Canada’s Minister of International Development, Karina Gould has announced a USD 159.5 million fund to help the international effort against the fight of COVID-19, including that of Ethiopia’s.
The fund is to be directed to the World Health Organizations (WHO’s) support of vulnerable nations as part of an international assistance strategy, to help partner nations respond to the challenges of the pandemic, and to noted organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In an exclusive interview with The Reporter from Ottawa, the minister reinstated Canada’s commitment to the pandemic that has so far killed thousands of people and destroyed the economies of most nations.
“Canada has had a long development partnership with Ethiopia to build a safer, healthier and more prosperous world. We need to have a global response and to stand in solidarity with our friends and partners around the world so that we can all combat COVID-19”, she told The Reporter.
“But we are also continuing with our existing humanitarian and development programmes. What we have learned from the Ebola outbreaks in Africa is that when we are only handling one pandemic, we are actually having devastating secondary impacts”.
The Minister also spoke to Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the United Nations, Taye Atske Selassie and reflected on Canada’s commitment to help Ethiopia.
It can be recalled, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau had visited Ethiopia in February, partly as an effort to wield support to the North American nation’s ambition to join the Security Council as a temporary member, as well as to endorse his nation’s commitment to the nation’s developmental and economic goals, far from that of foreign and developmental aid.
Canada has been Ethiopia’s long-time supporter of developmental aid next to Afghanistan.
“The COVID-19 virus knows no borders. This has been a wake-up call for the world to stand in solidarity and work together. If there was ever a time for countries and governments to support one another and invest in health globally, it is right now,” the minister said.
Canada is also a financial contributor to the G7 leader’s commitment to develop vaccines as well as the global health security capacity building funding formula.
“As Canada continues to coordinate with international partners on COVID-19, we recognize the need to invest in vaccine research while supporting developing countries and helping the most vulnerable as the crisis evolves around the world,” Canada’s Foreign Minister, François-Philippe Champagne said in a statement.