The information below is from an official press release of Global Affairs Canada.
July 6, 2017 – London, United Kingdom – Global Affairs Canada
Canada is unequivocal in its support for the people of Ukraine. We continue to call for the protection of their rights, their safety and security, and respect for the sanctity of Ukraine’s borders.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded her participation in the Opportunity Ukraine conference, where she reiterated Canada’s support for Ukraine’s efforts to implement economic and democratic reforms. Canada welcomes the progress made in a number of areas since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, notably key achievements in stabilizing the economy and fighting corruption.
The Minister announced today an additional $6.9 million in funding to Ukraine through five new initiatives that will primarily focus on continued support of human rights monitoring, conflict resolution, and mine awareness, surveying and clearance. These initiatives, funded by Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs), build on and reinforce previously announced Canadian investments in police reform and support to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
“Since the beginning of the crisis in 2013, Canada has been at the forefront of the international community’s support for Ukraine. Canada applauds reform efforts undertaken by Ukraine and believes that these new projects will help address Ukraine’s immediate national security and peacebuilding needs as its people pursue a secure, stable and prosperous future.”
– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence, on December 2, 1991.
- The Canada-Ukraine bilateral relationship is strengthened by deep people-to-people ties, rooted in the nearly 1.3-million-strong Ukrainian-Canadian community.
- Since January 2014, Canada has committed over $700 million in much-needed assistance to Ukraine, including $400 million in low-interest loans to help Ukraine stabilize its economy; over $245 million in bilateral development assistance projects aimed at advancing democracy, rule of law and sustainable economic growth; over $74 million to support Ukraine’s stabilization and strengthen its security sector; and over $27 million in humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable people affected by the ongoing conflict affecting eastern Ukraine.
- On August 26, 2016, the Government of Canada announced the launch of Global Affairs Canada’s new PSOPs. For the 2016 to 2019 period, the program has a budget of $450 million. Through PSOPs, Canada is working with allies and partners to stop violent conflict, provide security and create space for dialogue and conflict resolution.
- On July 11, 2016, Canada signed the milestone Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) during the Prime Minister’s bilateral visit to Ukraine.
Backgrounder – Canada supports peace and human rights in Ukraine
The contribution announced today by the Government of Canada is part of the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs). Efforts to find a lasting and sustainable resolution to the armed-conflict affecting Eastern Ukraine include funding for a number of multi-year projects totalling more than $30 million. This builds on the close to $40 million contribution of PSOPs’ predecessor, the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START), toward addressing Ukraine’s most immediate stabilization requirements.
Explosive Reduction and Clearance in Conflict Affected Areas of Eastern Ukraine Funding announced: $3,500,000 Time frame: 2016-2019
Canada is providing $3.5 million to the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) to reduce the risk from land mines and other Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) to civilians in government-controlled areas of the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine. Working in close cooperation with the Government of Ukraine, Ukrainian security forces, and Ukrainian emergency services, FSD is helping to make conflict-affected communities safe for ordinary citizens, and helping affected populations adapt to an environment contaminated by the detritus of war.
Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Funding announced: $1,500,000 Time frame: 2016-2017
Canada is contributing $1.5 million to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to monitor the impact of the on-going armed conflict affecting Eastern Ukraine on the protection of human rights. Canadian support helps ensure that the OHCHR has the resources needed to monitor, investigate, document, and report on human rights violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict. This work is essential to ensuring that those guilty of such violations can be held to account for their actions.
Improving Contact Line Safety in Ukraine Funding announced: $1,000,000 Time frame: 2017-2018
Canada is contributing $1 million to the International Organization for Migration to improve the safety and security of civilians at government-run contact line check-points. An estimated 625,000 civilians a month cross the contact line between government and non-government controlled areas in Eastern Ukraine. Due to the ongoing armed conflict, civilians are unduly exposed to the risk of shelling, cross fire and mine hazards.
Dialogue for Reform and Social Cohesion in Ukraine Funding announced: $500,000 Time frame: 2016-2019
Canada is providing $500,000 to the OSCE to support its efforts to foster dialogue between Ukraine’s central government, regional stakeholders, civil society organizations, and conflict-affected communities with the express aim of addressing grievances, building trust and understanding, and promoting cooperation. This work will promote inclusive consultation, provide a voice to marginalized populations, and help connect Ukraine’s government to some of its most vulnerable citizens.
Building Ukraine’s Humanitarian Demining Capacity Funding announced: $390,000 Time frame: 2016-2019
Landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) pose a significant threat to civilians in conflict-affected areas in Ukraine. Canada is providing close to $400,000 to the OSCE to strengthen the Ukrainian government’s capacity to develop policies, practices and institutions related to demining. This project will, among other things, build capacity, provide specialized training, produce a digital map of mine-contaminated areas, and provide for the purchase of specialized equipment.