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Justin Trudeau. Photo: PMO

Trudeau announces $650 million in funding for “reproductive health” worldwide

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, committed to “provide $650 million in funding to address gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.”

“Reproductive health” is a code-name for having access to affordable methods of birth control. In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Monsef said that “reproductive health rights in Canada and around the world are critical to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” Monsef added, “We’re committed to making sure that women and girls have that choice, because otherwise, this is a form of gender-based violence.”

Trudeau’s statement was focused on gender equality, helping women to gain legal control over their bodies and empowering women around the world:

Today, we join people all over the globe to celebrate the remarkable achievements that women have made everywhere, and reaffirm our commitment to gender equality worldwide.

This year, Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EqualityMatters, which reminds us that society is better – more prosperous, peaceful, secure, and cohesive – when women’s rights are respected, when women are valued and empowered, and when they lead the way in our communities.

While we have taken significant steps toward gender equality, we know that much more work needs to be done. Women around the world continue to receive lower pay and fewer promotions. They are denied legal control over their bodies and reproductive health. They face much higher rates of harassment and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. In impoverished communities, women are the least likely to have access to healthcare, the last ones to eat, and the most vulnerable to the hardships brought on by disease.

That is why we will continue to place gender equality and rights, and the empowerment of women and girls, at the heart of our international development work. These efforts received a considerable boost this morning with the announcement that Canada will provide $650 million in funding to address gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.

Today, I remind Canadians that we all have a role to play in the fight for gender equality, and that we all benefit from a more gender equal world. Women and men, girls and boys, we must all step up and speak out, because half of the population cannot solve a problem that affects us all.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I encourage all Canadians to join us in celebrating International Women’s Day, as we renew our commitment to a more positive, just, and equal world.

Canada’s foreign aid under Trudeau government

Country/ Organization

Financial Aid



$650 million

Addressing gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.



UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity to promote cultural projects in developing countries

Argentina, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela

$13.6 million

Fighting corruption


$8 million

Mountain gear, winter clothing, fighting ISIS, radicalization


$24 million

Development and security projects


$34.80 million

Education and rights of marginalized teenagers, modernizing Peru’s public service


$15.3 million

Safe Food for Growth (SAFEGRO)


$5.16 million

Empowerment of women and girls

African Union (AU)

$5 million

Empowerment of women and girls, good governance, renewable energy, intra-African trade

African countries


Addressing human rights compliance in criminal-justice measures against terrorism and violent extremism in seven selected African states: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism



$19.1 million

Improving the technical and vocational education training system


$2.38 million

Immigration management, counterterrorism


$8 million

Humanitarian aid through Red Cross, other NGO partners and UN agencies



Help designing of a new biological laboratory and secure repository (biobank) of infectious diseases

Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB)

$125 million

Improving respond to food crises around the world


$12 million

Supporting the health and rights of women and girls


$2 million

humanitarian assistance funding in response to the impact of Hurricane Matthew

Caribbean countries

$4.58 million

Humanitarian assistance to the region affected by Hurricane Matthew


$40 million

Improving lives of women and girls


$465 million

Security and development support to Afghanistan until 2020


$8.1 million

Supporting the National Police of Ukraine


$700 million

Technical and financial assistance to support Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability, improve security and implement democratic and economic reforms.


$21 million

Support for peace implementation

Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law

$2 million

Countering violent extremism

Lifeline Project

$1.5 million

Protecting human rights defenders

UNESCO and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Improving education about genocide

Sri Lanka – Equitas International Centre for Human Rights Education


Supporting a reconciliation effort after a civil war


$13.8 million



$25 million

Support over three years to enhance UN capacity in the area of conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding

Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program

$2 million

Supporting two Global Counterterrorism Forum initiatives


$15 million

Funding projects tackling climate change



Border security project



Regional Strengthening Maritime Security project


$10 million

Building community resilience to food insecurity


$112.6 million

Funding four development projects, enabling the country to better protect and enhance the well-being of its youth in school, combat malnutrition and help grow its agricultural and mining sectors.

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

$20 million

Southeast Asia

$13 million

Supporting progressive trade in Southeast Asia

Sri Lanka

$20 million

Promoting inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity, and human rights


$57.4 million

five initiatives that will support Colombia’s peace implementation efforts, protect the rights of children and youth affected by armed conflict and empower women as agents of peace..

United Nations humanitarian agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations

$331.5 million

Humanitarian assistance funding around the world

International projects announced at Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Denmark

$22.5 million

Projects related the health and rights of women and children


$19.9 million

Eradication of polio

Forum of Federations

$16.3 million

Supporting women’s empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Burma (Myanmar)

$44 million

Strengthening democratic development


$40 million

Two initiatives to fight polio by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO)

United Nations Population Fund

$81.6 million

Integrated approach to women’s reproductive health and rights, including in South Sudan

African countries and Haiti

$112.8 million

Climate change, empower women

African countries

$12.5 million

Supporting democracy, peace and security, inclusion, and gender equality in Africa


$7.5 million

Education, humanitarian assistance and entrepreneurship projects in Madagascar


$54 million

Humanitarian and development projects


$25 million

Supporting Palestinian “refugees”

Global Fund

$804 million

Fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

$22.6 million

Training African mathematical scientists to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions

eace and Stabilization Operations Program

$450 million

Peacekeeping mission around the world

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

$17 million

Security and safety initiatives in East Asia

Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon

$1.6 billion

Including $840 million for humanitarian and stabilization efforts for the people of Iraq

United Nations humanitarian and development agencies

$274 million

Strengthening emergency response, ensuring child protection in humanitarian crises and building long-term resilience to food insecurity


$2.65 billion

Helping other countries to deal with climate change

International Assistance Envelope (IAE)

$256 million

Global Peace and Security Fund

$450 million

Initiatives to promote pluralism

International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program

$106.5 million


$30 million

Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program – in sub-Saharan Africa

Turkey, Jordan, Iraq

$75.4 million

Assisting countries hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees


$2 million

Immediate support after an earthquake



Note: Data is based on Global Affairs Canada’s official statements. Some of the commitments for foreign aid will be carried out over few years. (*) The federal government announced $700 million in funding to Ukraine, but it is unclear whether it’s a new commitment.

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