Coronavirus: Feds to spend $8.9M in foreign aid for reproductive health services

Canada is dedicating $8.9 million in new international aid to ensure women and girls around the world have safe access to abortion and reproductive health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Development Minister Karina Gould says the coronavirus pandemic has made access to contraceptives, abortion services and reproductive health care more difficult for women in some countries.

READ MORE: Experts say women shouldn’t put off sexual health care during coronavirus pandemic

Gould says these services remain vital to women’s health and safety and that safe access must be maintained.

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Gould says the federal government acknowledges the disproportionate impacts the pandemic is having on women and girls in Canada and abroad, which is why Canada wants to ensure it stays focused on its commitments to gender equality.

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Coronavirus outbreak: WHO releases policy brief on COVID-19 and gender

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Of the $8.9 million announced today, $2 million will go to the United Nations trust fund on violence against women to help combat gender-based violence internationally.

Gould says there has been a “staggering” increase in violence against women caused by COVID-19 restrictions and this money will go toward international efforts to help address this concerning trend.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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