Canada announces funding for child protection, women’s economic empowerment and humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo
July 5, 2017 - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced $97 million in funding to improve child protection, promote growth that works for all and provide crucial humanitarian assistance in the DRC and the region. The Minister made this announcement as she concluded a two-day visit to the DRC, as part of Canada’s re-engagement with Africa and its commitment to work together to address issues facing the continent.
The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 87% of its population living on less than $1.25 a day. Years of conflict have resulted in more than 3 million internally displaced people. Women and children are particularly vulnerable as they have limited means to support their families, little access to sexual and reproductive health services, and increased risk of experiencing sexual and gender-based violence.
In line with Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy, the initiatives announced today will help address some of these challenges and improve the lives of the most vulnerable Congolese, particularly women and children, by:
- helping to protect the rights of more than 95,000 street children, at-risk youth and children working in and around mines;
- increasing women’s and girls’ access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services;
- providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to over 578,000 conflict-affected people; and
- empowering women with the skills and financial products they need to support their communities and families, promoting growth that works for all.
While in the DRC, Minister Bibeau met with a number of women, youth and government officials, as well as development and humanitarian partners, to determine how Canada can best continue to support the advancement of women’s and girls’ rights.
The Minister also stressed the importance of good governance in the DRC. In this context, only a political solution will allow the country to emerge from the crisis. That is why Canada is calling for the implementation of the December 31, 2016, agreement and the holding of presidential elections as soon as possible.
The Minister will now travel to Ghana for a three-day visit to promote and reinforce women’s, girls’ and youth’s empowerment in Africa. For this portion of the trip, the Minister will be accompanied by Right To Play ambassadors Kaylyn Kyle, Olympic bronze medalist for the Canadian soccer team, and Joannie Rochette, Olympic bronze medalist figure skater for Team Canada.
“Women and girls are at the heart of Canada’s assistance in the DRC. They are important agents for change to build stronger families and communities. Nearly 50% of DRC’s population is under the age of 15. Canada’s support will help meet the needs of the most vulnerable and ensure women and youth are given the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.”
- The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
The DRC is one of the world’s largest recipients of international assistance. Canada’s long-standing engagement in promoting the rights of women and girls and our commitment to fighting against sexual and gender-based violence has made Canada a recognized leader in this area.
In 2015 to 2016, Canada provided close to $85 million in development and humanitarian assistance to the DRC.
This includes $16 million through its bilateral program, $35 million through multilateral partners, $14 million for humanitarian assistance, $3 million for projects with partnerships for development innovation and $17 million in other investments, such as the World Bank’s International Development Association.
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