Canadians are back(ed)!

Posted May 10th 2017

Government Announces Renewed Partnership with Canadians on Global Cooperation

Marie Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Cooperation and La Francophonie, announced a new $100 million fund for small and medium-sized organizations at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)’s Global Impact Soirée on 9 May 2017.

“For half a century, Canadian development NGOs, in their desire to make the world a better place and to alleviate poverty, have been leaders in pushing the boundaries of change,” said Minister Bibeau during the announcement on May 9.

“But what I like best about the story of Canadian civil society over the last 50 years is that you collaborated—with each other, and with local actors in developing countries. In fact, you have always been committed to collaborating. This commitment to partnership is what distinguishes us in the world.”

“Consistent with SDG 17, our government will foster new and diverse partnerships, and this will include working with small and medium-sized organizations, alongside larger ones.”

“That is why I am delighted to announce $100 million in funding dedicated to small and medium-sized Canadian organizations.”

This announcement comes after almost three years of discussions with the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation and CCIC.

The councils, who represent close to 400 civil society organizations from coast to coast to coast, wholeheartedly welcome the announcement, which expresses and bolsters support for Canadians working on issues of poverty, sustainability and human rights in a global context.

“We know from research and experience that Canadians, through small and medium-sized organizations, have strong ties to their local partners overseas, as well as their own communities in Canada” says Janice Hamilton, Executive Director of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC).

“They not only support the local communities to have access to water and sanitation in Cambodia, to improve maternal health in Afghanistan and to assist farmers in Peru adapt to climate change, among others, but also share these stories and successes with their fellow Canadians.”

The five-year, $100 million fund will be made available to small and medium-sized organizations with an annual budget of under $2 million in overseas expenditures using a two-pillared approach: one for responsive programming and one for innovation to test ideas that resolve specific development challenges, particularly for initiatives that support women and girls. It will use the existing expertise of Canadian NGOs, encouraging them to share best practices and work together.

Dr. Zephania Matanga, Executive Director of the Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre, a member of MCIC, offered his congratulations to Minister Bibeau for providing this opportunity for small organizations like his to access resources and participate in the development of marginalized communities.

“This will enable the diaspora to participate in international cooperation,” said Dr. Matanga, “in Zimbabwe we could provide additional resources for education and healthcare for people with disabilities in rural areas.”

“It is a proud moment,” says Hamilton, “and proof that government is taking a thoughtful, proactive, yet timely approach to change.”

“It is concrete proof behind the claim that Canada is back.”