Canada provides new funding in response to UNFPA's pandemic global appeal

10 April 2020
UNFPA is supporting public awareness campaigns to stop the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable countries like Syria. © UNFPA Syria

UNITED NATIONS, New York/OTTAWA, Canada – The Government of Canada has announced Can$1.5 million ($1.06 million) in new support for UNFPA's response to COVID-19 as part of an overall Can$159.5 million in global assistance to address the pandemic.

The funds will help strengthen national health systems in target countries by supplying personal protective equipment for health care workers, and support interventions that respond to gender-based violence. 

 "In these exceptionally challenging times, additional resources from our donors are urgently needed to help countries where health systems may soon collapse. The needs of vulnerable populations are rapidly increasing as the pandemic unfolds," said UNFPA Deputy Executive Director for Management Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov. "Canada in particular has always demonstrated international leadership and solidarity on protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights in crisis situations."

"In these extremely difficult times for all of us, Canada is fully committed to join forces with trusted international partners, including UNFPA, to respond to the outbreak,” said Marc-Andre Blanchard, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations. “Canada will be supporting UNFPA's efforts to protect health-care workers in countries with weak health systems, where we cannot afford to put pregnant women and their babies at risk of infection. Our focus is also on enhanced knowledge about the virus and its impact to better serve the most vulnerable, including those at higher risk of domestic and gender-based violence."

Canada is among the first donors to respond to UNFPA’s global appeal for $67.5 million to ensure access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, as well as address gender-based violence where women and girls need these services most, over the next two months. The global appeal prioritizes countries with weak public health and social support systems.

In 2019, Canada was UNFPA's largest humanitarian donor.

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