Cooperation Canada applauds Canada’s announcement today to contribute an additional $75 million to support a more equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines. This is an invaluable investment as historically disadvantaged countries which are disproportionately affected by the pandemic struggle to access vaccines. It is essential that vaccines be made available on the basis of need and prioritize the most vulnerable, wherever they are. The current pandemic clearly demonstrates that our economy is global, our populations are deeply interconnected, and we cannot solve global challenges in isolation. Canada will not recover until the world recovers.

Today’s announcement brings Canada’s contribution to a global COVID-19 response to an estimated $2 billion. This investment is a clear indication of Canada’s global leadership since the beginning of the pandemic, which is helping solve global challenges and motivating other countries to step up. COVID-19 is not the crisis of a season – it has already left a lasting impact on all aspects of our societies, exacerbated inequalities and disrupted 25 years of global human progress in a matter of months.

Sustained investments in global capacity to prevent and mitigate crises such as this one are key. Today’s announcement and Canada’s important COVID-related global contributions are critical steps towards ensuring Canada contributes its fair share to global development. Much progress is still needed in this area. To strategically address the current global challenges, Canada must ensure that predictable long-term funding is in place to fulfill Government promises outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Feminist International Assistance Policy. This should include a roadmap for increasing Canada’s international assistance. A first step would be anchoring the existing COVID-19 budgetary allocations to the permanent international assistance envelope. This should be accompanied by further increases, in the next two fiscal years, with the overall objective of allocating at least 1% of Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery budget towards sustainable global recovery to the pandemic crisis.

We are in this together. Only together can we build back a stronger, more resilient and equitable world.