Backgrounder – Canada announces up to $24 million to support elections, democracy and inclusive governance in Ukraine


On December 6, 2018, the Government of Canada announced up to $24 million to facilitate projects supporting fair, transparent and legitimate democratic elections in Ukraine. This is part of Canada’s commitment of up to $50 million annually, in support of socio-economic programs to build a strong and accountable democracy, and contribute to peace and security in Ukraine and the region as a whole.

Bilateral development assistance

Supporting election observation missions for Ukraine’s 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections

Implementing partner: CANADEM

Funding: $11 million

Canada will support election observation missions for Ukraine’s presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019, if requested by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). This will include both a Canadian election observation mission and the secondment of observers to an OSCE / Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights mission, as needed.

Supporting long-term, sustainable electoral reforms in Ukraine

Implementing partner: International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Funding: $6.2 million

This funding will support civil society, lawmakers, media, government and academic institutions in undertaking structural reforms to promote inclusive governance, gender inclusivity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls in Ukraine.

Promoting women’s participation in elections

Implementing partner: National Democratic Institute

Funding: $4.8 million

With this contribution to the National Democratic Institute, Canada will continue to actively promote women’s participation in elections by empowering women candidates and youth and, in particular, young women leaders to run for office.

Fairness and integrity in the electoral processes

Implementing partner: United Nations Development Programme

Funding: $78,000

Canada is the main contributor to a UN Development Programme study identifying the constraints on and limitations of the integrity of the democratic process and electoral system in Ukraine. The conclusions of this study will directly inform election observation missions, including Canada’s.

Peace and Stabilization Operations Program

Countering disinformation

Funding: Up to $2.5 million

Russia’s hybrid war in Ukraine includes engaging in disinformation activities to influence the outcomes of the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections in March and October 2019. Russia’s objective is to disrupt the stability of the Ukrainian state and throw into question the very legitimacy of democracy in the eyes of Ukrainian citizens. In response, Canada will provide a package of support to assist the Government of Ukraine, civil society and independent media to counter Russian disinformation activities in advance of the 2019 elections. An element of this support will target the non-government controlled areas, with the aim of encouraging residents of these areas to exercise their democratic right to vote.

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