Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canada has worked with international partners to find ways to continue supporting people and ensure a coordinated response.
This week, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, participated in virtual meetings of the G7 and G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed domestic and international economic responses to COVID-19 and reiterated the importance of continued financial support to economies and that support should not be withdrawn too quickly. They also noted the need to collaborate on approaches to digital payments and their shared resolve to combat the rising threat of ransomware attacks.
During the G20 meeting, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors reiterated their support for the G20 Action Plan – Supporting the Global Economy through the COVID-19 Crisis, and endorsed updates to the plan. G20 Finance Ministers remain committed to continued measures and tools to restore confidence, jobs, and growth. They also agreed to extend the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) – which is allowing people in vulnerable countries to receive necessary support – by another six months. Furthermore, there was an agreement in principle on a Common Framework for debt treatment beyond the DSSI. The Framework will be published in November.
The Deputy Prime Minister also participated in the virtual 2020 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) International Monetary and Financial Committee. During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and her colleagues welcomed new financial assistance the IMF has approved for over 80 countries and the IMF’s continued efforts to meet the needs of vulnerable countries and support a strong and inclusive recovery.
Throughout the week, Canada, the World Bank Group, the IMF, and others highlighted the need to continue providing financial support and the risks if support is prematurely withdrawn. Governments must continue to support people if we are to ensure a timely return to growth and foster an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient recovery. At the meetings, partners agreed that an effective health response is the best economic policy and that equitable access to vaccines must be a priority for all.
Earlier this week, the Deputy Prime Minister also participated in the virtual meeting of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action where they discussed the opportunities available to keep climate action goals on track amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of International Development, the Honourable Karina Gould, participated in the virtual IMF-World Bank Development Committee meeting on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister, and brought attention to proposals discussed by heads of states and governments at the recent Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond process, which Canada co-convened with Jamaica and the United Nations. Participants at the Development Committee meeting commended the World Bank Group for the speed and scale of its COVID-19 response across countries. The Minister also met virtually with foreign ministers, partners, and stakeholders to address issues around the unequal access to education, food security, economic opportunity, and political participation that are all being amplified by the pandemic. The Minister made sure that key Canadian priorities, including promoting gender equality and reducing the effects of climate change, continue to be central considerations in the world’s collective response to COVID-19.
“This week’s discussions with international colleagues were an opportunity to share best practices for supporting people as we fight this virus. It is essential that do whatever it takes to keep Canadians safe and healthy and to protect our economy during this global pandemic. Everyone is facing the ongoing and evolving challenges of COVID-19 and Canada’s discussions with partners reaffirmed how important it is to support one another and ensure a fair and sustainable recovery for all.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“This pandemic has underscored the importance of taking an intersectional, feminist approach to international assistance. This means that we all must foster more and better investments in people for greater equality and economic growth. Nobody should be left behind.”
– The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development