Minister Sajjan visits Ukraine to assess humanitarian and rebuilding response and Ukraine’s future needs
October 14, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
Days after the Russian attacks on Ukraine on October 10, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and Yvan Baker, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre and Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Friendship Group, were on the ground in Ukraine to see and hear directly from Ukrainians about their needs.
Their presence is a strong sign of Canadians’ support for the Ukrainian people and an important reminder of Canada’s strong, long-standing person-to-person ties with Ukraine.
In Lviv, Minister Sajjan and Mr. Baker met with representatives of key partner NGOs working to help Ukraine rebuild and recover. While there, they learned about how Canada can continue to support Ukraine and its people, including supporting the most vulnerable and developing innovative solutions for Ukrainians that are led by Ukrainians.
While in Lviv, Minister Sajjan and Mr. Baker met with Government of Ukraine officials. They met with Mykola Solskyy, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, with whom they spoke about how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war not only directly impacts Ukrainian agriculture and grain, but also has immediate and lasting impacts on the Global South, which is already experiencing unprecedented food insecurity and famine. They visited the Lychakiv Cemetery with Maksym Kozytskyy, Governor of the Lviv State Regional Administration, to pay their respects to fallen Ukrainian soldiers. They also met with Andriy Sadovyy, Mayor of Lviv, commending him for his continued support of internally displaced persons. Since the beginning of February 2022, Mayor Sadovyy has welcomed hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to his city.
Minister Sajjan and Mr. Baker also visited with Ukrainians directly impacted by the war at an International Organization for Migration collective centre. They listened to harrowing stories from Ukrainians who have been displaced from across the country, learned about Canada’s support for internally displaced persons in the Lviv region and thanked Ukrainian volunteers for their determination and resilience. They also met with students at the Ukrainian Leadership Academy and engaged in conversation with them on the state of Ukraine, their concerns about the lasting impacts of the war and their proposed solutions and hopes for the future.
They met with a mobile psychosocial assistance team funded through Canadian support to the UN Population Agency and spoke with team members about the important work being done to support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and other Ukrainians dealing with mental health trauma.
Minister Sajjan and Mr. Baker also met with Oleksandra Matviichuk, who heads Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, recipient of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. She received funding from Canada early on in her career as a human rights defender and she shared her experience documenting human rights abuses with them.
“Ukrainians have shown resilience in the face of horrific acts of war. I have seen hope and determination to rebuild Ukraine during my visit to Lviv. Canada’s support for Ukraine is unwavering, and we will continue to work with our partners so together we can scale up our support to address immediate needs and mitigate the impact of the invasion on vulnerable populations.”
- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
To date in 2022, Canada has announced $320 million in assistance to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Of this amount, over $250 million has been allocated to partners to respond to urgent needs.
In 2022, Canada has also committed an additional $96 million in development assistance funding to Ukraine to address emerging priorities. This includes providing $35 million to support civil society and media organizations to uphold democracy and human rights; to increase women’s access to entrepreneurship and vocational training, livelihood and small business grants, day care, employment services and psychosocial support; and to support the resilience of Ukraine’s government by helping to strengthen its crisis management capacity, including in the areas of food security and child protection.
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