboration with local organizations. The Fund launched its first call for proposals and is providing funding to 7 selected collaborative initiatives involving Canadian and southern partners spanning 17 countries across the globe.

Stories of change

Providing opportunities to Indigenous youth

Indigenous University graduates have the opportunity to work in the Canadian embassies in Peru and Guatemala.

Innovative development financing

The financing gap to reach the SDGs widened in 2020-2021 as a result of an increase in spending to address the COVID-19 crisis, coupled with a decrease in external private financing. In fact, it is estimated that this gap will increase to US$3.7 trillion annually.

Canada’s innovative development financing seeks to catalyze additional public and private sector resources to support sustainable development.

The International Assistance Innovation Program and the Sovereign Loans Program are 2 pilot programs totalling $1.59 billion over 5 years. These 2 programs are expanding the use of new repayable funding mechanisms.

Key initiatives in the spotlight
African Guarantee Fund

Through the International Assistance Innovation Program, Canada contributed $12.5 million to the African Guarantee Fund to create a business line dedicated to African women entrepreneurs as part of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative.

Created by the African Development Bank, this pan-African initiative aims to reduce market risk perceptions for African women entrepreneurs and narrow the estimated US$42 billion financing gap that they face. By contributing to this initiative, Canada is helping to deliver dedicated guarantees to African financial institutions that lend to women entrepreneurs.

For every dollar of capital the African Guarantee Fund receives, it is able to provide up to $4 in guarantees to African financial institutions. This increases local currency financing to women entrepreneurs.

Since 2012, the fund has:

  • issued US$1.1 billion worth of guarantees to more than 160 African financial institutions
  • benefited almost 21,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, 30% of which are women-owned
  • helped to create almost 130,000 jobs across 40 African countries
Canada-Africa Development Bank Climate Fund

In March 2021, Canada announced a contribution of almost $133 million to establish the Canada-Africa Development Bank Climate Fund. The fund aims to enhance women’s economic rights and participation in climate action and to mobilize private capital to fill the climate investment gap in Africa. Canada’s contribution is partially repayable, with the goal of providing concessional loans to climate change-related projects that use a gender lens.

Supporting development finance institutions

In 2020-2021, FinDev Canada, Canada’s Development Finance Institution, continued to respond quickly to the changing needs of investees as a result of the pandemic. In Budget 2021, the government authorized a $300 million recapitalization of FinDev Canada over 3 years, starting in 2023-2024. This will allow FinDev Canada to continue to deliver on its mandate, achieve financial sustainability and grow its portfolio.

This past year, Canada committed to working effectively with development financial institutions and multilateral development banks to respond to the COVID crisis by signing onto the Tri Hita Karana (THK) Statement on the Role of Development Finance Institutions, Multilateral Development Banks and Shareholders in Building Back Better in the Wake of COVID-19. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in line with the recommendations of the THK statement, FinDev Canada is co-investing with other institutions to distribute risk more broadly and pool resources to increase available financing.

In 2020-2021, Global Affairs Canada provided $75.9 million to FinDev Canada for the 2X Canada: Inclusive Economic Recovery Facility. The Facility aims to support COVID-19 economic recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, and will apply a gender lens to all of its investments to actively support women’s economic empowerment.

Private-sector engagement

Canada recognizes the fundamental role that the private sector plays in driving innovation, productivity and inclusive economic growth, as well as achieving development results. In 2020-2021, Canada collaborated with the private sector and other stakeholders to develop the Private Sector Engagement for Sustainable Development Strategy. The strategy will encourage private actors to engage in international assistance initiatives in new, more innovative and adaptable ways to solve social, economic and environmental problems globally and support the 2030 Agenda.

Stories of change

From illicit crops to legality: Transforming lives with cocoa

Innovative thinking in Colombia helps cocoa crops and farmer's profit.

Development innovation and experimentation

The Feminist International Assistance Policy recognizes development innovation as critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda. It commits Canada to being an innovator and improving the effectiveness of its international assistance. Please consult the open data portal for a list of projects implementing innovative solutions.

During 2020-2021, 23 partners implemented 30 new innovations that generated better results in more than 25 countries. As of March 2021, more than 50 Canadian-funded partners were working to test more than 330 potential innovations.

Canada’s Guidance Note on Innovation in International Assistance defines innovation as “a process, mindset, and means to enable new or improved locally driven solutions for better results and greater impact, which benefit the most vulnerable, including women and girls.” Canada’s approach to innovation reflects the the G7 Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact. These principles underscore the importance of:

  • fostering innovative partnerships
  • collaborating across public, private and civil society sectors
  • supporting local innovators
  • increasing experimentation
  • measuring impact to achieve better development results

Experimentation, or testing and comparing, is a method Canada uses to help verify that projects and services are achieving the best results—for both our partners and Canadians. Rigorously testing an approach before it is rolled out on a larger scale increases the chance that it will achieve its intended results. Experimentation can reduce risk and maximize impact.

Countries where innovations are being implemented with support from Global Affairs Canada and its partners
Countries where innovations are being implemented with support from Global Affairs Canada and its partners
Text version
Côte d'Ivoire1
Democratic Republic of Congo4
South Africa1
South Pacific1
South Sudan1
Key initiatives in the spotlight
Grand Challenges Canada

Since 2010, Canada has contributed $601 million to Grand Challenges Canada (GCC). This includes $200 million in new institutional funding announced in 2020 to support innovators in low- and middle-income countries. This funding will help to develop and transition innovations that improve the health, human rights and well-being of women, adolescent girls and children in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations.

Innovations funded through GCC’s current Innovation Platform for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative have improved the lives of close to a half a million people and saved the lives of almost 14,000 others. This was more than double the number of people who benefited from the initiative in 2019-2020 and surpassed the project’s targets for these indicators.

In 2020-2021, 2 Canada-funded innovators stood out. Hewatele provides quality medical oxygen to health facilities in Kenya and saw a notable increase in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was the recipient of the Rotman Innovation of the Year Award in 2020. Another notable innovation was South Africa’s Sinapi Biomedical use of its uterine balloon tamponade to treat postpartum hemorrhage in low-resource health facilities.

Fund for Innovation and Transformation

In 2020-2021, Canada continued to support the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation in implementing the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT), including funding 9 new projects. FIT funds Canadian small and medium-sized organizations that partner with local organizations to test innovative solutions to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

As of the end of March 2021, 18 organizations were testing potentially innovative solutions in 12 countries to determine their impact and results when it comes to development. These solutions included testing a self-sampling method to increase screening for human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer among rural women in India, and expanding the Healing in Harmony music therapy program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The program helps men and boys in the DRC deal with trauma from violence and conflict, develop positive masculinity and become more knowledgeable about gender equality.

Global Innovation Fund

Through Canada’s contribution to the Global Innovation Fund’s Innovating for Gender Equality Sub-Fund, Canada is supporting the testing and scaling of 3 innovative solutions: StrongMindsNo Means No Worldwide and Breakthrough India. These solutions aim to transform unequal gender relations and empower the world’s poorest women and girls. In 2020-2021, almost 19,000 people graduated from the No Means No Worldwide sexual violence program in Uganda, South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

The Global Innovation Fund is using a new impact methodology framework to forecast and measure the social impact of initiatives that advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The framework was developed for the Gender Equality Sub-fund and is now being applied to all of its investments.

Engaging with international stakeholders

In 2020-2021, Canada continued to be an active member of the International Development Innovation Alliance and a key supporter of integrating innovation into the work of the OECD-Development Assistance Committee. In fact, Canada has taken the lead on a proposed approach to track innovation in official development assistance reporting. For the first time in 2020-2021, Canada identified innovative projects in its reporting to the committee and demonstrated the value of tracking innovation to other committee members.

Community of Practice on Development Innovation

In 2020-2021, Canada continued to work with Canadian civil society organizations through the Multi-stakeholder Community of Practice on Development Innovation. It supports collective capacity development by exchanging knowledge on good practices, new approaches and tools for development innovation. For example, in April 2020, Global Affairs Canada and the Digital Opportunity Trust co-hosted a session called “Innovating During Crisis: Lessons from the First 30 Days.” This event led to the sharing of innovative practices, collective experiences, challenges and learning regarding how to continue to work toward the SDGs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accelerating Access Initiative Joint Financing Arrangement

The Scaling Up Access to Formal Education project in Jordan uses a Joint Financing Agreement to respond to the protracted refugee crisis in Jordan and support refugee education, rather than stand-alone and disconnected interventions. It demonstrates the value of this type of funding mechanism, which can be implemented in any sector where refugee populations are using national systems along with national populations. A similar funding mechanism has been implemented in the health sector through the creation of the Jordan Health Fund for Refugees.

This approach puts Jordan’s Ministry of Education in the lead in supporting the country’s landmark commitment to allow all children, regardless of their nationality, access to formal education. At the same time, it allows for international burden and responsibility sharing in line with the Global Compact on Refugees. This approach has allowed donors to move away from costly parallel systems and directly channel their resources to a functioning national system, which in turn contributes to strengthening these systems.

Empowering Kenyan women to sustainably grow more food

In 2020-2021, the More Food: Empowering Kenyan Women Farmers project, implemented by Farmers Helping Farmers, adopted approaches to improve the dietary diversity of farming families in Kenya. This included providing grow bags to women farmers in Meru County.

Grow bags provide a large supply of nutritious vegetables in a very small footprint. Each bag replaces a 100-foot row of vegetables and reduces the time and effort needed to weed, water and harvest the plants. These bags can be filled with enriched soil and compost, enabling their use in areas with poor soil where growing food would not otherwise be possible.

Women farmers taking part in the project reported that training sessions on establishing seedling nurseries for grow bags had improved their sustainable agricultural skills. They were able to improve their incomes as they produced more food, which could then be sold at local markets.

Supporting environmental protection on traditional Karen lands

The Inclusive Democratic Development in Burma/Myanmar project helps ethnic minority groups in Myanmar to create environmentally minded solutions for local problems. With Canada’s support, the project enabled the first ever customary land title to be issued to a collective of 6 ethnic Karenni villages in 2020. This helped to strengthen environmentally conscious regulations and practices in these communities.

The project led to the creation of the Salween Peace Park—a community-driven initiative that provided the local ethnic Karen community to become custodians over their traditional lands. This enabled the community to support local ecosystems through environmental practices and provide sustainable livelihoods for its inhabitants. In 2020, the Salween Peace Park received both the Goldman Environmental Prize and the Equator Prize as recognition for its contribution to environmental protection.

Supporting experimentation

Over the past 3 years, Global Affairs Canada has expanded its use of experimentation and is continuously working to strengthen institutional and partner capacity to support experimentation. To this end, the department is increasing the level of awareness and knowledge of experimentation as well as the availability of expert advice for designing and implementing experiments. In 2020-2021, we continued to:

  • gather data on experiments planned or underway
  • integrate experimentation into departmental governance bodies and decision-making processes
  • develop an internal-experimentation community of practice
  • dedicate sustained human and financial resources to experimentation

Volume 2 - Engagement with international financial institutions


Volume 2 of the Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance 2020-2021 provides information on Canada’s engagement with three international financial institutions (IFIs)Footnote 5: the World Bank Group (Section A), the International Monetary Fund (Section B) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Section C). Such information responds to various reporting requirements under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement (EBRD) Act. This year’s report introduces the work that these IFIs are undertaking to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, also support developing countries with policy advice, research and analysis, and capacity-development activities.

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.

Section A: Canada’s engagement in World Bank Group operations

The World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals are to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity through inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development. Canada is a founding member of the WBG, which has 188 member countries, and holds a permanent seat on the 25-member Board of Executive Directors. The Canadian Executive Director represents a constituency on the Board that includes Ireland and 11 Commonwealth Caribbean countries. Canada’s largest annual contribution to the World Bank is to the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s concessional fund, which provides low interest loans or grants to the poorest member countries. Canada is the sixth largest donor to this fund since its creation in 1960 and has contributed US$13.5 billion to IDA since its inception.

Since the start of the pandemic, the WBG supported countries to address the health emergency, strengthen health systems, protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, create jobs and jumpstart a green, resilient and inclusive recovery. Between April 2020 and June 2021, the WBG committed over US$157 billion to fight the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and support a climate-friendly recovery. The WBG is also supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is making available US$20 billion in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.

Reporting requirements

The Bretton Woods and Related Agreements 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, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes). 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 and Related Agreements 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 A and B meet these reporting requirements.

For more information, refer to the text of the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements 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$9.2 billion in capital subscriptions to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and US$13.5 billion in contributions to the International Development Association (IDA) (see Table 1).

Canada’s current voting power ranges from 2.5% to 2.85% 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.

Table A1: Canada’s cumulative capital subscriptions, June 2021 (US$ millions, unless otherwise indicated)
i Represents Canada’s cumulative contributions to IDA.
ii While Canada’s cumulative payments to the IFC amount to US$81.3 million, Canada holds US$620.2 million of shareholder capital as a result of the conversion of members retained earnings into paid-in capital.
Capital subscriptions and contributions8,499.313,483.1i620.2ii56.5
Amount paid in619.513,483.0581.3310.7
Amount not paid in but contingent on future capital requirements7,879.8--45.8
Subscription or contributions share (%)2.854.612.992.95
Voting power (%)2.722.662.852.50

Information on the World Bank Group’s 2020-2021 fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) 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 during the reporting period was current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and former Minister of Finance Bill Morneau. The position of Alternate WBG Governor was held by Leslie MacLean, Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Development 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 that is also composed 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. Canada’s Executive Director to the WBG during the reporting period was Louise Levonian.

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 Meetings (held in the Fall). 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 2020-2021, Canada’s Governor tabled two Development Committee statements on behalf of Canada’s constituency, on October 16, 2020 and on April 9, 2021, during virtually held meetings. Among other things, the Governor highlighted some of Canada’s priorities at the WBG, including an equitable, global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Statements by all Governors can be found on the Development Committee webpage.

Canada’s financial contributions to the World Bank Group in 2020-2021

Canada is an important provider of funding to the World Bank Group. In 2020-2021, Canada made the following contributions, which are reported as Canadian official development assistance:

IDA contribution: $423.24 million

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Strongly aligned with Canada’s international assistance priorities, IDA-financed operations focus on 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, 2020 to June 30, 2021, Canada provided $423.24 million, as agreed under the IDA19 replenishment. This corresponds to the first grant installment of Canada’s IDA19 contribution. 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, while ensuring countries do not take on unsustainable levels of debt.

Multilateral debt relief through the World Bank: $34.1 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, 2020 to June 30, 2021 reporting period, Canada provided $34.1 million to the World Bank Group for the MDRI.

World Bank Group trust funds: $490.56 million

World Bank Group trust funds are an effective instrument for channeling 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 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Affairs Canada also looked to the WBG to help deliver on Canada’s COVID-19 response through trust fund contributions. These helped to address direct and secondary impacts of the pandemic on developing countries in areas such as health, disease surveillance and food security.

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 2020-2021.

Table A2: Global Affairs Canada disbursements to WBG trust funds in 2020-2021
Trust fundsDisbursements between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 ($ millions)
Note: Total may not add due to rounding.
Sources: Global Affairs Canada, Chief Financial Officer – Statistics
Strengthening Regional Disease Surveillance in West Africa7.00
Rural Social Protection: Productive Safety Net Program 2016-2021 (Ethiopia)8.00
Strengthening National Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Mozambique15.59
Resilient Landscapes and Livelihoods for Women in Ethiopia2.40
Technical Assistance for Ethiopia’s Reform Agenda3.00
Sudan Family Support Program10.00
Supporting Renewable Energy in Africa - Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)1.50
Support to girl access to secondary education in Haiti single-donor Trust Fund (Improving Girl’s Access to Secondary Education in Haiti)7.00
Technical Assistance on Migration for the Government of Ecuador2.60
Caribbean Resilience Facility Trust Fund (Canada-Caribbean Resilience Facility)5.00
Bangladesh Health Sector Support Project Multi-Donor Trust Fund (Strengthening Health Systems and Services in Bangladesh)13.5
Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF)45.00
Gender Responsive Planning & Budgeting in Indonesia4.00
Middle East and North Africa
Mashreq Gender Facility: Advancing the Child Care Agenda in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq4.0
Support to Iraq Reform, Reconstruction and Recovery Fund10.83
Support for Lebanon’s Recovery7.00
Global initiatives and strategic policy
Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Women Every Child50.0
Global Fund for Disaster Reduction and Recovery - Earth Observation technologies2.00
Partnership for Market Implementation5.00
Energy Transition Program119.00
Renewable Energy in Small Island Developing States Program20.00
Forests and Landscapes Program35.00
Canada-International Finance Corporation Blended Climate Finance Program56.50
Enhancing Extractive Sector Benefit Sharing2.00
Global Evaluation Initiative0.24
GIRL/Gender Innovation and Regional Learning3.71

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:

In 2020-2021, Canada contributed $50 million to the Global Financing Facility (GFF). As a founding donor to the GFF, since 2015, Canada has committed a total of $540 million to support 36 GFF countries to prioritize and scale up investments to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition through targeted strengthening of primary health care systems. Prior to the pandemic, countries where the GFF has been engaged long enough to effect change had seen positive trends in some indicators, such as reducing child deaths and adolescent pregnancy, improving child growth and nutrition, and sexual and reproductive health. Nearly two-thirds of countries were instituting reforms to improve efficiency in health spending and directing more resources to frontline health. As the COVID pandemic spread, the GFF adapted its support to help countries respond to immediate needs, safeguard essential health services and reclaim the gains made through previous years of leadership and investments. This included providing tailored technical assistance; monitoring and reporting on gaps in essential health services to better inform decisions; adapting existing grants; and providing additional financial support through a newly established mechanism, COVID-19 Essential Health Services grants. To date, the GFF has approved US$300 million in COVID-19 essential health services grants to support 18 countries.

In 2019-2020, Canada contributed $236 million to the Canada Clean Energy and Forest Climate Facility (CCEFF), which targets financing to key sectors where it is needed most in order to stimulate investment in inclusive, green growth. Established in 2020, the Facility will support transformational climate actions through World Bank projects, with a primary focus on Asia’s clean energy transition, renewable energy in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and forestry and sustainable land use. Financing from the Facility will catalyze and scale up private investment across multiple sectors; accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy market development; promote gender equality and the mainstreaming of gender considerations in clean energy investments; and foster sustainable landscapes, climate-smart land use, and green supply chains, as well as new financial instruments that promote private sector investment and public-private partnerships.

In 2020-2021, Canada contributed $45 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). Established in 2002 to provide a coordinated financing mechanism for the Government of Afghanistan's budget, the ARTF has been one of Canada’s main funding vehicles to deliver development assistance in Afghanistan. Canada’s support since 2002 helped achieve results in a number of areas such as reduced maternal mortality, significantly improved health indicators, and an increase in the number of students enrolled in basic and secondary education, in particular the proportion of girls. In addition, in 2020 more than US$1 billion in new and recommitted International Development Assistance and ARTF funds were made available for the COVID-19 response. At the November 2020 Afghanistan Pledging Conference, Canada announced funding of $135 million over three years (2020-21 to 2023-24). Since 2002 and until the Taliban takeover on August 15, 2021, the ARTF was the largest single source of financing for Afghanistan’s development, with US$12.43 billion contributed by 34 donors to support the Government of Afghanistan’s civilian operations and development objectives. Canada has contributed US$805 million to date, or just under 7% of the total budget, and is the fifth largest donor overall following the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union and Germany.

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.

Due to data availabilities, this section reflects contract awards for World Bank operational procurement only, and does not include sub-contractor information. It also does not include information for contracts awarded to subsidiaries of Canadian companies which are headquartered outside of Canada.

Table A3: Disbursements by IBRD and IDA borrowers: Goods and services from Canada (US$ millions)
World Bank Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30)Amount
Note: Based on World Bank Group figures as of July 26, 2021.
Table A4: Disbursements by IBRD and IDA borrowers: Suppliers of goods and services from Canada, 2020-2021 (US$)
Note: Based on World Bank Group figures as of July 26, 2021. The World Bank fiscal year runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Beauchemin InternationalEducationGoods10,628,250
Groupement WSP / CPCSEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services4,794,526
WSP Canada IncEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services4,639,173
Survalent Technology CorporationEnergy & ExtractivesGoods2,656,091
Paterson Grant & Watson LimitedEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services1,850,350
Joint Venture - International Secretariat for Water, Taraqqiyot Centre and Yuksalish Nationwide MovementSocial Sustainability and InclusionConsultant Services1,549,356
CCM Consulting Group WorldwideEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services1,187,225
Société de Coopération pour le Développement International (SOCODEVI)Agriculture and FoodConsultant Services569,212
UPA DiAgriculture and FoodConsultant Services569,212
Groupe Geoimage Solutions Inc.Finance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services423,038
Tetra TechEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services394,950
Cowater International Inc.Urban, Resilience and LandConsultant Services387,956
DNA Genotek Inc.Health, Nutrition & PopulationGoods363,000
Joint Venture - MEK Earth & Environmental Inc. Canada with Witek Company Limited (Tanzania) and Beyond Nature LimitedEnvironment, Natural Resources & the Blue EconomyConsultant Services346,978
GRPT CidebumecEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services329,900
Trevor G. CarterEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services300,633
Issagha DiaganaUrban, Resilience and LandConsultant Services266,696
Paterson, Grant & Watson LimitedEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services256,394
Health Standards Organization (HSO) with Accreditation Canada (AC)Health, Nutrition & PopulationConsultant Services254,392
Société de Developpement InternationalUrban, Resilience and LandConsultant Services246,441
Manitoba Hydro InternationalEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services236,351
Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology and Brock UniversitySocial Protection & JobsConsultant Services228,220
Gowlings LLPFinance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services223,120
Philippe JonnaertEducationConsultant Services195,932
Abdirizak Omar GodaneFinance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services180,000
Alison RedfordEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services180,000
CPCS Transcom LimitedTransportConsultant Services179,345
Freebalance Inc.GovernanceConsultant Services168,976
Peter RaeEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services157,028
PA Conseils InternationalEducationConsultant Services148,521
Jean Cinq MarsEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services116,262
Carmen MalenaSocial Sustainability and InclusionConsultant Services113,071
Professeure Annie SavardEducationConsultant Services110,314
Damien Nicolas EchevinPoverty and EquityConsultant Services108,325
Olugbolahan Mark-GeorgeFinance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services96,187
Hassan Darwish MohamedGovernanceConsultant Services90,480
Université du Québec à MontréalEducationConsultant Services84,795
Kent JingforsEnvironment, Natural Resources & the Blue EconomyConsultant Services83,600
Omar Ibrahim H. HusseinGovernanceConsultant Services76,500
Marcel FerlandSocial Protection & JobsConsultant Services74,345
C2D Services Inc.EducationConsultant Services72,377
Chitra SewsagurGovernanceConsultant Services67,594
Khadijah SulemanUrban, Resilience and LandConsultant Services60,000
Michael CohenSocial Protection & JobsConsultant Services60,000
Zongo BoukaryFinance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services57,174
Elinor BajraktariEducationConsultant Services47,256
Eric Di DomenicoPoverty and EquityConsultant Services44,250
Trina ArsenaultEducationConsultant Services42,981
Bernard NyaburerwaUrban, Resilience and LandConsultant Services42,845
Kholmatov MatinWaterConsultant Services40,925
Paul BanerjeeGovernanceConsultant Services37,111
Venkata Subbara NukalaWaterConsultant Services36,000
Harold CoulombePoverty and EquityConsultant Services35,750
John McnultyFinance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services34,913
Clearpath Robotics TmAgriculture and FoodGoods33,335
Anjum IsrarGovernanceConsultant Services32,625
Viamo Inc.GovernanceConsultant Services31,530
Canadian Institute for Energy TrainingEnergy & ExtractivesNon-consulting Services22,875
Michael J.WillsAgriculture and FoodConsultant Services21,980
Robert LancopFinance, Competitiveness and InnovationConsultant Services14,000
Scarie NivyintizoEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services10,450
Paul HewittEnergy & ExtractivesConsultant Services9,500
Ali ArtamanHealth, Nutrition & PopulationConsultant Services3,368
Buddy BossSocial Sustainability and InclusionGoods2,376
Uncanny OwlSocial Sustainability and InclusionGoods399
Canadian Financial Institutions and the World Bank Group

Canadian financial institutions are also actively engaged with the World Bank Group as lead arrangers and financiers of bond issuances – connecting capital markets with the global development agenda. Below are two recent transactions that illustrate where Canadian financial institutions have played a major role.

  • In April 2020, the World Bank issued a record-setting US$8 billion bond, the largest ever US dollar denominated bond issued by a multilateral development bank. This transaction had BMO Capital Markets and TD Securities as two of the joint lead managers. The proceeds of the issuance were used to fund the World Bank’s unprecedented response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More recently, in January 2021, the World Bank issued a C$1.5 billion Sustainable Development Bond, which also helped to raise investor awareness of the World Bank’s work on issues like health and gender equality. This issuance was jointly led by BMO Capital Markets, National Bank Financial Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities.

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 2020: Development Committee Communiqué

October 16, 2020

1. The Development Committee met virtually today, October 16, 2020.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate countries, overwhelming health systems, disrupting productivity, threatening food security, multiplying job losses, and reducing incomes, particularly for the most vulnerable. We commend and support the frontline workers who are fighting the pandemic and keeping economic activity and critical services open. The global crisis requires a comprehensive, robust global response from the development community. We therefore call on the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue working with member countries, the public and private sectors, local and bilateral development partners, and international organizations, including the UN. The WBG should further the response while keeping a firm focus on the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and fostering shared prosperity in a sustainable manner, as well as on the IDA19 and capital commitments, while supporting progress toward the SDGs.

3. The pandemic has resulted in the largest global economic contraction of the last eight decades: it is impacting developing, emerging and developed economies; increasing the global poverty rate; exacerbating inequalities; and damaging long-term economic growth prospects. The associated lockdowns, restrictions and continued uncertainty have caused investments, trade, and remittance flows to plummet; eroded jobs and human capital; kept children out of school; and pressured food and medical supply chains. The humanitarian crisis can further exacerbate fragility, conflict, and violence as well as intensify risks, including in small island states. The economic crisis is threatening the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations, including women-led households, youth and the elderly, refugees and displaced people. It is also widening gender gaps and jeopardizing hard-won development gains and prospects for girls and children overall.

4. We commend the WBG for the speed and scale of its COVID-19 response across countries. The WBG has been at the forefront of multilateral efforts centering on relief, restructuring, and a resilient recovery. We welcome the focus on health, social, and economic responses, as well as policies, institutions, and investments that will be critical to resilient, inclusive, and sustainable recovery.

5. The WBG is supporting countries’ efforts to strengthen health systems and should continue to do so. We stress the importance of an effective COVID-19 vaccine and welcome the US$12 billion in financing recently approved for IDA and IBRD countries to support vaccine purchase and deployment. We encourage the WBG to assist with affordable and equitable access to tests, treatments, and vaccines for developing countries. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to present wide-ranging health, economic, and social challenges over a prolonged period, we encourage intensified action to build robust health systems with universal coverage, thus increasing preparedness and resilience against future pandemics. In this context, digital technologies can secure vital medical consultations, maintain educational services, and allow businesses to survive. We thus welcome WBG operations that are expanding digital connectivity while safeguarding security and data privacy, broadening the reach of digital financial services and supporting digital transformation. These efforts help firms adapt to the crisis, be more competitive, maintain employment, and continue the delivery of critical services, including in education, health, social protection, and access to finance.

6. In the restructuring and recovery stages of the COVID-19 response, the WBG and IMF will need to help countries rebuild better, focusing on promoting the building blocks for an inclusive and sustainable recovery, ensuring affordable energy access and energy security, and addressing the challenges to economic and environmental vulnerabilities, including climate change. We look forward to the upcoming Climate Change Action Plan. To accelerate a resilient recovery centered on jobs and economic transformation, we ask the WBG to provide the knowledge, policy advice, and financial support to help countries strengthen social safety nets and facilitate the movement of capital and labor toward sectors that will be productive and sustainable in the post-pandemic context, while also providing the innovation needed to open up trade finance for SMEs and confront the challenges of informality. We urge the WBG to support the mobilization and crowding in of private capital and finance, with innovative products from IFC and MIGA, maintaining and building on the IFC 3.0 strategy to create markets and promote investments and quality infrastructure for a broad-based recovery and long-term development. Moreover, we stress the importance of increasing domestic resource mobilization in a manner that promotes fairness, equity, and inclusive growth, including by phasing out fuel subsidies and other distortive subsidies and taxes where feasible. We also note the importance of an immediate response in public health, food security, and education; and we call on all countries to support the availability of medical and food supplies that developing countries depend on to avoid the risk of a wider health crisis, famine and hunger. We strongly welcome the work underway to address the risks to gender equality and impacts on biodiversity that are exacerbated by COVID-19. We underscore that the WBG plays a critical role in key global challenges, and it is only by rebuilding stronger and better that the twin goals and SDGs can be achieved.

7. We commend the WBG for its exceptional delivery in the final quarter of fiscal year 2020, with US$45 billion in commitments consisting of US$32 billion from IBRD/IDA, US$11 billion from IFC, and US$2 billion from MIGA, including via their fast-track facilities, for operations in more than 100 countries. We welcome the second phase of IFC’s response, which will include the restructuring and recapitalizing of viable companies and financial institutions as well as support to health care value chains in emerging and developing economies. We also welcome the planned scaling up to US$35 billion of IDA19 resources in fiscal year 2021 to help countries address their long-term development needs. The WBG should continue its efforts to deliver a bold and decisive response of up to US$160 billion by June 2021. Considering the severity and likely long-term effects of the crisis, we encourage discussions on the WBG financial capacity beyond fiscal year 2021, to ensure that the WBG remains adequately capitalized to fulfill its mandate. In addition, we commend the IMF for its rapid and effective crisis response, which has provided some US$100 billion in assistance to over 80 countries during the pandemic, primarily through emergency financing facilities. We call on the IMF to continue to deploy all available tools and resources to help members achieve a durable exit from the crisis while building more resilient and inclusive economies.

8. We support the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) by six months and to examine, by the time of the 2021 WBG and IMF Spring Meetings, if the economic and financial situation requires to extend further the DSSI by another six months, with targeted complements to the April 2020 DSSI Term Sheet. All official bilateral creditors should implement this initiative fully and in a transparent manner. We strongly encourage private creditors to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries. Thanks to the efforts of official bilateral creditors, the DSSI is creating much needed fiscal space and supporting the financing programs of the WBG and IMF for the poorest countries. While protecting their current ratings and low cost of funding, we encourage MDBs to go further in their collective efforts in supporting the DSSI, including through providing net positive flows to DSSI-eligible countries during the suspension period, including the extension period. We encourage the WBG to explore additional proposals for COVID-19 emergency financing for IDA countries in its discussions with IDA deputies. We ask the WBG and IMF to continue supporting DSSI implementation, including by providing further details on the net new resources they are providing to each eligible country. We ask the WBG and the IMF to continue their work to strengthen quality and consistency of debt data and improve debt disclosure. Amid high public debt levels, shrinking economies, and rising fiscal pressures, we recognize that debt treatments beyond the DSSI may be required on a case-by-case basis. In this context, we welcome the G20’s agreement in principle on a “Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI”, which is also agreed by the Paris Club. We look forward to the endorsement of the Common Framework by members, subject to their domestic approval procedures.

9. We encourage the WBG and IMF to continue to review the debt challenges of low-income countries and propose actions to address their fiscal and debt stress on a case-by-case basis. We also continue to encourage the WBG and IMF to review the debt challenges of middle-income countries and to explore customized solutions to their fiscal and debt stress on a case-by-case basis, including by providing additional resources in these challenging times, in line with the capital package commitments.

10. We welcome the 2020 Shareholding Review Report to Governors and thank Board members for their progress to date. We look forward to the completion of the review based on the guidance provided at this meeting. We also thank the Board for their work on the ongoing review of IDA voting rights and look forward to its completion by the next Annual Meetings in 2021.

11. We thank Mr. Ken-Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance of Ghana, for his guidance and leadership as Chair of the Committee during the past two years, and Ms. Yvonne Tsikata for her invaluable service to the Development Committee over the past four years. We welcome Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Barbados, and Ms. 3 Azucena Arbeleche, Minister of Economy and Finance of Uruguay, who have been selected as sequential Chairs for the periods of November 2020 to October 2021, and November 2021 to October 2022, respectively. We also welcome Ms. Diarietou Gaye as Executive Secretary to the Development Committee.

12. The next meeting of the Development Committee is scheduled for April 10, 2021, in Washington, DC.

World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings 2020: Development Committee Communiqué

April 9, 2021

1. The Development Committee met virtually today, April 9, 2021.

2. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented public health, economic, and social crisis, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions. The economic shock is increasing poverty, worsening inequalities, and reversing development gains. As the global economy begins a gradual recovery, uncertainty surrounds near- and medium-term prospects. We call for sustained, differentiated, and targeted financial and technical support for an adequate policy response, strong coordination across bilateral and multilateral organizations, and further support to the private sector. We urge the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in line with their respective mandates, to work closely together and with other partners to contain the impacts of the pandemic. We also ask the WBG to continue its support to countries in achieving the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity and to promote green, resilient, and inclusive development (GRID), as well as support for the SDGs.

3. Timely delivery of safe and effective vaccines across all countries is critical to ending the pandemic, especially as new variants emerge. Developing countries need to strengthen their readiness for vaccination campaigns and develop coordinated strategies to reach vulnerable populations. We commend the WBG for supporting client countries’ procurement and deployment of vaccines, and we encourage strong monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure fair and efficient distribution. We welcome the WBG’s partnerships with WHO, COVAX, GAVI, UNICEF, and others, including private manufacturers, to help ensure that developing countries have fast, transparent, affordable, and equitable access to vaccines. We welcome WBG’s ongoing revision of the eligibility criteria for vaccine procurement. We call on IFC to redouble its efforts to support manufacturing capacity for vaccines and pandemic related medical supplies in developing countries. The pandemic has triggered far-reaching consequences, and we must strengthen global preparedness for future pandemics, and at the same time make progress in building robust health systems with universal coverage.

4. As poorer countries face the crisis with increased resource constraints, limited fiscal space, and rising public debt levels, more of them, including small states, are vulnerable to financial stress. The rapid initial response under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) has provided much- needed liquidity for IDA countries. We welcome the progress achieved by the DSSI in facilitating higher pandemic-related spending. All official bilateral creditors should implement this initiative fully and in a transparent manner. In line with the G20 decision, we support a final extension of the DSSI by 6 months through end December 2021, which is also agreed by the Paris Club. We reiterate our call on the private sector, when requested by eligible countries, to take part in the DSSI on comparable terms. This final extension will allow beneficiary countries to mobilize more resources to face the challenges of the crisis and, where appropriate, to move to a more structural approach to address debt vulnerabilities including through an Upper Credit Tranche quality IMF-supported program. Within this context, we welcome the ongoing efforts to implement the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI to address debt vulnerabilities on a case-by case basis and look forward to the coming first meeting of the first creditor committee. In each case, we also welcome implementing the Common Framework in a coordinated manner, including through sharing necessary information among participating official bilateral creditors. The joint creditors’ negotiation shall be held in an open and transparent manner and before finalization of the key parameters, due consideration shall be given to the specific concerns, if any, of all participant creditors and the debtor country. In this regard, we note that the need for debt treatment, and the restructuring envelope that is required, will be based on an IMF/Bank Debt Sustainability Analysis and the participating official creditors’ collective assessment. We ask the World Bank and the IMF to support the implementation of the Common Framework, in line with their respective mandates. We stress the importance for private creditors and other official bilateral creditors of providing debt treatments under the Common Framework on terms at least as favorable, in line with the comparability of treatment principle. We recall the forthcoming work of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), as stated in the Common Framework, in light of debt vulnerabilities. We look forward to progress by the IMF and WBG on their proposal of a process to strengthen the quality and consistency of debt data and improve debt disclosure. We also reiterate the importance of joint efforts by all actors, including private creditors, to continue working towards enhancing debt transparency. Bank and IMF support remains critical to enhance debt management and transparency, strengthen countries’ domestic revenue mobilization and spending efficacy, and combat illicit financial flows. Looking forward, we urge the Bank and the IMF to help countries design and implement policies to address the root causes of excessive and unsustainable debt. Many middle-income countries also face severe debt distress, limiting their ability to respond to the pandemic. We ask the Bank and the IMF to identify lessons learned and continue working closely with other organizations and policymakers to address the debt challenges facing middle-income countries, on a case-by-case basis. We welcome the launch of a second voluntary self- 2 assessment of the implementation of the G20 Operational Guidelines for Sustainable Financing. We look forward to further updates on the implementation of the Institute of International Finance Voluntary Principles for Debt Transparency.

5. The effects of the COVID-19 crisis will be felt for years. Mobility restrictions and lockdowns have triggered job losses, especially for women, youth, and vulnerable groups, and can undermine social inclusion. School closures have caused unprecedented disruption to education, especially for girls, damaging human capital, with long-term economic implications. Inflation and depleted incomes have raised household indebtedness and food insecurity. We urge the WBG to scale up its work to address rising levels of food insecurity and to support countries in achieving SDG2 and nutrition for all. It should address the medium and longer-term challenges of food security and nutrition in a programmatic way and in partnership with other multilaterals, while supporting countries in responding rapidly to already deteriorating food security conditions. Fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) have worsened in many regions. It is urgent to address drivers of FCV, as well as forced displacement and migration. We look forward to the implementation of the FCV strategy. A sustainable and inclusive recovery requires addressing financial sector vulnerabilities, eliminating tax evasion, and mobilizing vital investments. Priorities for investment include quality health care, nutrition, and education; social safety nets; digital and other innovative technologies; sustainable and quality infrastructure; access to energy, including renewable resources; broader opportunities for women and girls; and finance for SMEs and microenterprises. We urge the WBG to help all client countries revitalize trade, support foreign direct investment, and preserve and create jobs. We note the serious impact of the pandemic in many small states and middle-income countries, where new risks and vulnerabilities are arising; and we urge the WBG and the IMF to strengthen efforts to support these countries, in line with their mandates. We welcome the GRID approach and ask the WBG for its effective implementation through country strategies and operations. The WBG is uniquely positioned to tackle the challenges ahead through its convening power, global reach, and capacity to mobilize finance, technical assistance, and knowledge for both the public and private sectors.

6. We commend the WBG’s scale-up of climate finance over the past two years, its continuing role as the largest multilateral source of climate investments in developing countries, its emphasis on biodiversity, and its technical and financial support for adaptation, mitigation, and resilience. We also welcome the WBG and IMF’s work to assess the impact of climate change on macroeconomic and financial stability. In addressing immediate infrastructure and economic needs, we request that the WBG continue working with clients to address climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity loss, while ensuring affordable and cleaner energy access. We ask the Bank to ramp up its comprehensive work on biodiversity and work on measuring cobenefits and mainstreaming biodiversity in its operations, as appropriate. We further encourage the WBG and IMF to support a measurable impact in the transition to a low-carbon economy, while considering countries’ energy needs and mix, and providing targeted support for the poorest. These efforts will include phasing out of inefficient energy subsidies and other distortive fiscal policies where feasible. The most impoverished and vulnerable populations, including those in FCV situations and small states, are among those most affected by climate change, damaged ecosystems, and natural disasters. We support the WBG’s ambitious new target to direct 35% of its financing to climate on average, its commitment for at least 50% of Bank climate financing to support adaptation and resilience, and its crucial convening and knowledge-sharing role and support to a just transition, for countries that request such support. We look forward to the WBG’s Climate Change Action Plan for 2021- 2025 and recognize its work on disaster risk management, preparedness, and response. We welcome the WBG’s proposal to conduct Country Climate and Development Reports and emphasize that Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) should be the primary focus of climate strategies. We commend the WBG’s commitment to align its financial flows with the Paris Agreement, and to continue helping countries reach their climate goals, including through NDCs and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. We also encourage IFC and MIGA’s efforts to mobilize Paris-aligned private sector investments. We support the WBG’s and the IMF’s important role in preparations for the CBD COP15, UNCCD COP15, and UNFCCC COP26 meetings later this year.

7. A vibrant private sector will be essential for client countries to recover, create jobs, and embrace economic transformation. We urge the WBG to continue its work to help crowd-in private capital and finance, and to support the private sector. This should build on the IFC 3.0 Strategy to create markets. IFC should continue helping companies create jobs, preserve viable businesses, adapt to the changes brought by COVID, and pursue a green recovery. We ask MIGA to continue addressing the needs for short- and longer-term funding of private investors and lenders.

8. We support the frontloading of IDA19 resources from FY23 to FY22 to help the poorest countries in their immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis. We also welcome advancing IDA20 by one year. An ambitious and successful IDA replenishment by December 2021, underpinned by a strong policy framework, will support a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery in IDA countries as they address both the immediate and longer-term impacts of the pandemic. We ask the WBG to propose ways to optimize IDA’s balance sheet to make the most of donor contributions and IDA resources, while preserving its AAA rating.

9. The next meeting of the Development Committee is scheduled for October 15, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Section B: Canada’s engagement in International Monetary Fund operations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the central multilateral institution in the international financial system. Its role is to provide global economic surveillance, capacity development assistance, and financial assistance to countries experiencing unsustainable external imbalances and related economic difficulties.

Canada has been an influential member of the IMF since 1945, as one of the original 29 signatories to the IMF Articles of Agreement. Since then, the IMF has grown to include a near-global membership of 190 member countries. Canada is engaged in all aspects of IMF governance and activities, and plays a collaborative role with its international partners to ensure that the Fund 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.

The IMF has been an integral part of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an unprecedented volume of emergency financing to its members in order to meet urgent financing needs associated with the pandemic. In early 2021, the IMF also began laying the policy groundwork for a general allocation of US$650 billion worth of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which was finalized in August 2021. This allocation helped supplement member countries’ foreign exchange reserves and increased global liquidity. The IMF has also provided policy advice and technical assistance to its members throughout the crisis to help them address urgent issues such as cash management, financial supervision, cybersecurity, and economic governance. These activities have helped stabilize the global economy and will promote a stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive recovery.

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 2.22% IMF voting share, making Canada the 11th-largest member during the reporting period.

Table B1: Voting shares of top 20 IMF members
RankCountryShare (%)
1United States16.50
6United Kingdom4.03
9Russian Federation2.59
12Saudi Arabia2.01
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 Governors at the IMF during the reporting period were current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and former Minister of Finance Bill Morneau. The position of Alternate IMF Governor is currently held by Tiff Macklem, who succeeded Stephen Poloz, the former Alternate IMF Governor, as Governor of the Bank of Canada in June 2020.

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 Kristalina Georgieva. The constituency system allows the 24 Board members to represent all 190 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 countriesFootnote 10. With all constituency members combined, the Executive Director for Canada holds a voting power of 3.37%—making it the 12th-largest constituency 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 Executive Director during the reporting period was Louise Levonian. The Executive Director is supported by a 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 contributes 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 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 with Canada’s Minister of Finance occupying one of the 24 seats at the IMFC table. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, served as IMFC Chair from the beginning of the reporting period until January 2021. Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s Minister for Finance, served as IMFC Chair for the remainder of the reporting period. 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. Canada's Minister of Finance also tables written statements on behalf of our constituency during the Annual and Spring Meetings that outline our collective priorities for the activities of the Fund. Our constituency’s statements for the reporting period are included below, and are also published on the IMF websiteFootnote 7.

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 8 subscriptions are the primary component of IMF financial resources. These resources are supplemented by the New Arrangements to Borrow, a renewable multilateral borrowing arrangement (in which Canada participates) that forms a second line of defence for the IMF. Additionally, the IMF maintains temporary bilateral borrowing arrangements with 40 members (including Canada), which serve as a third line of defence. In the event of a major global economic crisis, the Fund can draw on these multilateral and bilateral lines of credit after all other resources have been effectively depleted. Further information can be found on 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 membersFootnote 9. The Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) is financed through loan and grant contributions from members such as Canada, as well as through IMF investment income.

IMF financial operations are conducted in Special Drawing Rights (SDR)Footnote 6, 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, 2020. For more information on IMF finances, see the IMF’s 2021 Annual Report of the Executive Board.

Table B2: Summary of IMF financial resources and Canada’s financial position at the IMF, as of April 30, 2021 (Billions)
DescriptionTotal (SDR)Canada’s Contribution (SDR)Canada’s Contribution (CAD)Drawn from Canada’s Contribution (SDR)
i Canada’s loan commitment to the PRGT was increased to SDR 1.5 billion on May 13, 2021.
Sources: IMF: Canada: Financial Position in the Fund; Department of Finance Canada calculations.
General Resources Account
New arrangements to borrow3617.713.70.1
Bilateral borrowing agreements1353.56.20
Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust
Active loan commitments 1.0i1.80.8
IMF lending programs

The IMF makes its resources available to help members finance temporary balance of payments problems while they implement economic policy adjustments. To provide this assistance, the IMF utilizes 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 (GRA), whereas concessional lending is financed out of the PRGT.

To accommodate the high demand for IMF lending resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMF temporarily increased the annual and cumulative access limits for its emergency financing instruments in April 2020. These increased limits, which remained in effect for the remainder of the reporting period, allowed IMF members to obtain higher levels of emergency financing than would have otherwise been the case. The IMF also created a new Short-term Liquidity Line in April 2020 to provide an additional backstop for members with very strong policy frameworks and fundamentals. Further details on the IMF lending process and instruments are available on the IMF lending website.

Lending arrangements

During its 2020-2021 fiscal year (May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021) the IMF approved 31 new non-concessional lending arrangements (22 of which were emergency arrangements, primarily in response to the COVID-19 pandemic), as well as seven augmentations to existing arrangements, totalling SDR 63.8 billion (approximately $112.5 billion). As of the end of the IMF fiscal year on April 30, 2021, there were 18 active non-concessional arrangements with the Fund, totalling SDR 108.9 billion (approximately $192.1 billion).

The IMF also approved 34 new concessional arrangements (31 of which were emergency arrangements, primarily in response to the COVID-19 pandemic) and five augmentations to existing arrangements under the PRGT, amounting overall to SDR 4.3 billion (approximately $7.5 billion). As of the end of the IMF fiscal year on April 30, 2021, there were 12 active PRGT arrangements totalling SDR 3.0 billion (approximately $5.4 billion).

Table 3 provides a summary of new IMF lending arrangements approved in 2020-2021. Chart 1 provides an overview of active IMF lending arrangements as of April 30, 2021. A complete list of the IMF’s lending arrangements is available in its annual report and on the IMF Lending Arrangements website.

Table B3: Summary of new lending arrangements approved during 2020-2021
DescriptionNumber of new arrangementsSize (SDR billions)Size ($ billions)
Source: IMF, Department of Finance Canada calculations.
Non-concessional lending3863.8112.5
Regular program lending514.525.5
Emergency lending228.515.0
Precautionary lending435.262.1
Augmentations to existing arrangements75.69.8
Concessional lending (PRGT)394.37.5
Regular program lending30.91.6
Emergency lending313.25.7
Augmentations to existing arrangements50.20.3
Total lending7768.0120.0
Table B4a: Active IMF lending arrangements, as of April 30, 2021
RegionSize (SDR billions)
Source: IMF, Department of Finance Canada calculations.
Table B4b: Active IMF lending arrangements, as of April 30, 2021
Type / CountrySize (SDR billions)
Source: IMF, Department of Finance Canada calculations.
Non-concessional precautionary agreements84.2
Non-concessional lending agreements24.7
Rest of Africa2.2
Rest of Americas1.8
Rest of Asia5.0
Rest of Europe0.0
Concessional agreements3.0
Debt service relief

The Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) allows the IMF to provide grants for debt relief to its poorest and most vulnerable member countries that have been affected by catastrophic natural or public health disasters. The CCRT was enhanced in March 2020 and was subsequently used to provide debt service relief grants to the IMF’s poorest members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 29 eligible countries received debt service relief worth SDR 519.6 million (approximately $916.6 million). This relief was distributed in three tranches, approved by the Executive Board in April 2020, October 2020, and April 2021.

Capacity development

For over 50 years, the IMF’s capacity development (CD) work has helped members strengthen the ability of domestic institutions to foster effective policies, leading to greater economic stability and growth. IMF CD activities are both internally and externally financed in about equal proportions. They accounted for about one quarter of the IMF's budget in 2020-2021. Total spending on CD was US$251 million, including US$118 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 CD, providing approximately US$118 million (approximately $145 million) since 2011 (see Table 4 for details). This support has helped low- and middle-income countries build capacity in areas such as central bank functions, public financial management, debt management, and financial sector development and oversight. Canadian-financed CD is generally delivered in three distinct ways:

  1. Regional Technical Assistance Centres (RTACs): The IMF has developed a regionally tailored approach to 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. In 2020-2021, Canada provided US$4.9 million (approximately $6.0 million) to the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC). This is in line with Canada’s commitment to support small island developing states in the Caribbean. For more information, see IMF Regional Capacity Development Centers.
  2. Country-directed initiatives: Member countries, other IFIs, and IMF project financing vehicles (e.g., RTACs, multi-donor trust funds, and country-specific trusts) can maintain “subaccounts” for targeted technical assistance initiatives and/or retaining a strategic reserve for rapid response to emerging priorities. Canada maintains a subaccount to support various CD activities in the Caribbean, Ukraine, the Middle East, and Africa.
  3. Multi-donor trust funds: The IMF manages several thematic funds. Examples include the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Fund, along with others that focus on improving data availability, public debt management, and other public financial management issues. In addition, there is a fragile state fund specifically focused on supporting Somalia. Canada is currently supporting the AML/CFT Thematic Trust Fund and the IMF-Somalia Trust Fund for Capacity Development. For more information, see Thematic Funds for Capacity Development.
Table B5: Canadian technical assistance (US$ millions)
DescriptionTotal disbursed from 2011-2012 to 2019-2020Amount disbursed in 2020-2021
Notes: IMF capacity development financing is denominated in US dollars. On April 30, 2021, 1 US dollar equaled 1.2285 Canadian dollars. Table only includes initiatives to which Canada has contributed.
Source: IMF.
Regional Technical Assistance Centres
Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre22.24.9
Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Centre9.70
Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centres10.40
Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre1.10
Country-directed initiatives
Canadian Global Technical Assistance Subaccount20.8(0.5)
Ukraine Selected Capacity Development Activities18.70
Canada-Caribbean Enhanced Public Financial Management Project17.2(1.4)
Other Selected Fund Activities3.20
Multi-donor thematic trust funds
Somalia Trust Fund for Capacity Development2.50
AML/CFT Thematic Fund1.51.9
World Bank Subaccount for Selected Fund Activities5.80
Total amount113.14.9

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 Forty-Second Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)

October 15, 2020

Chaired by Mr. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank

We express our sympathies for the loss of human lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and reiterate our commitment to mitigating the health and economic impact of the pandemic on people worldwide.

A tentative global economic recovery is underway, supported by extraordinary macroeconomic policy responses. But the recovery is partial, uneven, and marked by significant uncertainty, with the pandemic continuing to spread in places. The crisis threatens to leave long-lasting scars on the global economy, such as weaker productivity growth, heavier debt burdens, heightened financial vulnerabilities, and higher poverty and inequality. Other longstanding challenges also persist.

To support the recovery, we will sustain our extraordinary and agile policy response, tailored to the different stages of the crisis and country-specific circumstances. We commit to using all available policy tools, individually and collectively, to restore confidence, jobs, and growth. We stand ready to assist the most vulnerable countries and people. We emphasize the need for international cooperation to accelerate the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, with the aim of supporting equitable and affordable access for all, which is key to overcoming the pandemic and supporting global economic recovery. As the crisis abates, we will continue to aim for a robust recovery in growth as we gradually shift fiscal resources from broad-based to more targeted support and facilitate structural transformation, cushioning the impact on jobs, vulnerable people, and viable firms, while preserving debt sustainability. Monetary policies should remain accommodative, in line with central banks’ mandates. We will continue to monitor and, as necessary, tackle financial vulnerabilities and risks to financial stability, including with macroprudential policies. We reaffirm our exchange rate commitments.

We will sustain and strengthen our efforts to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth, while making the most of current economic, social, environmental, technological, and demographic transformations, in a way consistent with our pre-crisis agenda. We will advance structural reforms to lift growth, employment, and productivity. Free, fair, and mutually beneficial goods and services trade and investment are key engines for growth and job creation. We will promote investment with high social and economic returns, and aim to unlock the potential of the digital economy while addressing related challenges. We reaffirm our commitment to strong governance, including by tackling corruption. We will maintain a well-functioning international monetary system and enhance our efforts to strengthen international frameworks and cooperation. We commit to working together to help vulnerable countries meet their financing needs. We will also work together to continue to enhance debt transparency and sustainable financing practices by both debtors and creditors, public and private. We will support countries’ efforts to maintain debt sustainability, or to restore it where debt is unsustainable, and will work together with all stakeholders to improve the architecture for sovereign debt resolution.

We welcome the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda.

We welcome the IMF’s exceptional actions to help members overcome the crisis through policy advice, capacity development, and rapid financial support. We look forward to the IMF continuing its strong engagement in close collaboration with its partners. To this end, we support the IMF’s efforts to fully utilize and, if needed, further adapt its lending toolkit to help the membership address financing needs in the uncertain environment brought about by the pandemic. We also support the IMF continuing to explore additional tools that could serve its members’ needs as the crisis evolves, drawing on relevant experiences from previous crises. We support the IMF’s resumption of focused bilateral surveillance. We welcome the IMF’s continued focus on crisis-related issues and support to members to build a more resilient global economy, including by addressing longstanding and increasingly urgent challenges. In this context, we support the IMF’s work on other issues, where macro-critical and consistent with its mandate, including the macroeconomic implications and policies related to social spending, governance, climate change, fintech, and digitalization. We support the IMF’s enhanced assistance to help address particular challenges faced by small states, fragile and conflict-affected states, and countries hosting refugees.

Ensuring that the IMF can support its poorest and most vulnerable members, which do not have substantial market access, is essential. We welcome the extension of debt service relief for another six months under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) and progress made in securing additional loan resources for the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). We support the IMF’s efforts to further expand PRGT and CCRT resources, and look forward to additional grant contributions, including from new participants. We support the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). We are disappointed by the absence of progress of private creditors’ participation in the DSSI, and strongly encourage them to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries. We encourage the full participation of official bilateral creditors. We ask the IMF to continue to support effective and transparent DSSI implementation, together with the World Bank. We welcome the G20’s agreement in principle on a “Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the DSSI,” which is also agreed by the Paris Club. We look forward to the publication of the Common Framework by the time of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in November 2020. We also welcome the IMF’s continued efforts to facilitate timely and comprehensive debt resolution by supporting enhanced coordination of official creditors; identifying gaps in the international architecture for the resolution of private claims and engaging with private creditors and other stakeholders; and reviewing the IMF’s policies related to sovereign debt. We call on the IMF to prepare an analysis of the external financing needs of developing countries and sustainable financing options.

We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF at the center of the global financial safety net. We welcome progress on making effective the doubling of the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) and the new round of bilateral borrowing agreements (BBA) on January 1, 2021 and urge all NAB and BBA participants to secure the domestic ratification of their participation as soon as possible. We will keep demand for IMF resources under close review. We remain committed to revisiting the adequacy of quotas and will continue the process of IMF governance reform under the 16th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula as a guide, by December 15, 2023.

Our next meeting is expected to be held on April 10, 2021.

Communiqué of the Forty-Third Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)

April 8, 2021

Chaired by Ms. Magdalena Andersson, Minister for Finance of Sweden

The Committee expresses its deep appreciation to Governor Lesetja Kganyago for his leadership as IMFC Chair and welcomes Minister Magdalena Andersson as the new Chair.

We express our sympathies for the loss of human lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the suffering it has entailed. We will continue to work together to end the pandemic everywhere and secure a strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive recovery.

The global economy is recovering from the crisis faster than expected last October, thanks to an unprecedented policy response and rapid progress in vaccine development. But the prospects for recovery are highly uncertain and uneven within and across countries due to varying policy space, different economic structures and rigidities, preexisting vulnerabilities, and uneven access to vaccines. Elevated financial vulnerabilities could pose risks, should global financial conditions tighten swiftly. The crisis may cause extended scarring and exacerbate poverty and inequalities, while climate change and other shared challenges are becoming more pressing.

We will calibrate our policies and strengthen cooperation to durably exit the crisis. We emphasize the need for strong international cooperation to accelerate vaccine production and support affordable and equitable distribution to all. To that end, we continue to support the work of the World Health Organization, the ACT Accelerator collaboration, and its COVAX Facility. We will maintain our policy support, tailored to country circumstances, until constraints on economic activity ease meaningfully, continuing to prioritize health spending and assistance for the most vulnerable, while preserving long-term fiscal sustainability. Where appropriate, monetary policy should remain accommodative, in line with central banks’ mandates. We will continue to monitor and, as necessary, tackle financial vulnerabilities and risks to financial stability, including with macroprudential policies. We will continue to monitor and cooperate to reduce excessive global imbalances over time through macroeconomic and structural policies that support sustainable global growth.

Strong fundamentals and sound policies are essential to the stability of the international monetary system. We remain committed that our exchange rates reflect underlying economic fundamentals and note that exchange rate flexibility can facilitate the adjustment of our economies. We will continue to consult closely on foreign exchange market developments. 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.

We will also strengthen multilateral cooperation to ensure an inclusive and resilient global economy. In line with the Paris Agreement, we commit strongly to addressing climate change through measures to accelerate the transitions to greener societies and job-rich economies, while protecting those adversely affected. These comprise a range of fiscal, market, and regulatory actions, mechanisms, and policy mixes, taking into account country-specific factors. We will continue to collaborate to unlock the potential of the digital economy, and accelerate efforts toward a modern and globally fair international tax system. We reaffirm our commitment to strong governance, including by tackling corruption. We agree on the need to promote more open, stable, fair, and transparent trade policies and to modernize the rules-based trading system under the World Trade Organization, which are key to boosting global growth. We are taking comprehensive action to help vulnerable countries meet their financing needs. We will work together to continue strengthening debt transparency practices by both debtors and creditors, public and private, and supporting countries’ efforts to maintain debt sustainability. Where appropriate, we will facilitate swift debt treatment together with broad participation by official and private creditors in line with the comparability of treatment principle.

We welcome the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda.

We welcome the IMF’s efforts to help members toward a sustained recovery from the crisis. We call on the IMF to make a comprehensive proposal on a new Special Drawing Rights (SDR) general allocation of US$650 billion to help meet the long-term global need to supplement reserves, while enhancing transparency and accountability in the reporting and the use of SDRs.

We welcome the IMF’s support to help members transition to upper-credit-tranche-quality programs for countries that move out of the emergency phase of the crisis. We call on the IMF to explore how to further support vulnerable low-income and middle-income countries in line with its mandate. We call on the IMF to work with its members to continue exploring ways for voluntary post-allocation channeling of SDRs to support members’ recovery efforts. We support the IMF to explore reforms to its concessional financing instruments for low-income countries and to increase the lending capacity of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, and to secure sufficient contributions for a final tranche of debt service relief from the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, including from new participants for both trusts. We support the IMF’s enhanced assistance to help address particular challenges faced by fragile and conflict-affected states, small states, and countries hosting refugees. We encourage members to contribute to Sudan’s financing package for the clearance of arrears to the IMF and debt relief under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. We welcome the IMF’s work on advancing the debt agenda jointly with the World Bank, including by continuing to support the effective implementation of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework, which are also agreed by the Paris Club, and by reviewing key policies and rolling out enhanced tools to support efficient implementation of sovereign debt restructuring.

We highlight the critical role of surveillance in providing cutting-edge policy advice and macro-financial analysis tailored to country circumstances, supported by targeted capacity development. We look forward to the review of the IMF’s Institutional View on capital flows, informed by, among others, the Integrated Policy Framework. The IMF has an important role in responding to members’ diverse needs for guidance on the macroeconomic and financial implications of climate change issues. We, therefore, support the IMF in stepping up work to help its members identify and manage the macro-critical implications of climate change, digitalization, inequality, and fragility, in close collaboration with partners, and to further integrate these issues into its surveillance, lending, and capacity development in line with its mandate. We will explore the appropriate budget envelope for ensuring that the IMF has the staff and skills required to carry out its mandate. We also support ongoing modernization projects and call for further progress on diversity.

We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF at the center of the global financial safety net. We welcome the effectiveness of the doubling of the New Arrangements to Borrow and of the new round of bilateral borrowing agreements. We remain committed to revisiting the adequacy of quotas and will continue the process of IMF governance reform under the 16th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula as a guide, by December 15, 2023. We welcome the start of this work and look forward to the first progress report by the time of the Annual Meetings.

Our next meeting is expected to be held on October 14, 2021.

Section C: Canada’s engagement in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development operations

Reporting requirements

Created in 1991, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) fosters the transition toward democratic, market-oriented economies and promotes private and entrepreneurial initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region. The EBRD recognizes that successful market economies should be inclusive as well as competitive, environmentally friendly, integrated, resilient and well governed. In 2020, the EBRD made €11 billion in investments – their highest level of investment to date – supporting 411 projects across 38 economies. Canada has been a member of the EBRD since its creation and is the bank’s 8th largest shareholder.

In response to COVID-19, the EBRD was the first international financial institution to approve a comprehensive package of response and recovery measures. This “Solidarity Package,” unveiled in March 2020, featured a €4 billion Resilience Framework that provided financing to meet the short-term liquidity and working capital needs of its clients. In 2020, the Resilience Framework provided a total of €1.6 billion in financing across 62 projects. The Solidarity Package also expanded financing under the Bank’s Trade Facilitation Programme, offered fast track restructuring for distressed clients, and created a Vital Infrastructure Support Programme to help meet essential infrastructure requirements.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Act (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, 2020, the EBRD had 71 shareholders: 69 countries, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank. 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 capitalFootnote 11.

Table C1: Canada’s capital subscriptions to the EBRD, 2020, as of 31 December 2020 (€ millions)
Note: Figures are from the 2020 financial report for the EBRD.
Capital subscriptions and contributions1,020.49
Amount paid in212.85
Amount not paid in but contingent on future capital requirements807.64
Subscription or contributions share (%)3.43
Voting power (%)3.43

Information on the EBRD’s 2020 fiscal year (January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020) 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:

Attention: Access to Information Function
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London, EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

Or submitted online to, or through the Bank’s Information Request Form.

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 71 shareholders. Canada’s Governor during the reporting period was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and former Minister of Finance Bill Morneau. Marta Morgan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is Canada’s Alternate Governor.

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. As of November 2020, Canada is represented on the EBRD Board of Directors by Sarah Fountain Smith replacing Douglas Nevison, who represented Canada from November 2016 to September 2020. 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

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 2020, the Group was chaired by the Director for Austria, Israel, Cyprus, Malta, Kazakhstan, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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 2020, the Committee was chaired by the Director for Spain and Mexico.

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, the Shareholder Special Fund, and the uses of Donor funding. In 2020, the Committee was chaired by the Director for Germany.

The Financial and Operations Policies Committee oversees the Bank’s financial and operational policies, including the annual borrowing plan and the liquidity policy prepared by the Treasury Department. The committee plays a key role in taking forward implementation of the Bank’s Strategic and Capital Framework; policy coherence and coordination; discussions on projects under the early warning system; and substantive preparations for the EBRD’s Annual Meeting. 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 country and sector strategies. In 2020, the Committee was chaired by the Director for Switzerland, Ukraine, Liechtenstein, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Montenegro, Uzbekistan.

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 operation. 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.

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. The Executive Director’s office works diligently with Bank management to increase awareness amongst Canadian companies of the opportunities presented at EBRD, with a view to increasing the participation of Canadian companies. Canadian financial institutions also play an active role in managing EBRD global bond issuances. Furthermore, Canadians are well represented on EBRD staff. At the end of 2020, there were 36 Canadians on the staff of the EBRD, representing 1.75% of total positions.

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