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ONE Canada welcomes new investments in the Women’s Voice and Leadership program

OTTAWA – It’s been a big week for Canada globally with some key strategic and anticipated international investments, reinforcing our leadership in global health and reviving a feminist approach to development.

Today, Canada announced $195 million over five years for the renewal and expansion of the Women’s Voice and Leadership program, a flagship investment of the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) that will directly support local women’s organizations around the world and. The investment builds on Prime Minister Trudeau’s global leadership in pursuing a feminist foreign and development policy which has been emulated within the G7.

Last month, the ONE Campaign released a data dive which noted the significant and persistent gaps in gender equality, including that only 0.31% of international aid went to women’s rights organizations in 2021. Funding through Women’s Voice and Leadership is critical to addressing this massive gap, and responds directly to the needs of local women’s organizations who are transforming the lives of women and girls on the ground.

“We’re pleased to see this renewed commitment for the Women’s Voice and Leadership program from Canada. We know that crises hit women the hardest and COVID-19 exacerbated that,” said Elise Legault, Director for ONE Canada. “Women around the world not only saw their health rights weakened, but they saw many of their other rights rolled back. This type of investment puts the dollars exactly where it’s needed most, in empowering local organizations to work in their communities for greater gender equality.”

Yesterday, Canada also announced a $100M investment in the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative (CEPI) supporting their in support of the CEPI #100DayMission, which seeks to develop, and enable access to safe and effective vaccines against new pathogens in just 100 days. This comes just days after an announcement that saw Canada commit an additional $15 million to the World Health Organization mRNA Tech Transfer Programme, bringing its total contribution to $45 million. The Hub will build capacity in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICS) to produce mRNA vaccines through a center of excellence and training located in South Africa.

“COVID showed us the critical need to decentralize vaccine manufacturing to increase accessibility, and these investments are an important part of that.” Legault added.

These announcement follow Canada’s leadership earlier this month at the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings, which saw the Bank agree on a package to boost lending capacity, combined with a new pledge from Canada to share up to 40% of its Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), half of which will go to low-and-middle-income countries. Elise Legault welcomed Canada’s action on these issues: “Sharing our Special Drawing Rights and pushing the World Bank to use its capital more effectively to provide more affordable lending to lower income countries is a smart and low-cost way to support them. Developing countries are being hit hard by converging crises they didn’t cause, like climate change, the aftershocks of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and we need to show we can be there for them too.”

ONE Canada Media Contact 
Sabrina Grover 
[email protected]