Canada renews partnership with Grand Challenges Canada to spur innovations for global health

News release

April 7, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

World Health Day is commemorated to raise awareness of global health issues. This year, COVID-19 has highlighted the inequalities that persist for people accessing health services due to simple factors such as where they were born, their gender and their age.

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, marked the day with Jocelyn Mackie, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. Their virtual dialogue focused on the importance of empowering innovation in the health sector and showcased innovative projects contributing to global health in low- and middle-income countries, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of Global Affairs Canada’s partnership with Grand Challenges Canada in 2010, the lives of over 29,000 individuals have been saved and an estimated 6 million other lives have been improved. Grand Challenges Canada’s portfolio of innovations also has the potential to save 1.78 million lives and improve 64 million lives by 2030.

Minister Gould announced a renewed investment for Grand Challenges Canada of up to $200 million over 7 years to improve access to quality health services through innovative projects that both contribute to the pandemic response and advance broader health priorities.

As a leader in global health, the Government of Canada is pleased to work with trusted partners to address the immediate needs of those in the health sector and to build a more-resilient world in which the most vulnerable people can benefit from essential health care.

Global Affairs Canada’s partnership with Grand Challenges Canada contributes to the development and transition to scale of locally led innovations that improve the health, human rights and well-being of women, adolescent girls and children in developing countries, including in conflict-affected areas.


“Innovation is at the core of advancing development and global health objectives. That is why the Government of Canada is investing in organizations, like Grand Challenges Canada, that support innovative solutions to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. More than ever, we need new, creative solutions to build a sustainable future that leaves no one behind.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • Canada was the first to fund Grand Challenges Canada, 10 years ago.

  • This renewed funding investment is part of the Government of Canada’s historic commitment of up to $1.4 billion annually for global health, announced at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference.

  • For every $1 the Government of Canada has invested in innovators supported by Grand Challenges Canada, $2 has been invested by other partners.

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Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada

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