On February 9, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, announced an investment of $28.15 million in development programming for the Philippines. The investment package emphasizes support for climate adaptation, resilience against natural disasters, and improved healthcare services. The Minister stopped by the Barangay Canada vodcast to provide details about the announcement and his official visit to the Philippines in early January of this year.
Speaking with this vodcast host, the Minister recounted his meeting with Philippine government officials and local leaders to discuss improvements in biodiversity protection, climate adaptation, women’s empowerment and healthcare services.
The Minister also named Forest Foundation Philippines as one of the Filipino partners of the investment. The non-profit will implement an $8 million project to support vulnerable communities by mitigating the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss. Hussen explained that the project will assist with financing and capacity-building to support gender-responsive, nature-based solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss.
Also announced during the February 9 press event was a $12.5 million project to enhance climate resilience in 6 vulnerable provinces in the Philippines. The project will be implemented by international development consultancy Alinea International and will aim at “building the capacity of national and local governments and women-led organizations on gender-responsive climate adaptation, and disaster risk reduction and management.”
The Minister also touched on the $7 million project to support health promotion campaigns and increased healthcare services in remote communities. According to an accompanying news release on Global Affairs Canada’s website, this project will be implemented by Plan International Canada, and will also provide training for local health professionals in partnership with the University of Montréal School of Public Health.
The announcement of Canada’s latest investment in the Indo-Pacific region was held during International Development Week (IDW) which runs from February 4 to 10, 2024. Organized by Global Affairs Canada, IDW is meant to highlight and recognize Canada’s impactful contributions to international development.
Noting the mutual benefits provided by Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy for our country and its partners in that region, the Minister was asked about measures that are in place to ensure that the strategy will continue regardless of the outcomes of upcoming federal elections.
“We hope that any government in Canada would emphasize and contribute to efforts to continue engaging the world….We, as the liberal government are very much focused on ensuring that we are open to the world, that we diversify our markets, and we focus on the Indo-Pacific region. This is a very important region,” Minister Hussen concluded.