Backgrounder - Canada provides funding to address COVID-19 pandemic


The Government of Canada announced that $159.5 million in funding will be allocated to support global efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

The funding is being distributed as follows.

$84.5 million to international partners to support humanitarian appeals

  • World Health Organization (WHO) - leading and coordinating global efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting countries to prevent, detect and respond to the pandemic.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - protecting refugees, displaced people and their host communities during this pandemic and boosting preparedness, prevention and response activities to address refugees’ immediate public health needs prompted by COVID-19.
  • World Food Programme - providing immediate food assistance to people in need and supporting governments’ preparedness and response efforts.
  • UNICEF - supporting children and families affected by COVID-19 by providing life-saving information about handwashing and sanitation, supplying personal protective equipment and distributing emergency education kits.
  • International Organization for Migration - focusing on the need for a migrant-inclusive response to COVID-19 by closely working with the WHO and other UN Migration Network member agencies and partners and working to ensure the integration of migration health concerns across the UN system.
  • United Nations Population Fund - supporting health systems by supplying personal protective equipment for health-care workers and supporting efforts to learn more about the virus and its impact to better serve the most vulnerable.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross - focusing its efforts on continuing and increasing its support to public health services in contexts affected by armed conflict and violence.
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - coordinating with all national societies to support them through the COVID-19 pandemic by providing monitoring services, issuing advisories, supporting the pre-positioning of personal protective equipment for high-risk activities, conducting scenario planning and analyzing risk, and other actions.
  • United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - focusing its response on urgent health-care needs of at-risk Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as implementing improved cleaning and hygiene measures at all its facilities.
  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Country-Based Pooled Fund - enabling a flexible and timely country-level response to emerging needs related to COVID-19, including support to international and national non-governmental organizations.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – supporting livelihood assistance to vulnerable households affected by the ongoing pandemic, and helping minimize disruptions to the food supply chains.

$40 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for COVID-19 vaccine development

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is at the forefront of international efforts to develop vaccines for COVID-19. This contribution supports the commitment made by G7 leaders on March 15 to increase coordinated vaccine research efforts, including through CEPI. Canada has previously contributed $14 million to CEPI, as announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G20 summits in Hamburg (2017) and Buenos Aires (2018).

$30 million to address country-specific requests for assistance

A number of countries have made specific financial and in-kind requests to Canada for assistance to respond to COVID-19. This funding will be set aside to respond to these countries’ specific needs and support their national priorities. Tailored solutions and responses will be designed in partnership and solidarity with each requesting country.

$5 million to global health security capacity building

This will reinforce and amplify global health-security capacity building initiatives implemented through Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program and meaningfully support countries and regions in the fight against COVID-19.

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