The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement:
“It is tragic that the number of our fellow human beings forcibly displaced from their homes continues to rise year after year. By the end of 2019, over 26 million adults and children had been forced to flee persecution and violence and rely on the generosity of host countries and local communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating health impacts on refugees, and the associated movement restrictions only add to the hardships refugees face every day.
“In marking World Refugee Day, we stand in solidarity with refugees and with the host countries and communities that have taken them in. Now, more than ever, we recognize the need to strengthen our collective efforts towards making responses which bring real impact and ensure that no one is left behind.
“Canada is a strong supporter of the UN Global Compact on Refugees. We remain committed to implementing its underlying principles and achieving a fairer world for people in crisis. In light of the challenges of the past year, today’s theme for World Refugee Day-Together We Heal, Learn and Shine-echoes the Compact’s call for inclusion and reminds us that we are all in this together and we all must be ready to do our part.
“In addition to losing their homes, many refugee children have also left behind their schools, their peers, and other opportunities to grow and thrive. Through our Together for Learning campaign, Canada is working hard to ensure that refugee children have access to quality education. At the same time, we are strengthening education for children of host communities. A key element of the campaign is amplifying the voices of all those affected by global decision making, particularly girls and young women, so they can contribute to the decisions that most affect their lives.
“This past week, Canada hosted the virtual International Donor’s Conference to rally support for improving conditions for the over 5.6 million refugees and migrants who have fled Venezuela. Canada brought together civil society, refugee and migrant-led organizations, host and donor countries, the private sector and key financial institutions along with the UNHCR and other UN organizations to provide Venezuelans with the supports that help them lead safe and more prosperous lives in their host countries. The conference garnered substantial new contributions totalling $1.5 billion USD made up of grants and loans from more than 30 donors and from the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank to support long-term response efforts.
“Canada has a proud and long-standing humanitarian tradition of responding to the needs of the most vulnerable. We will continue to work to ensure that refugees around the world are supported, and that those resettling in Canada feel welcomed and included, knowing they contribute to Canada’s strength in diversity.'”