Before COVID-19, poverty rates for women, particularly in low-income countries, were expected to decrease by 2.7 per cent between 2019 and 2021, a promising step to eradicating extreme poverty. However, the pandemic has caused a major setback.
Current projections by UN Women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) expect poverty to increase by 9.1 per cent, resulting in 47 million more women and children falling below the poverty line.
February 7th marks the beginning of International Development Week, a chance for us as Canadians to bring attention to the impact COVID-19 has had on increased inequality, particularly for women, children and adolescents.
Canada has a history with the Global Financing Facility (GFF), alongside Norway, the World Bank, United Nations, and other partners. To protect the health of women and children during the pandemic, Canada should invest $250 million over the next three years in the GFF. My hope is Canada can once again be at the forefront in providing aid to these vulnerable populations.