OTTAWA — Canada joins in the movement to change the world for the better by pledging large amounts of aid aiming to help the world’s poorest countries. Canada’s government has revealed it will give $265 million dollars to the United Nations Green Climate Fund; but there is more, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that Canada will donate $500 million toward a program aimed at providing immunizations for children in developing countries.
The announcement for pledges toward the Green Climate Fund came late Thursday, November 20, after a Berlin conference where additional pledges from the governments of 21 countries totaled $9.3 billion. The Green Climate Fund has nearly reached $9.6 billion in pledges, with Canada becoming the 22nd pledge.
“The pledge demonstrates Canada’s commitment to establish a fair, effective international agreement in Paris next year that includes binding obligations on all major emitters,” said Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of the Environment.
Although Canada’s pledge is lower than some other countries, Canada’s contribution will help the world’s poorest countries invest in clean energy equipment and coping with the effect of climate change.
Climate change is developing faster than projected; however, financial support for those who are most affected is helping to slow the pace. The main threats arising form climate change include droughts, floods, rising sea levels and storms. Four of the world’s poorest countries are at the highest risk in the climate change threat. Some countries, like Uganda, have already been greatly affected by climate change.
The money Canada has pledged will generate a positive initiative for the start of successful talks on climate change in Paris next year. It is intended to unlock finance flows from the private sector.
The Green Climate Fund Board is responsible for turning the pledges into financing decisions for climate projects and programs for developing countries.
More good news came from Canada as the Prime Minister announced on Friday, November 28, that it would provide $440 million to help vaccinate children in developing nations. The statement was made at an event with Senegalese Prime Minister, Mohammed Dionne, at a clinic in Dakar, Senegal.
The money will go toward the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, an alliance that aims to increase access of basic and inexpensive vaccines that were not previously accessible in poor countries.
In May, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization made a petition for money to help vaccinate 300 million children against several diseases between the years 2016 and 2020, therefore saving a projected 5 to 6 million lives.
According to UNICEF, immunization in children of developing worlds has not reached its full potential. In 2013, reports estimated that 21.8 million children under the age of 1, worldwide, did not receive the recommended doses of vaccine that fight against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. More than half of those children were from the world’s poorest countries.
Childhood vaccination is distinguished as one of the most economical solutions that ensure child survival in developing nations, saving millions of lives and protecting children from illnesses and disabilities.
Moreover, the executive director of the Alliance, Seth Berkley, says that Canada’s contribution will allow the organization to promote immunization in an estimated 73 developing countries.
– Sandy Phan
Sources: UNICEF, Green Climate Fund, GAVI