Canada on Friday pledged development assistance of over $94.4 million towards women’s and reproductive health in Nigeria and some other West African countries.
This was announced after the conclusion of a visit to the region by the Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau.
She announced a total of $94.4 million for humanitarian assistance and initiatives to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls
Canada champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all women and girls globally, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, to ensure they have access to the services and information they need to have control of their own bodies, lives and futures. Canada also believes that everyone should have equal access to health care, proper nutrition, education and humanitarian assistance.
More than 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad Basin countries due to drought, food shortages and ongoing conflict. Canada will contribute $37.2 million to provide vulnerable communities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria with food, acute malnutrition treatment, clean water, health care and protection services, including psychosocial support.
In addition, $57.2 million will go towards initiatives to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Benin, Nigeria and Senegal. Over 4 million women and adolescent girls will benefit from greater awareness of, and access to these services, including preventing and responding to forms of gender-based violence such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
She said: “Canada is providing women and youth a chance to lead healthier and more prosperous lives. I came back to West Africa as Canada’s minister of international development—25 years after I started my career as a junior development adviser in Benin—to witness the results and meet some of the women and youth who benefit from Canada’s aid programs. It was uplifting to see generations of Africans working together to better their lives in close cooperation with Canadians on the ground.”