Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3Footnote 1 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. It addresses all major health priorities, including:
- reproductive, maternal and child healEarth
- infectious, chronic and, non-communicable diseases
- strengthening the prevention, harm reduction and treatment of substance use
- universal health coverage
- mental health including addictions
- health of Indigenous communities
- access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines
It also calls for more research and development, increased health financing, and strengthened capacity of all countries in health risk reduction and management.
Canadians do not experience good health and well-being equally. Many of these inequalities are the result of individuals' and groups' relative social, political, and economic disadvantages. Working to reduce health inequalities means helping to give everyone the same opportunities to be healthy, no matter who they are or where they live. Measures to reduce health inequalities, systemic barriers and addressing the social determinants of health emphasize strengthening the evidence base to inform decision making, engaging beyond the health sector, and sharing knowledge of action across Canada.
Canadian ambition under Good health and well-being
The Government of Canada has established 3 key SDG Ambition Statements to help frame efforts to support this goal, specifically:
- Canadians Adopt Healthy Behaviours
- Canadians Have Healthy and Satisfying Lives
- Canada Prevents Causes of Premature Death
Linked to these ambitions are a selection of key indicators, and in some cases targets, based on current programming undertaken by the Government of Canada to support the health of Canadians. These indicators are part of a Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF), which is a foundational component for Canada to track and report on progress on its priorities for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will provide the most current information available on a selection of indicators, as a method to inform Canada’s progress as it works towards achieving each of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda and each of the 31 Canadian ambitions.
Canadian Indicator Framework
In collaboration with federal departments and agencies, Statistics Canada has developed the Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) for the Sustainable Development Goals. The CIF includes 76 indicators specific to Canada, which measure progress using a set of nationally relevant, objective and comprehensive indicators. CIF indicators for SDG 3 are:
- Percentage of Canadians who report eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day
- Prevalence of vaping among youth
- Percentage of the population that is overweight or obese
- Prevalence of harmful alcohol use
- Percentage of Canadians who are satisfied or very satisfied with their life
- Percentage of Canadians who perceived their overall health and social well-being as very good to excellent
- Percentage of Canadians who perceived their mental health as very good to excellent
- Vaccination rates for selected diseases
- Incidence of selected diseases
- Mortality rate for selected causes of death
- Tuberculosis incidence per 100,000 population in Inuit Nunangat
- Incidence of opioid and stimulant overdose related harms
- Prevalence of cigarette smoking
What we are doing to improve good health and well-being in Canada
The Health Inequalities Data Tool and the Key Health Inequalities in Canada report describe inequalities for a majority of the indicators related to Canada’s SDGs in health. The Pan-Canadian Health Inequalities Reporting Initiative is leading the monitoring of these inequalities and is now moving to assess changes in inequalities in SDG health and well-being indicators over time in Canada. The initiative will also work with partners to identify effective interventions for reducing inequalities in chronic disease and related risk factors, to improve better health for all.
Canadians adopt healthy behaviours
Early child health and development
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) currently invests over $117 million annually to support communities across Canada to encourage healthy pregnancies, positive parenting and healthy child development.
The Community Action Program for Children (CAPC), the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) and the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC) programs fund community-based projects to support children ages 0 to 6 in vulnerable situations and their families.
PHAC also supports Maternal and Child Health more broadly by developing and disseminating public health guidance for the general public, health practitioners, policy makers and other stakeholders on Maternal and Child Health-related issues (for example, breastfeeding, safe sleep, maternity and newborn care, pregnancy, etc.) to promote healthier behaviours, as well as evidence-informed practice, policy and services.
The Healthy Eating Strategy aims to improve the food environment to make it easier for Canadians to make healthier choices. This is achieved through initiatives to improve healthy eating information, such as the Canada’s Food Guide.
Canada supports healthy eating through community-level program investments as well. For example, the CPNP provides funding to community groups to help improve the health of pregnant individuals, new mothers/parents and their babies, through a focus on nutrition for both the pregnant person and the baby.
In addition, Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is a Government of Canada program that helps make nutritious food and some essential items more affordable and more accessible. NNC helps eligible northern communities in 3 ways: through its retail subsidy program, its Harvester’s Support Grant, and Nutrition Education Initiatives.
Collectively, these mechanisms also contribute to SDG 2 – Zero Hunger.
One of the 4 main themes of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy is to protect youth and non-tobacco users from nicotine addiction. This is being achieved by:
- educating youth and young adults about the risks of using vaping and tobacco products
- enforcing compliance for retailers and producers of tobacco and vaping products
- putting increased rules and guidelines in place, such as regulating vaping products, updating health warning messages, and using plain and standardized appearance measures
Population that is overweight/obese
The Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund (HCCF) supports healthy living among Canadians who face health inequalities and are at greater risk of developing main chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The HCCF supports interventions that address the behavioural risk factors (that is, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and tobacco use) for chronic disease. The Fund also aims to create physical and social environments that are known to support better health among Canadians.
Harmful alcohol use
The Government of Canada continues to work closely with public health, provinces and territories and other key stakeholders to address alcohol-related health and social harms. This includes:
- undertaking exploratory policy activities
- improving knowledge and public awareness
- enhancing data and evidence, funding stakeholders in priority areas and service delivery
For example, Health Canada supports the development of the first National Guideline for the Clinical Management of High-Risk Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder, by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), through Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP).
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Initiative seeks to prevent FASD and improve the health and social outcomes for those by providing a framework to support national, regional and community-level action on FASD across Canada. The FASD National Strategic Projects Fund (NSPF) provides $1.5 million annually in funding for projects that develop nationally applicable tools, resources and knowledge. These projects have been successful in bringing awareness and attention to the issue of prenatal alcohol exposure through tools to recognize and address FASD.
Canadians Have Healthy and Satisfying Lives
The life satisfaction of Canadians, along with other positive mental health outcomes and their determinants, are monitored and publicly reported in the Positive Mental Health Framework.
Sexual health is an integral part of overall health, well-being, and quality of life. In 2021, the Government of Canada committed $45 million over three years to advance sexual and reproductive health for Canadians. This funding supports community-based organizations that help to make sexual and reproductive health care information and services more accessible for underserved populations that experience poorer sexual and reproductive health.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments established the Pan-Canadian Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections Framework for Action. The framework identifies a common approach to addressing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections. This framework will contribute to delivering the most effective interventions, tailored to the needs of people at greatest risk for infection in communities where sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) are most concentrated.
Perception of health and social well-being
Canada supports health and wellbeing in the school community through the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH). Current priorities for the JCSH include efforts to promote mental well-being, including social-emotional learning, resiliency, and the promotion of protective factors.
Canada also supports the Canadian component of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) research study. The study asks young people about their health and social well-being. Findings from the HBSC enable direct international comparisons with over 40 participating HBSC countries and informs youth health policies and programs.
The Government of Canada's Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Fund is designed to support innovative community-based projects that provide tangible opportunities for Canadians on the autism spectrum, their families and caregivers to gain knowledge, resources and skills. Project activities contribute to improved health behaviours and, in the longer term, improved wellbeing for individuals on the autism spectrum, their families and caregivers.
The Preventing and Addressing Family Violence and Preventing Gender-Based Violence: the Health Perspective investments support projects that promote healthy and safe relationships. These projects are:
- testing diverse health promotion interventions
- helping build the evidence base of effective approaches to prevent violence in relationships and its impacts
PHAC supports health and social well-being throughout the life cycle (starting with the earliest stages of the life course, including preconception) through a number of initiatives, including:
- community-level programming, through the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, the Community Action Program for Children, and the Healthy Early Years program
- funding dedicated towards promoting breastfeeding and Canadian adoption of the Baby Friendly initiative
- the development and dissemination of resources related to healthy pregnancy, family-centered care, infant safe sleep, and positive parenting
The population health approach emphasizes the need to improve the well-being of all Canadians. The perception of health is an indicator of overall well-being. Initiatives to improve Health and Social Well-being include:
- the Inter-sectoral Action Fund on Social Determinants of Health supporting communities to build capacity for inter-sectoral action on the conditions into which we are born, live, grow, work, play and age - the social determinants of health. Inter-sectoral action refers to the ways that different groups and sectors of society work together to improve health and the conditions that shape health. Groups outside of the health sector often lead this type of action
Perception of mental health
Canada’s initiatives to improve mental health and wellness and prevent mental illness include:
- supports for suicide prevention and access to crisis support
- improve access to home and community care
- improve access to mental health and addictions services
- address systemic anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare
This also includes funding mental health-related programs and services, for example:
- the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund provides national funding to support the delivery of innovative, community-based programs in mental health promotion for infants, children and youth, young adults, and caregivers of children and youth
- the Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund supports community efforts to generate new evidence on culturally focused programs and interventions that address mental health and its determinants for Black Canadians
Canada prevents causes of premature deaths
PHAC invests in capacity-building projects that aim to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake among Canadians through the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF). PHAC also supports provincial and territorial governments’ decision-making on vaccination programs through the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). NACI provides expert guidance on the use of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Incidence of disease
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of premature death in Canada and globally. The Government of Canada takes a multi-sectoral and health equity approach to preventing NCD’s, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases caused by common risk factors including tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and the harmful use of alcohol. In addition, many environmental factors that contribute to NCD’s such as air pollution and chemical exposures.
The Government of Canada supports organizations such as the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in improving cancer control and cancer care. It is also making substantial investments in cancer research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to develop treatments and search for a cure.
Canada’s first national dementia strategy: A Dementia Strategy For Canada: Together We Aspire, highlights the Government’s commitment to collaboratively create “a Canada in which all people living with dementia and caregivers are valued and supported, quality of life is optimized, and dementia is prevented, well understood, and effectively treated.” Implementation of key elements of the national dementia strategy is supported by federal investments in:
- research and innovation
- community-based projects
Mortality rates for selected causes of death
The Government of Canada addresses environmental health risks through initiatives:
- to regulate chemical substances that can be found in the air, soil, food, water and consumer products
- to reduce health risks and improve environmental quality through efforts related to air quality, water quality, climate change, impact assessments, contaminated sites and noise
PHAC addresses the impact of climate change on human health in Canada, for example through the Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund (IDCCF). Since 2017, it has invested in 32 projects that support surveillance and monitoring activities, health professional education and public awareness activities, including several with First Nations and high-risk populations (for example, children, youth and pregnant people). PHAC also continues to work with the Métis National Council and Governing Members to deliver on the dedicated Métis Nation funding to advance action on climate change and health, as committed in Budget 2017.
PHAC works closely with provinces, territories, non-government organizations, academia, health professionals and others to increase knowledge on climate-driven infectious diseases, associated health risks and measures to protect public health. This includes the development of:
- risk communications
- education and awareness building resources (videos, infographics)
- disease forecasting tools
- knowledge synthesis on ways to prevent and control identified infectious disease risks
- risk maps and annual surveillance reports
As priority diseases are identified, resources for health professionals will continue to be developed.
Tuberculosis (TB) Incidence in the North
The Government of Canada is working to improve health outcomes in Indigenous communities by:
- maintaining essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit
- working in partnership to transform First Nations health systems
- responding to the health impacts of climate change
- addressing systemic anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare. This includes funding and supporting mental health-related programs, services and other community based health programs and services
Tuberculosis remains a public health challenge in Canada, particularly within at-risk Indigenous communities. To better address the health inequities vulnerable populations face, PHAC will continue to work with federal, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to strengthen and enhance data collection, analyses, and reporting in support of meeting Canada’s tuberculosis elimination goals.
Opioid use and related harms
Canada’s federal drug policy, the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS), takes an evidence-based, public health approach to addressing problematic substance use and related harms, including those related to opioids and stimulants through its 4 pillars: prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement.
The strategy’s goal is to protect the health and safety of all Canadians by minimizing harms from substance use for individuals, families and communities.
Guided by the CDSS, the Government of Canada has an urgent focus on reducing the number of overdose deaths being driven by the increasingly toxic illegal drug supply. Canada also contributes to the Canada-U.S. Action Plan on Opioids.
PHAC supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to reduce substance-related harms through a number of initiatives, for example:
- providing $3.6 million in funding over 3 years to the Supporting Pathways to Care for People Who Use Drugs program (launched in 2019) for projects that mobilize existing evidence to improve access and reduce barriers to care, for people who use drugs
- supporting the development of a resource for school communities that encourages the adoption of evidence-based, comprehensive strategies to reduce substance-related harms among youth: Blueprint for Action: Preventing substance-related harms among youth through a Comprehensive School Health approach
- in partnership with Health Canada, developing a simulation model, the modelling opioid-related deaths during the COVID-19 outbreak that provides information on the number of opioid overdose deaths that may occur during the COVID-19 pandemic
Canada’s Tobacco Strategy seeks to reduce smoking prevalence through efforts to prevent the uptake of tobacco use by youth and non-smokers and to help current tobacco users to quit.
Canada’s Tobacco Strategy is also supporting First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation in the development and implementation of distinctions-based strategies to reduce commercial tobacco use.
PHAC works with Health Canada to implement commitments under Canada’s Tobacco Strategy. In 2021-22, PHAC is supporting projects that focus on tobacco cessation and prevention, with a particular focus on populations that face health inequities and are at higher risk of tobacco use, for example:
- the University of Toronto’s All Together Now! project develops and disseminates targeted messaging to address the specific issues underlying LGBTQI2S+ young adults’ smoking behaviours, and promote tobacco cessation services and resources tailored to their specific needs
- the Canadian Cancer Society’s Build Smoke Free project offers a tobacco cessation intervention tailored for workers at EllisDon construction sites in Ontario and Alberta, including: customized cessation support from trained staff; on-site and online tobacco cessation services and resources; nicotine replacement therapy; and, a contest to incentivize quitting
Other key initiatives
Managing drug and medical device shortages
The Government of Canada continues to take action on drug and medical device shortages to ensure that Canadians have access to the medicines and devices they need. This includes:
- monitoring the supply and demand of certain drugs and medical devices critical to the pandemic response
- introducing regulations to help mitigate and prevent shortages, where possible
In partnership with provinces and territories, industry, and patient/health care groups, the Government of Canada will continue to address critical national drug and medical device shortages.
Northern Contaminated Sites Program
Through the Northern Contaminated Sites Program, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is reducing risks to human health and safety through the elimination or mitigation of hazardous substances in the air, water and on the land posed by contaminated sites in the 3 Territories.
CIHR continues to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages by funding excellent research on priority issues that affect Canadians throughout their lifecycle.
CIHR’s 2021 to 2031 Strategic Plan envisions a future where Canadian researchers are global leaders in the development of ground-breaking discoveries that improve lives, and where Indigenous communities will lead health research that focuses on resilience, wellness, and Indigenous Ways of Knowing, resulting in equitable health outcomes. Together with partners and stakeholders, CIHR will continue to contribute to advancing the 2030 Agenda by supporting research related to controlling communicable diseases, the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases, the prevention and treatment of harmful substance use, and Indigenous health, amongst others.
PHAC collaborates with CIHR on the Healthy Cities Research Initiative; particularly to enable robust intervention evaluations to be undertaken that will help fill evidence gaps in the area of healthy built environments.
In support of protecting the public from diseases which may be transmitted from livestock, poultry and aquatic animals (zoonotic diseases), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducts inspections and surveillance to prevent and control the spread of these diseases. The CFIA is also a contributor to the domestic virtual network, the Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases that generates intelligence to provide early warning for emerging and zoonotic diseases.
The Government of Canada coordinates COVID-19 response with a number of initiatives in partnership with Provinces and Territories, for example through:
- the Canada’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan, to ensure that all Canadians have access to free COVID-19 vaccines
- the Vaccine Roll-out Task Force, to prioritize the vaccination of high-risk populations and those in living or working conditions with an elevated risk for infection or disproportionate consequences
- the establishment of a COVID-19 Public Health Rapid Surge Capacity initiative, to coordinate surge support for COVID-19 responses
- the establishment of a pan-Canadian Vaccine Injury Support Program
The Government of Canada is also supporting First Nations and Inuit communities in preparing for, monitoring and responding to COVID-19. The Indigenous Community Support Fund and COVID-19 Public Health Fund have provided funds to help Indigenous communities to meet the unique health and wellness needs of their communities during the pandemic.
Canada will continue to maintain and strengthen the capabilities of the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for other potential public health emergencies or events.
The Government of Canada is providing national funding to projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through its “Supporting the Mental Health of those Most Affected by COVID-19", including health care and other front-line and essential workers, youth, seniors, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and Black and other racialized Canadians.
Since March 2020, CIHR, as the federal funding agency responsible for investing in health research has invested approximately $250 million in more than 400 COVID-19 research projects. These projects span everything from diagnostics and potential treatments to public health responses and communication strategies. CIHR also has engaged with our international partners to ensure the alignment and coordination of Canada’s research with the international response. CIHR has also worked with partners to invest in Canadian COVID-19 research with dedicated funding for specific topics such as:
- indigenous communities’ experiences with COVID-19
- addressing the mental health and substance use challenges facing Canadians during the pandemic
- how to keep residents and staff of long-term care homes safe from COVID-19
- developing guidelines related to prescribing and dispending opioids during the pandemic
As part of the COVID-19 response, PHAC works to:
- increase vaccine confidence and uptake
- expand research and surveillance capacity to increase understanding of this infectious disease
- continue to provide timely and relevant guidance materials, for example: guidance on pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a newborn and resources for parents and children. Other guidance documents from the Government of Canada include COVID 19: Guidance on indoor ventilation during the pandemic to help inform Canadians on measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19
On behalf of the Government of Canada, PHAC will continue to lead the procurement of testing supplies for use across Canada, and provide federal testing support services for federal testing needs, such as in northern, remote, and Indigenous communities. PHAC will increase COVID-19 surveillance and research to enhance the evidence-base and improve the ability to combat the disease. PHAC is also advancing the understanding of the wider consequences of COVID-19, by partnering with other federal, provincial, and territorial government departments through its surveillance of the impacts of the pandemic beyond infection and transmission to include trends in health equity, key pregnancy-related indicators, and the physical and mental health of Canadians.
What Canada is doing to improve good health and well-being abroad
The International Health Grants program (IHGP) facilitates the Health Portfolio’s participation in international activities, strengthens inter-sectoral collaboration and promotes increased awareness of current and emerging global health issues of priority to Canada. In 2020 to 2021, the IHGP provided $1.7 million to 13 projects that contribute to improved health and well-being abroad. Examples of project outcomes include:
- supporting climate resilience
- advancing sustainable waste management
- responding to mental health
- ensuring sound chemical management
- addressing opioid dependence
- enhancing effective responses to COVID-19
The Health Portfolio provides technical advice and support to Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). In the context of COVID-19, PHAC has been collaborating on various activities with CARPHA, with the aim of strengthening regional health security and promoting interagency collaboration. In 2021, PHAC and CARPHA collaborated on a knowledge exchange series to share best practices and lessons learned in the following priority areas:
- public health communications to support the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines,
- safe travel and tourism
- COVID-19 surveillance
In addition, PHAC, in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, provided virtual Facilitated Acute Critical Events Simulation (FACES) Training to emergency room physicians from CARPHA Member States, designed to develop capacity related to the clinical management of COVID-19. PHAC’s Biosecurity program also provides other countries with technical assistance and tools to help them meet commitments under the International Health Regulations by enhancing their national biosafety and biosecurity oversight frameworks.
CIHR has launched a new Framework for Action on Global Health Research 2021-2026. The Framework centers around the vision of Canada being a world leader in leveraging the power of research to accelerate global health equity for all. Its implementation in collaboration with domestic and international partners will make important contributions to achieving a number of SDGs including good health and well-being. Domestic and international partners include:
- Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD)
- Global research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R)
- Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Canada is a longstanding leader in promoting global health, including Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), in line with the Feminist International Assistance Policy. In March 2020, Canada successfully fulfilled 2 important commitments: $3.5 billion for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) (2015 to 2020) and $650 million for SRHR (2017 to 2020).
- in June 2019, Canada announced that it will raise its funding to reach an average of $1.4 billion annually by 2023, to support women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health around the world. This 10-year, historic commitment will support SRHR and MNCH – with $700 million of the annual investment dedicated to SRHR, as of 2023
- Canada plays a key role in international SRHR movements and partnerships such as SheDecides, Family Planning 2030 and the Ouagadougou Partnership
Canada is a founding member and key donor to the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents ($540 million, 2015 to 2025), an innovative financing mechanism that accelerates country-driven progress on improving the health and nutrition of women, children and adolescents.
As a member and donor to the World Health Organization (WHO), Canada supports WHO’s efforts to:
- increase universal health coverage
- protect people from health emergencies
- promote better health and well-being
Since 2002, Canada has contributed more than $1.5 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to help procure and deliver vaccines to children in 73 lower-income countries. Over the past 20 years, Gavi has helped immunize more than 822 million children, helping to prevent more than 14 million deaths.
Canada has committed over $3.8 billion in funding to the Global Fund to Fight for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria since its creation in 2002. This includes Canada’s pledge of $930.4 million for 2020 and 2022, an increase of nearly 16% over the previous pledge. These investments have helped to save 44 million lives and have helped to reduce the incidence of the 3 diseases by 46% in countries where the Global Fund invests.
Canada has been a long-time supporter of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and has contributed $750 million to the initiative between 2000 and 2020, making Canada the fourth largest sovereign donor to the GPEI. These investments have helped to vaccinate over 2.5 billion children; prevented 18 million cases of paralysis; and reduced the number of polio cases by 99.9 percent since the 1980s.
Canada endorsed the Global AIDS Strategy for 2021 to 2025 developed by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Political Declaration on HIV-AIDS adopted in the context of the 2021 UN High Level meeting on HIV-AIDS to meet the SDG commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
In December 2020, at the Nutrition for Growth Year of Action Launch, Canada committed $520 million over 5 years in nutrition-specific funding to support gender-informed, life-saving nutrition interventions for the poorest and most vulnerable people.
Canada also collaborates extensively with the WHO on chemicals management, air and water quality and climate change. This partnership is enhanced by Health Canada’s new designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre on Environmental Health, and includes:
- implementation of the WHO Chemicals Roadmap and participation in the Global Chemicals and Health Network
- participation in WHO’s International Network of Drinking Water Regulators and provision of scientific and technical expertise and support for the development of the WHO’s Drinking Water Quality Guidelines and Air Quality Guidelines
- contribution to WHO’s work in building the climate resilience of health systems and developing health vulnerability adaptation guidelines
- participation in multilateral environmental agreements on chemicals and waste, including the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and the Minamata Convention on Mercury
- participation in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the global intersessional process for SAICM Beyond 2020
- participation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Chemicals and Biotechnology Committee
International COVID-19 Response
Canada has been a leading international donor to the global pandemic response. Since February 2020, Canada has mobilized more than $2.7 billion in international assistance to the global COVID-19 response. Canada has also played an integral leadership role in this global effort, with Ministerial engagement on the ACT-Accelerator’s Facilitation Council and as co-chair of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment Engagement Group.
Canada has provided over $1.3 billion in support of Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A).
In June 2021, Canada announced a pledge for $220 million, bringing Canada’s total contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) to $545 million for procurement, delivery and the operationalization of the dose sharing mechanism.
Canada will donate the equivalent of at least 200 million doses to the COVAX Facility by the end of 2022. Updated information about Canada’s international assistance in response to the COVID ‑ 19 pandemic and Canada’s international vaccine donations is available on our website.
In support of Diagnostics and Therapeutics, funding from Canada helped enable the procurement and delivery of 10 million of the total 20 million rapid diagnostic tests distributed in 2020 by the Global Fund for use in low and middle-income countries. COVID-19 treatments and supplies have been delivered to 25 countries, with finalized allocations to 15 countries and pending allocations to another 20, including:
- over 5 million dexamethasone tablets and ampules have been delivered to 15 countries, with another nine countries in the pipeline to receive their allocations
- 3,850 oxygen concentrators plus consumables and other supplies have been delivered to 6 countries. An additional 26 countries are in the pipeline to receive their oxygen allocations
In support of Health Systems Strengthening, Canada has:
- disbursed $100 million to the WHO to support up to 75 countries most in need to identify and address barriers hindering the roll-out of vaccines and therapeutics via the ACT-A Health Systems Response Connector
- disbursed $15 million to support WHO African Region countries to establish and sustain response capacities to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 through the WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan
- disbursed $30 million to assist 10 target countries in continuing essential services and strengthening primary health care in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery
- Canada is also providing $50 million to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to support national efforts to introduce COVID-19 vaccines, and efforts to reach populations living in situations of vulnerability, including at-risk Venezuelan migrants, and disadvantaged populations.
Canadian partners have played an important role in supporting the health sector within the COVID-19 pandemic response in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and in Haiti. In total, $52.8 million was committed in 2020 and 2021 to projects working to increase awareness levels among the public through:
- dissemination of key COVID-19 messages
- strengthening community-based health and social services to minimize the gendered impact of the pandemic on health systems, social services, and economic activity
- supporting healthcare staff through additional training on COVID-19 screening, detection and prevention
- providing healthcare workers and community health volunteers with appropriate protective gear
- improving water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities and project areas
- through this support, approximately 49,000 healthcare workers were trained, and 10,800,000 men and women were reached with information regarding prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence, among the other results achieved
- Taking Action Together – Canada’s 2021 Annual Report on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 3 Good health and well-being
- Statistics Canada’s Global Indicator Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals Data Hub: Goal 3
- Statistics Canada’s Canadian Indicator Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals Data Hub: Goal 3
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