A year of COVID-19: What’s led us to introduce a refreshed 1% Canadian aid ask

By: Laura Published: 12/03/2021

As of March 13, it has been one year to the day that Canada’s parliament shut down in response to COVID-19. What has kept us determined and moving forward despite the chaos has been working alongside our partners and people like you who are committed to ending COVID-19 everywhere.

In less than a year, we moved figurative mountains together; mountains of investments that will save millions of lives.

In June 2020, we called on Canada to invest at least 1% of its domestic response to COVID in new and additional aid towards a global response. Thanks in part to our actions throughout 2020, Canada committed a total of CAD$1.2 billion in new and additional funding for the global COVID-19 response. This included funding for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and for addressing the development and humanitarian impacts of the pandemic.

Just a few weeks ago we reached another milestone to support efforts to #EndCovidEverywhere with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing that Canada will invest an additional CAD$75 million in the ACT-Accelerator. To date that means that Canada has given CAD$973 million to ACT-A (CAD$940 million of which is new international assistance funding), making our country a true champion of this initiative and essentially reaching its fair share of investment.

With the refreshed 1% ask, Canada would be spending the average
of what other high income countries invested in international development
assistance as a share of gross national income (GNI) pre-pandemic (0.38%).

While we can be proud of what we have asked Canada to do so far, the need continues to be great and we must maintain the momentum. We know that ending the COVID-19 pandemic everywhere is vital to restoring global health and economic security.

Because of the pandemic, twice as many people have faced acute hunger; an estimated 1.2 billion learners have had their education disrupted, and at least 80 million children missed their routine vaccinations in 2020, risking other disease outbreaks. With the virus and its variants spreading now to over 100 million people, taking over 2 million lives, and causing monthly global economic losses of an estimated USD$500 billion, we simply have no choice but to take extraordinary action.

In collaboration with our sector allies and with the support of many Results volunteers that took part in International Development Week, we have refreshed our 1% ask of Canada. We are no longer in emergency response mode; we must shift our thinking towards long term recovery, which will require Canada to build off of leadership demonstrated in 2020.

The refreshed ask:

Canada must invest 1% of its domestic COVID-19 response and recovery spending on new and additional Canadian aid from 2020/21 to 2022/23, equal to CAD$5.9 billion cumulatively over 3 years. With approx. CAD$1.2 billion of that total already committed to in 2020/21, this should translate to a CAD$7.8 billion International Assistance Envelope (IAE) in 2021/22 and CAD$8.7 billion in 2022/23 to start Canada on the path to sustained annual increases.

As a first step in support of the refreshed ask, Results Canada submitted a pre-budget consultation briefing note to the Department of Finance Canada articulating why Canada should spend 1% of its COVID-19 response and recovery funding on additional international assistance.

Take action:
You can take action by taking to social media and tagging @FinanceCanada, @cafreeland, and your MP. Use these graphics and refer to the example tweet below for how to create your own message.

By investing just 1% of its domestic #COVID19 response towards a global response Canada can save lives, see a significant return on investment, and stand up as a true global leader during the pandemic @FinanceCanada @cafreeland #Budget2021 #Canada4Results www.endcovideverywhere.ca

Stay tuned for more on how you can continue to take action in support of this ask!

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