December 14th, 2020
Letter to Minister Freeland
Regarding the urgent need to implement the Government's $400 million humanitarian aid commitment
Dear Honourable Chrystia Freeland,
I am writing to you today regarding the urgent need for the actualization of the $400 million in development and humanitarian Covid-19 response funding pledged by Prime Minister Trudeau at the end of September. I have heard disturbing accounts from the sector that funds have been slow to be deployed and I write to urge you to recognize the need for a rapid and immediate response.
Canada has an important role to play in upholding human rights, assisting the world’s most vulnerable, and helping to resolve the root causes of global conflict and instability by addressing poverty, inequality, and injustice. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that we are all connected beyond borders. The pandemic has not impacted all countries or all people equally and has had a devastating impact on the developing world. This is particularly true as we continue to see the global impacts of COVID-19 and worrying signs that recovery for many countries from this global pandemic could be significant and long lasting.
The $400 million investment is critical in addressing the growing needs around the world and must be rolled out in a time-sensitive manner. The timeliness aspect is particularly true for the humanitarian response funding as many countries are now dealing with the triple burden of Covid-19, conflict, and climate change. Canadian humanitarian organizations and local organizations are well placed to deliver assistance and are already doing so effectively in many contexts.
Recognizing that we are facing an unprecedented global crisis requiring an unprecedented global response is vital. While viruses and pandemics, do not recognize borders, we must all do our part to flatten the curve globally. Canada has an important role to play in ensuring countries around the world have the best tools to fight this battle.
Therefore, scaled up international assistance must be a priority of Canada’s Covid-19 response strategy. Ensuring the promised $400 million are disbursed as quickly as possible and with clear transparency on where it will be spent is a crucial next step to delivering impact.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to receiving a response at your earliest convenience.
Member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona
NDP Critic for International Development