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Minister Sajjan announces $157.6 million in funding as he concludes visits to Bangladesh, the Philippines and Qatar

March 8th, 2023  •  Author:   Government of Canada  •  5 minute read
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March 8, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada announced $157.6 million in funding as he concluded his visit to Bangladesh, the Philippines and Qatar. His trip focused on climate action, food security, green and inclusive growth, economic empowerment, health and advancing gender equality. He also attended the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), held in Doha, Qatar, where he highlighted the importance of inclusive partnerships with least developed countries to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development.

Of the announced international assistance, $98.6 million will support projects in Bangladesh that promote sexual and reproductive health and rights, climate resilience, training and employment, and education access for youth, as well as those that improve delivery of humanitarian and health services for refugees. At LDC5, he announced the remaining $59 million that will support nutrition and sustainable development projects to help reduce child mortality and fight climate change.

In Bangladesh, Minister Sajjan met with Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, to discuss Canada’s commitment to deepening its engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, and to the long and successful development partnership between Canada and Bangladesh. They discussed Canada’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including its impact on food security in the global south, and the interlinked Rohingya refugee crisis and situation in Myanmar.

In the Philippines, Minister Sajjan and MP Rechie Valdez met with counterparts and partners to discuss shared priorities such as Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, food security, climate action, economic recovery, disaster preparedness and response, a rules-based international order, democracy, gender equality and human rights. They met with Enrique Manalo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and shared views on the issues shaping the region and on opportunities for collaboration between Canada and the Philippines.

Minister Sajjan and MP Valdez also travelled to communities receiving Canadian support. In Manila, this included a health clinic that provides reproductive health services in disadvantaged communities. In Siargao, he saw regions severely affected by Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) and the impact of Canadian humanitarian assistance in helping to rebuild communities, deliver essential services and contribute to food security among affected populations.

In Qatar, Minister Sajjan spoke at a commemorative session marking 50 years of global cooperation with least developed countries, where he focused on the importance of locally led approaches to development partnerships. He also met with the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Germany’s State Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Foreign Minister of Yemen, and Haiti’s Minister of Planning and External Cooperation to discuss key issues facing least developed countries.

Quotes

“This week, I have seen, first hand, the impacts of Canada’s international assistance in Bangladesh and the Philippines and how we can support both countries in their efforts to build a more resilient and sustainable future. Our countries have cooperated for decades, and Canada will continue to be there for Bangladesh and the Philippines as they navigate challenges such as food insecurity and climate change.

“I welcomed this opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-decade conference, bringing together LDCs, development partners, the private sector, civil society and youth, showing Canada’s commitment to sustainable development across all regions.”

– Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Our visit was focused on strengthening our people-to-people ties with the Philippines and bolstering the Indo-Pacific Strategy. We met with government officials, organizations, and local Filipinos to share ideas, challenges, and opportunities to work together. Our trip was productive, positive, and I am looking forward to our future collaboration.”

– Rechie Valdez, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy will support a more secure, prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Indo-Pacific region. Canada’s approach focuses on supporting democracy, the rule of law, economic growth and resilience, peace and security, human rights, sustainable development, gender equality and concrete action to protect the environment.
  • Canada has played a leadership role in responding to the Rohingya crisis and situation in Myanmar. In 2022, Canada committed $288.3 million to support the second phase of its strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and situation in Myanmar. Canada will continue to provide international assistance to support vulnerable and crisis-affected populations, including Rohingya refugees.
  • Canada has provided over $6 billion of international assistance to Bangladesh since 1972. Canadian support centres on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, and skills training.

Contacts

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development
[email protected]

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
[email protected]

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