The Government of Colombia recognizes Canada’s contribution to address COVID-19
In a joint Colombia-Canada ceremony held July 13, 2020 at the San Carlos Palace with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, H.E. Claudia Blum, the Government of Colombia thanked Canada for supporting their efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Canada reiterated its commitment to work with the Government of Colombia to address the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting impacts.
In the midst of a global pandemic, it is important to recognize that vaccines save millions of lives each year and promoting public health is a vital issue that must be addressed multilaterally. To guarantee access to essential vaccines, Canada pledged a CAD $ 600 million to support the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and CAD $ 47.5 million to support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
To face the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is committed to seeking global solutions through multilateral organizations, notably supporting migrants who are among the most affected by the pandemic. To do so, Canada announced in April CAD $ 159.5 million to support international efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through reliable multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization. Canada also announced a further CAD $ 27 million in humanitarian aid to respond to the migratory crisis from Venezuela, of which CAD $20 million is destined to Colombia to meet the basic needs of Venezuelan migrants, returned Colombians and host communities, bringing our total support to date over CAD $80 million across the region since 2019.
Canada has accompanied the Government of Colombia since the onset of the pandemic, supporting the Ministry of Health and Social Protection with the hiring of telephone operators and telemedicine experts to assist mental health challenges as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the multiple effects of the pandemic in Colombia, Canada and its partners are supporting different initiatives in the health, innovation, rural development, education and gender sectors, through contributions totalling over CAD$1.3 million.
This support has strengthened ongoing efforts undertaken by Government institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Education, the Presidential Advisory Office for Gender Equality and the Financial Fund for the Agricultural Sector (Finagro), as well as providing direct support to communities through various partners such as the University of El Rosario, Ladysmith, Empresarios por la Educación, FUPAD and the Pan American Health Organization.
Canadian bilateral projects already operating in Colombia have adjusted measures and resources to address the impact COVID-19, including the purchase of biosafety supplies for communities where they operate and support for project beneficiaries. In addition, investors and the Canadian private sector in Colombia have contributed significant resources to support communities in their areas of operations, generating increased capacity to address the pandemic.
The Ambassador of Canada in Colombia, Marcel Lebleu, stated during the recognition ceremony that “the present context represents both a challenge and an opportunity for society to reinvent itself, and to strengthen the working relationship between Canada and Colombia. We are all in this together and our countries are true partners, fighting for the long-term socio-economic recover from the pandemic”.
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