Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould on Thursday announced CAD 45 million, over the next five years, to support increasing services to Bangladesh’s most vulnerable populations, including the hard-to-reach ones.
Canada is committed to investing in partnerships to support the most marginalized, including women and girls in Bangladesh.
“Our local, experienced partners know all too well the disproportionate impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the world’s most vulnerable. Together, we must continue to push forward and seek out those hardest to reach, including marginalized women and children," said the Canadian Minister.
Canada remains committed to supporting Bangladesh in addressing the impacts of the pandemic and helping vulnerable populations respond and recover as fast as possible, she said.
Canada’s support will fund Brac-led multi-sector initiatives, including programming in skills and vocational training and public health outreach tailored to reach children and families that are unable to access the services they need.
It will also strengthen Brac’s interventions related to human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, nutrition and ending gender-based violence against women and children, said a joint media release.
Programming will also focus on, and support, Bangladesh’s Covid-19 response and inclusive economic recovery.
With this contribution, Canada joins the Strategic Partnership Agreement, a long-term tripartite partnership with Brac and the government of Australia.
Canada’s contributions to the partnership will expand Brac’s integrated healthcare, education, legal services, skills development and livelihood service delivery to hard-to-reach areas and the most marginalised populations.
This partnership is closely aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and is built on Brac’s longstanding women-centred development approach which prioritises the empowerment of women and girls.
The announcement was made during Minister Gould’s virtual visit to Bangladesh.
Gould visited Bhashantek slum in Dhaka to see firsthand the impacts of Brac’s urban development programming, which will receive continued support through the partnership.
She also met young women engaged in skills training, health care workers supporting soon-to-be-mothers, and witnessed the Brac-led Covid-19 prevention and response activities in action.
Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh accompanied the minister on the visit, with both acknowledging the courageous frontline workers who continue to deliver key services in the face of ongoing challenges during the pandemic.
"We’re delighted to welcome Global Affairs Canada as one of our strategic partners. This partnership couldn't come at a more critical time, as the Covid-19 pandemic has further aggregated inequalities in Bangladesh," said Asif Saleh.
He said Bangladesh needs resources to combat the impact of this pandemic and sustain the momentum of socio-economic growth. "This partnership will help us keep the country on the growth trajectory and continue our efforts in the pandemic response and the recovery process.”