June 1st, 2020
Letter to Minister Gould
Regarding support for Canadian humanitarian and international development organizations
Dear Minister Gould,
Over the past several weeks, I have spoken with many leaders in Canadian humanitarian and international development charities and non-profit organizations who continue to express their concern over the lack of support provided to the Canadian International Development sector to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. While I understand that we are all adjusting and navigating this new reality, we must remain committed to fulfilling our international promises and we must ensure that there is no further delay in implementing Canada's global COVID-19 response.
It is especially important now, during these unprecedented times, that Canada meets its international obligations. Now, more than ever, there exists a need for a coordinated global response that acknowledges the interconnectedness of the pandemic and ensures the protection of displaced and vulnerable people around the world. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries is now becoming known. It is now evident that these impacts - due to weak systems, lack of resources, and the complexities of social, economic, and political realities in these nations - are putting communities into devastating situations.
Canadian development and humanitarian organizations are equipped to respond to this pandemic and are ready to provide the support necessary to ensure that the world's most vulnerable are not left behind. Canadian organizations have been effectively supporting ongoing global and community needs including climate action, gender equality, access to health care, economic development, and good governance.
I write today to ask you to consider the concerns of Canadian humanitarian and international development charities and non-profit organizations. Canada has an important role to play on the international stage and Canadian international development and humanitarian agencies, if supported during this time, can help meet the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic raises.
To help ensure Canada meets its global obligations during the pandemic, I recommend that you:
- Implement a COVID-19 global response in cooperation with Canadian development and humanitarian organizations;
- Ensure Global Affairs Canada allows redirection of funds and flexibility in programming to meet immediate COVID-19 needs;
- Fast-track funding renewals for multi-year international programs and program extensions in order to minimize reporting requirements for ongoing projects and programs,
I look forward to working with you and the Cahadian international development and humanitarian sector to ensure that Canada responds to this global crisis urgently and effectively and I look forward to your immediate action to support Canadian organizations in this effort.
I wish you and your family the best and continued good health during these challenging times.