Statement on World NGO Day


February 27, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

To mark World NGO Day, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“Today we celebrate those who are working to build a better world. We celebrate those who work tirelessly for gender equality and education and to end hunger and poverty and keep our planet healthy.

“They have played a crucial role in advancing Canada’s international development priorities, including advancing gender equality, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing climate change, global health and education. They are at the forefront of moving our world forward on the path toward achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our partners, whether Canadian, multilateral or international, have strong roots at the country level, both in capitals and in remote areas. Canada recognizes the critical role of local and national partners in delivering international assistance, and I am committed to improving the effectiveness of our international assistance to better support local organizations, including in the global South.

“Throughout the pandemic, NGOs and our partners on the ground stepped up to respond to COVID-19 while keeping gender equity at the centre of their actions. There are many examples of projects that are making a difference in people’s lives.

“Children Believe focuses on the protection and health of children in communities in the Northern Region of Ghana. With Canadian financial support, they identify specific vulnerable groups, like disabled persons, households headed by single women, or even children, and people that are most in need of reliable COVID-19 testing. 

“Canada also supports NGOs like Save the Children Canada with its Beyond Borders project, which is working on the Colombia-Venezuela border to enhance access to much-needed educational opportunities for out-of-school children and adolescents, with a focus on girls.

“Through Canada’s Women’s Voice and Leadership program, the Domestic Workers Union in Sri Lanka provided emergency support to workers that were left without a source of employment when COVID-19 hit.

“These are just a few examples of the dedication and compassion NGO workers have for people who find themselves in vulnerable situations. Projects like these support transformative change to make societies more equal, prosperous and peaceful through respect for the human rights and dignity of all people. NGOs play a crucial role in supporting free and open societies and responding to crises. They contribute to the elimination of discrimination and violence people face because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“Canada continues to advocate for safe and supportive environments in which civil society can thrive around the world. To all of those who work for NGOs, including volunteers, thank you. Without you, we could not implement Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Together with NGOs in Canada and around the world, we are working to address inequality and eradicate poverty so that everyone can enjoy the peace and prosperity that is everyone’s birthright.”


Yentl Béliard-Joseph
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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