Canada’s support for international efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

News release

April 5, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat that does not recognize borders and can only be overcome through coordinated action all around the world. Canada continues to contribute to international efforts to address the ongoing pandemic by providing urgent and necessary funding, including to support those who are most vulnerable.

Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, announced the allocation of $159.5 million in funding to support international efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment includes $50 million announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in March.

As the COVID-19 health crisis evolves, Canada recognizes that for people in developing countries—particularly women and children—the pandemic may have significant and lasting negative impacts on their health, prosperity and opportunities. Canadian development and humanitarian NGOs have been contributing to the COVID-19 global response and will continue to be supported going forward.

Canada’s actions aim to support partners on the front lines who are working to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19. Canada is answering global and bilateral requests for urgent assistance, including for vaccine development, and global health-security capacity building. Canada’s investment also aims to ensure that its international partners can maintain their services for vulnerable populations where possible, including support for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Canada’s investment in these programs is in line with its feminist international assistance approach, since this global crisis has the potential to exacerbate inequalities and reverse development gains. This is especially true for the women and children who are already among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens and who may now be expected to take on additional caregiving responsibilities in their families and communities.

Canada will continue to look for opportunities to leverage innovation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging traditional partners to use creative solutions, and by working with new partners to drive innovative approaches. Canada will also continue to support global efforts to develop a vaccine in order to safeguard the health and security of Canadians and people around the world.

Details of the funding allocation can be found in the backgrounder linked to below.


“The COVID-19 virus knows no borders. This has been a wake-up call for the world to stand in solidarity and work together. If there was ever a time for countries and governments to support one another and invest in health globally, it is right now.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

“As Canada continues to coordinate with international partners on COVID-19, we recognize the need to invest in vaccine research while supporting developing countries and helping the most vulnerable as the crisis evolves around the world.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • On February 11, 2020, the Government of Canada provided $2 million to the World Health Organization to help vulnerable countries prepare and respond to COVID-19 events.

  • On March 11, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $50 million to support the efforts of international assistance partners to prevent and respond to COVID-19. This announcement included $8 million, which was allocated to the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

  • The funding announced today will support the provision of medical supplies and services; increase water, sanitation and hygiene services; enhance public information on COVID-19 risk mitigation; and help strengthen local capacity to scale up for the response.

Associated links


Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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