Minister Sajjan announces funding of $83 million on trip to West Africa

News release

March 21, 2022 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, concluded a visit to Ghana and Senegal focused on vaccination efforts against COVID-19, economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and Canadian development programming in both countries.

The Minister was accompanied on his trip by the Honourable Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board, and Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament for London West.

Ghana and Senegal were among the first African countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines doses via the COVAX Facility and are regional leaders in setting the foundation for vaccine development and production.

While in Ghana, Minister Sajjan met with Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator partners, including UN representatives, to discuss opportunities for a continued pandemic response.

He also met with civil society to discuss how best Canada can promote the human rights of marginalized and vulnerable groups in the country.

He was on site alongside representatives from Ghana’s Ministry of Health and UNICEF to receive the delivery of 309,600 COVID-19 vaccines donated by Canada through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility. He visited the cold chain facility at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and spoke with officials to discuss how Canada can continue to support the supply and roll out of vaccines throughout the country.

Minister Sajjan also visited the Ghana-West Africa Program to Combat AIDS and STI, which aims to control and reduce new HIV infections and transmission through preventative and curative services and peer-to-peer education with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, to which Canada is a top donor. The Minister announced $17.5 million to support green climate innovation at Ashesi’s Ghana Climate Innovation Centre and UNIDO to establish a Centre of Excellence for the Circular Economy. Canada will continue to work with partners to support innovation as we deal with the climate change crisis.

Minister Sajjan spoke with Ghana’s Vice President, Minister of Finance,  Minister of Food and Agriculture as well as the President’s Special Advisor on the SDGs concerning Canada’s partnership with Ghana for building more inclusive, sustainable economic growth.

While in Senegal, Minister Sajjan met with Minister Amadou Hott, the Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation, to discuss, after 60 years of partnership between Canada and Senegal, what more Canada can do to support food security and inclusive economic development across Senegal.

Minister Sajjan also met with Alassane Mbengue, General Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Action to discuss how Canada and Senegal can work together to build a more resilient health care system to ensure that every person has access to live-saving vaccines. He was also hosted by Dr. Alioune Ly, Director of the Health Emergency Operations Centre, where he visited the Senegal Health Emergency Operations Centre in Dakar, which supports the prevention and detection of COVID-19 and the response to it and other priority diseases.

He also visited Canada-funded projects in Pikine and Thiès alongside partners such as a counselling centre aimed at improving the nutrition and reproductive health of teen girls and an elementary school offering catch-up classes for children who have had to miss school due to the pandemic. Because of the work of partners like UNICEF, Plan International, Nutrition International and Colleges and Institutes Canada, we are able to support a healthier and more inclusive world.

During his visit, Minister Sajjan announced more than $83 million in funding to support the ongoing COVID-19 response and critical development and health programming.

These contributions will support Ghana and Senegal as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic, strengthen health systems, ensure access to high-quality family planning and sexual and reproductive health care, support better access to nutritious food, promote job creation, stimulate economic growth and advance a greener economy.

Quotes

“Continuing our strong partnership with Ghana and Senegal builds a strong West Africa. Our work with partners across the region builds a stronger, more inclusive economy. We are working together with Ghana and Senegal to see how we can build more resilient health care systems that ensure that every woman, man and child has access to live-saving vaccines and medical interventions.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Quick facts

  • Canada has committed more than $2.7 billion to support the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a contribution of more than $1.345 billion to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics are available around the world through the ACT Accelerator, including $580 million to the COVAX Facility for the procurement, delivery and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and to develop and operationalize the dose-sharing mechanism.

  • Ghana and Senegal were among the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines doses via the COVAX Facility. To date, Canada has made available to COVAX the equivalent of more than 100 million doses, including more than 14.2 million doses deemed surplus from Canada’s domestic procurements. Canada’s financial contributions to COVAX have supported the procurement of approximately 87 million vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.

  • Relations between Canada and Ghana are based on more than 60 years of cooperation. Ghana is among the largest recipients of Canadian international assistance, having received more than $2.5 billion in bilateral development assistance since the program was established following Ghana’s independence.

  • This year, Canada marks 60 years of Canada-Senegal partnership. Canada’s official development assistance to Senegal reached $78 million in fiscal year 2020 to 2021.

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Contacts

Yentl Béliard-Joseph
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development
Yentl.Beliard-Joseph@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
media@international.gc.ca
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