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Syrian refugees in Toronto. Photo: CIJnews

Canada to increase funding for “international refugee resettlement efforts”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen announced on March 15, 2017 contributions totaling $5.6 million “to support global resettlement initiatives” including welcoming more Syrian refugees.

According to the Hussen’s statement:

  • In response to the increasing number of refugees around the world, many countries have announced that they will welcome additional Syrian refugees. The UNHCR needs additional funding to substantially increase its capacity to provide referrals, advice and support to countries seeking to offer protection and solutions to refugees.
  • This funding will pay for the recruitment and deployment of refugee experts to work with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the screening and submission of refugees in need of resettlement. Refugees will have their resettlement applications assessed by UNHCR more quickly, allowing them to start new lives in resettlement countries.
  • Canada will provide the UNHCR with $4 million in response to the UNHCR’s 2017 Global Appeal to the international community for funding to increase its ability to identify refugees in need of resettlement.
  • Minister Hussen also signed a letter of intent, which will lead to the provision of $1.6 million to the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC).

“Canada will continue to do its part in providing protection to refugees. We are working with other governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to find new and innovative approaches to offer solutions for refugees and to help other countries develop greater capacity to offer protection to those in need,” said Hussen. “Canada believes that the successful integration of refugees benefits not only the refugees themselves but also our society as a whole.”

Canada, Soros and UN join forces to resettle more refugees in the West

In mid December 15, 2016 the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative met in Ottawa for a three-day launch event that brought together 90 participants, including sponsorship groups, international delegates, partners and government officials interested in Canada’s private sponsorship model for refugees.

The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative is led by the Government of Canada, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the University of Ottawa, the Radcliffe Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations, a network of foundations, partners, and projects in more than 100 countries that was founded and run by American billionaire George Soros.

The new joint initiative has three primary objectives:

  • Contribute to enhanced responsibility-sharing by expanding the use of private sponsorship as a pathway for refugees in need of protection and solutions;
  • Encourage the expansion of resettlement by building the capacity of states, civil society actors, and private citizens to launch private sponsorship programs; and
  • Provide a vehicle that mobilizes citizens in direct support of refugees and encourages a broader political debate that is supportive of refugee protection.

In attendance at the conference were representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as a variety of other stakeholders from around the world.

According to the official statement, the participants discussed Canada’s private sponsorship model and how it could be adapted and supported in other countries’ contexts.

The federal government believes that the addition of a private sponsorship program alongside existing government-assisted ones ‎has the potential to significantly increase resettlement places for close to 1.2 million refugees around the world who are in critical need of resettlement.

In last September, George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations, said in this regard the following:

There are millions of people across the world who want to do more to help welcome refugees. Private sponsorship is a proven way to engage individuals, community groups, and companies to directly contribute to refugee protection, and I hope others will also be interested in supporting this new joint initiative’s objectives.”

Soros’ partner, John McCallum, then Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, added:

Canada is committed to working to help facilitate a stronger global response to the ongoing refugee and migration crises. We have seen first-hand how many Canadian citizens have come forward to sponsor refugees from around the world, and we want to encourage and support other states to engage their citizens to do the same.”

See also:

  • Canada to partner with George Soros, UN on welcoming far more refugees (click HERE)
  • Conference on refugee sponsorship is led by Canada and George Soros (click HERE)

Canada’s foreign aid under Trudeau government

Country/ Organization

Financial Aid


UNHCR, nternational Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)

$5.6 million

Supporting global resettlement initiatives including welcoming more Syrian refugees in the West.


$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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About CIJnews Staff

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