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Backgrounder: Canada announces over $50 million in funding during second Summit for Democracy

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The Prime Minister reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He announced over $50 million in funding in support of initiatives that promote and protect democracy at home and abroad.

Digitalization and Democracy – $250,000 – Institutional Support for International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)

This initiative supports the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance core mandate of advancing sustainable democracy worldwide by providing decision-makers with accurate analysis, data and tools. Canada is providing $250,000 in institutional support funding to IDEA in order to expand the Institute’s capacity to address global trends in digitalization and democracy.

Intergovernmental Coalition to Advance and Defend Democratic Principles – $500,000 – Institutional Support to the Community of Democracies (CoD)

In its capacity as current President of the Governing Council of the CoD, Canada is providing $500K in institutional support funding to its Permanent Secretariat. In addition to providing an intergovernmental forum for mutual dialogue and learning among member states, the CoD facilitates joint diplomacy to advance and defend democracy, including through collective diplomatic action.

Emergency Assistance and Capacity Building Programs – $2,000,000– United States Department of State

Canada is increasing its support for the US Department of State’s emergency assistance and capacity building programs focused on protecting the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ persons and religious minorities, as well as sustaining civil society organizations, through contributions to the Global Equality Fund, the International Religious Freedom Fund and the Lifeline Embattled CSO Fund. This amendment is in addition to the $3 million announced at the first Summit for Democracy and brings the total project value to $5 million.

Harnessing Digital Potential for Human Rights – $2,000,000 – Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

This initiative will support the OHCHR in designing and implementing a digital transformation strategy to leverage data and digital tools to strengthen the analysis, monitoring, and response to human rights risks and concerns. The OHCHR is the leading UN entity responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights globally.

Promoting Civic Voices and Democracy – $1,500,197 – WITNESS

This project aims to counter misinformation and disinformation by equipping frontline marginalized communities with the skills and guidance to document abuse, evidence of war crimes and human rights violations, make their voices heard, and protect and defend their fundamental human rights. WITNESS is an international non-profit organization, based in the US, and a global leader in helping people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights.

LGBTI Pathways – $1,095,000– ILGA World

This global research and capacity-building project aims to increase funding directed towards improving the lives of 2SLGBTQI+ persons across the world, including through improved funding equity for organizations led by marginalized groups. ILGA World is a worldwide federation of 1800 member organizations from 169 countries campaigning for lesbian, gay bisexual, trans and intersex rights since 1978.

Rights and Well-being of LBTQI+ Women and Girls in West Africa and International Spaces – $449,439 – Égides

This initiative will support organizations and networks working to empower  LBTQI+ (lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex) women and girls in West Africa. It will advance the rights and well-being of LBTQI+ women and girls by improving their access to health services, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights, and promoting the integration of their voices in regional and international dialogue and decision-making spaces. ÉGIDES is an international organization working particularly in Francophone countries to support LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex) persons, communities and their representative organizations.

Countering Election Disinformation in Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone – $1,946,587 – National Democratic Institute

Through its project with National Democratic Institute, Canada is supporting civil society in Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone to promote an inclusive information space around national elections by using research and monitoring to design and implement local initiatives and foster cross-regional expertise. The National Democratic Institute works to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.

Democracy and Human Rights Promotion through Election Observation – $1,999,823 – CANADEM

Canada’s support to CANADEM fosters the participation of Canadians from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous and minority communities and civil society organizations that promote gender equality and the rights and participation of women, in electoral observation and electoral reforms around the world. CANADEM is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to advancing international peace and security through the rostering, rapid mobilization, and mission management of experts committed to international service with the UN, other intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and governments.

An Integrated Framework on Protecting Elections – $2,000,000– International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)

Through Canada’s support, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance is promoting free, fair, and inclusive elections globally by inspiring and supporting change processes undertaken primarily by national Elections Management Bodies (EMBs) in collaboration with civil society, other state agencies, and electoral assistance practitioners.

Project for Resilience and Integrity in the Management of Elections (PRIME) – $4,500,000– United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Canada’s support to the PRIME initiative will promote the overall resilience and integrity of elections globally through rapid support to elections in individual country situations and by generating awareness and tools around global challenges in elections, notably information integrity and women’s political participation. UNDP is the United Nations’ lead agency on international development.

Developing an Inclusive, Rights-based Global Index for Responsible Artificial Intelligence – $2,000,000– International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Canada supports the work of the International Development Research Centre to promote the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) that upholds human rights and democratic values. IDRC is developing a Global Index that will monitor country commitments to responsible AI and implementation of established AI principles. IDRC champions and funds research and innovation within and alongside developing regions to drive global change.

Supporting Pathfinders Grand Challenge to Promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – $449,786 – New York University - Center on International Cooperation (CIC)

Canada’s support to the Pathfinders Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion, through the Center on International Cooperation (CIC), helps States to combat inequality and exclusion by finding evidence-based solutions to these challenges through political commitments, new policies, and measures to promote equality and inclusion. This additional funding brings the total project value to $2.2M. The CIC is a research centre that works to strengthen cooperative approaches among national governments, international organizations, and the wider policy community to prevent crises, and advance peace, justice, and inclusion.

Strengthening Public External Audit – $3,750,000– International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative (IDI)

The project with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative (IDI) seeks to build a stronger public external audit function and to enhance the performance of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in developing countries. Enhancing institutional capacity of SAIs helps hold governments to account, contributing to improved financial oversight, public financial management, transparency, accountability, service delivery to citizens, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including gender equality, as well as reduced levels of corruption. INTOSAI operates as an umbrella organization for the external government audit community.

Access to Justice and the Fight Against Human Rights Violations in Honduras – $5,000,000– Lawyers without Borders

This project aims to support the promotion of human rights in Honduras by increasing access to justice. It works closely with vulnerable populations, especially women and girls, who are victims of rights violations, corruption and discrimination by providing them with quality legal representation. It also supports the judiciary to improve the efficiency of human rights proceedings through training and technical support by specialized group lawyers. This additional funding brings the total project value to $16.8M. Lawyers Without Borders Canada, established in 2002, operates in 8 countries including Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, using a model focused on sustainability and knowledge transfer to improve legal practices, notably through training for justice actors defending human rights and the use of strategic litigation to drive legal reforms and improved access to justice.

Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Prevention in Ecuador – $1,000,000– United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The initiative will strengthen Ecuador’s national capacities for intercultural and gender sensitive dialogue for conflict prevention and resolution by enhancing conflict resolution and social dialogues capacities, strengthening intercultural and gender awareness along with local participative development, and promoting women’s political leadership.

Supporting Human Rights in Peru and Bolivia – $2,400,000– The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The initiative will support the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) to monitor and document human rights challenges in Bolivia and Peru. It will provide advice and technical assistance to government and civil society, with a view to strengthening accountability and respect for human rights in both countries. Emphasis will be placed on closing human rights gaps for the most vulnerable groups: women and girls, Indigenous Peoples, human rights/environmental defenders, and Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

Global Concessional Financing Facility Support to Venezuelan Migration in Ecuador – $2,000,000– World Bank

This project supports the Government of Ecuador in the socio-economic integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and host communities, especially women and girls. It aims to strengthen the government’s capacity to manage and mitigate internal shocks caused by the influx of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and regularize their status. The Global Concessional Financing Facility is a financing mechanism that leverages donor grant funding to provide middle-income countries with low-cost loans to support migration responses.

Protecting Democracy Unit – $10,000,000

This funding will support the Protecting Democracy Unit which coordinates, develops, and implements Canadian government-wide measures designed to combat disinformation and protect our democratic institutions and processes, including developing a whole-of-society approach to protecting Canada’s democracy, implementation of a counter disinformation toolkit, and training for Parliamentarians and public servants on misinformation and disinformation.

Canadian Digital Media Research Network – $5,500,000

This funding will support a new partnership with civil society to help combat misinformation and disinformation and strengthen the capacity of civil society partners to counter disinformation. Funding for the Canadian Digital Media Research Network will help Canadians become more resilient and think critically about the information they consume online. This will enable Canadians to have a greater awareness of the information ecosystem, including by identifying foreign interference and mis- and disinformation narratives.