Canada launches new programs to invest in making markets more inclusive

News release

July 4, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

To help the most vulnerable people in developing countries contribute to their own economic success, we must support investments that make markets more accessible to everyone. That is why the Government of Canada is building innovative partnerships to finance and deliver international assistance differently, with a goal of making investments and markets more inclusive.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, launched two new pilot programs worth $1.59 billion over five years. Through the International Assistance Innovation Program, announced in Budget 2018, the Government of Canada will make investments that seek to expand the reach of markets to benefit the poor and most vulnerable and that have the potential to reduce inequalities and promote women’s economic empowerment. The Sovereign Loans Program will, on a bilateral basis, provide loans to governments of countries eligible for official development assistance to spur economic development and improve the lives of the poor.

These programs will advance Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy by applying a gender lens to all investment decision making. These initiatives will also allow Canada to facilitate greater private and public investment in sustainable development by increasing flexibility for new and existing partnerships. They will also enable new and innovative financing arrangements to ensure that Canada remains at the leading edge of development financing.


“We know that public and philanthropic funds alone are insufficient to finance the Sustainable Development Goals. The International Assistance Innovation Program and the Sovereign Loans Program will give the Government of Canada the tools it needs to mobilize greater investment by the private sector to make markets work for everyone, particularly for women and girls.”

- Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has taken a leadership role to expand innovative financing for development, most recently through its G7 presidency and as co-chair of the UN Group of Friends of Sustainable Development Goal Financing.

  • The International Assistance Innovation Program will allocate $935.6 million over five years to work with the private sector toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals using various financial tools.

  • The Sovereign Loans Program will allocate $657.7 million over five years to provide loans to eligible governments in need of financing for development.

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