Canadian SMEs to gain from EDC’s USD 50 M financing for Southeast Asia’s San Miguel Corporation

(Ottawa) – September 24, 2014

Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced a previously signed USD 50 M financing transaction for Philippines–based San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

EDC is Canada’s leading provider of financing and insurance for Canadian companies with sales or business in other countries.

SMC is a well–diversified conglomerate with leading market positions in the food, beverage, and packaging industry in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. In recent years, SMC has also become an industry leader in fuel, oil, and energy in the Philippines.

EDC’s financing will be leveraged to create opportunities for Canadian companies, particularly small– and–medium–sized enterprises (SMEs), throughout Southeast Asia.

“The size and reach of San Miguel Corporation, in an area of the world with so much economic potential, presents enormous opportunities for Canadian SMEs,” said Carl Burlock, Senior Vice–President, Financing and Investments, EDC.

SMC has already shown a strong willingness to do business with Canadian companies,” Burlock added. “Their major sectors of expertise match up well with what Canada already does very well, industries like food, beverages, packaging, fuel, oil, energy, infrastructure and telecommunications.”

Some Canadian businesses have already benefitted from this relationship, securing deals with SMC for agricultural products and machinery, as well as manufacturing equipment.

“If you think your company might fit well into San Miguel’s supply chain, or you’d like to learn about other international opportunities like this one, please give us a call, we’d love to hear from you,” added Burlock.

SMC’s total revenues of nearly USD 17 B in 2013 accounted for approximately 6.5 per cent of the Philippines’ overall GDP. Last year, the company confirmed medium– and long–term investment plans for an estimated USD 35 B within its current business portfolio, making them the largest investor in the Philippines. SMC was also recently awarded one of seven Philippine government contracts under their Public–Private Partnerships program. The contract, valued at USD 541 M, is for the NAIA Expressway project. There are several more infrastructure projects in SMC’s pipeline as well.

“We actively work with global partners in our fast expanding businesses,” said Sergio Edeza, SMC’s Senior Vice President and Head of Treasury. “Our relationship with EDC is a fairly new one and we hope they will be able to connect us with Canadian expertise and partners as we expand our operations in the region.”

SMC has operations in several emerging markets, such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. These markets demonstrate high potential for economic growth and represent areas where Canadian capabilities have the best chance for success, and are all considered priority markets by the Government of Canada under the Global Markets Action Plan.

Canadian companies with similar needs can call 1–888–434–8508.

About San Miguel Corporation

San Miguel Corporation is one of the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerates, generating about 6.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product through its highly integrated operations in food, beverages, packaging, fuel and oil, energy, and infrastructure.

About EDC

EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private– and public– sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.

For more information about how EDC can help your company, visit



Phil Taylor
Export Development Canada
(613) 598–2904

Canada’s support for Canadian Red Cross project: Strengthening Community Resilience to Natural Disasters in Southeast Asia

Today’s announcement of $6.1 million over four years (2013–2014 to 2016–2017) is supporting the Strengthening Community Resilience to Natural Disasters in Southeast Asia project, managed by the Canadian Red Cross. This project is helping improve local and regional capacities to reduce the impact of natural disasters, mitigate the risks and build up the resilience of communities in Southeast Asia by establishing more effective disaster risk reduction plans, policies and programs. With Canada’s support, this project is also helping improve representation of community issues, including gender equality, vulnerable groups, and the environment. The project will have a strong, positive impact on the health and well-being of women and children, who are among the most vulnerable during natural disasters.

This regional initiative is supporting activities in the following Southeast Asian countries: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Canada Supports Key Partners Addressing Humanitarian Needs in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia

Canada providing support to projects underway by World Vision Canada and the Canadian Red Cross

September 23, 2014 – Pickering, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering–Scarborough East, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced funding for World Vision Canada and the Canadian Red Cross to support projects that are improving the health and well-being of vulnerable people in Afghanistan, as well as strengthening community resilience to natural disasters in Southeast Asia. The two announcements were made prior to a round table meeting with officials from non-governmental organizations to discuss Canada’s leadership role to date, as well as what concrete actions Canada should take in going forward to improve maternal, newborn and child health.

“Natural disasters and other humanitarian crises are generally unpredictable, but Canada is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to address the needs of those who are affected by such devastating events,” said MP Chisu. “With Canada’s support, not only are basic necessities—such as safe drinking water and sanitation facilities during crises—being met, investments are also being made to reduce the vulnerability of communities where natural disasters are prevalent.”

Afghanistan has been affected by decades of conflict and recurrent natural disasters. The cumulative effect of these crises has left Afghans highly vulnerable, particularly children under the age of five.

“Children in Afghanistan face some of the toughest conditions for survival anywhere in the world,” said Dave Toycen, President and CEO, World Vision Canada. “World Vision is grateful for Canada’s support, which will help provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, along with training for teachers, students and community groups. We will also be constructing and rehabilitating clean water sources, including water reservoirs, piping systems and wells, and constructing latrines to support the health and survival of 4,500 families.”

Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to natural disasters, including frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods, landslides and annual monsoons. These devastating events have a more severe and disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups, particularly women and children.

“This contribution from the Government of Canada is helping reduce the impact of national disasters on vulnerable communities in Southeast Asia,” said Conrad Sauvé, Secretary General and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “The Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to supporting the growth of Red Cross National Societies in Southeast Asia in order for them to meet the immense challenge of increasingly frequent and devastating emergencies in the region.”

“Canada’s humanitarian and development assistance often focuses on the needs of women and children as they are typically the most vulnerable to and affected by crises,” said Minister Paradis. “Maternal, newborn and child health is particularly at risk during conflicts and natural disasters. Canada has made improving maternal, newborn and child health a top development priority. Our humanitarian partners, such as World Vision Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, are key to meeting the needs of women and children as they help save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters.”

The round table meeting held today was part of the consultations being held across the country that were announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit, which took place in Toronto on May 28–30, 2014.

Today’s consultation focused on how to ensure that global commitments to improve maternal, newborn, and child health deliver real results to those in need while remaining accountable to Canadian taxpayers. Canada is committed to scaling up interventions that will have the greatest impact, including in the areas of nutrition, vaccinations and newborn health.

Quick Facts

  • In Afghanistan, an estimated 5.4 million people need access to health services, 1.7 million people are in need of protection assistance, and more than 8 million people lack access to nutritious food.
  • Between 2005 and 2010, eight countries in Southeast Asia experienced major disasters that left nearly half a million people dead or missing, and affected more than 17 million others.
  • Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013, caused more than 6,000 deaths and affected 14 million people. The Government of Canada undertook a rapid, lifesaving whole-of-government response, which included $70 million in humanitarian and early recovery assistance.
  • Women and children are often the most vulnerable in a humanitarian crisis. For example, unsafe conditions increase maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Improving maternal, newborn and child health is a top development priority for the Government of Canada.   
  • On May 28–30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit. At the summit, Canada committed an additional $3.5 billion to continue support to 2020, and reaffirmed a global consensus on a shared commitment to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a worldwide priority.

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Address by Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering – Scarborough East, to announce humanitarian assistance for crisis-affected people in Afghanistan

September 23, 2014 – Pickering, Ontario

Check Against Delivery

Good morning, everyone.

Thank you for joining us.

I am pleased to be here today on behalf of Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Christian Paradis.

History tells us that in response to great suffering and tragedy, Canada is routinely at the forefront of global humanitarian efforts to help alleviate hardship.

We saw this last fall, when Typhoon Haiyan had a significant impact on the Philippines.

Even before that record storm made landfall, our government was preparing to respond.

And by the time we finally knew of Haiyan’s full impact, Canada and Canadians were fully engaged in the relief effort.

There is a reason for this: Canada has a long tradition of generously helping the world’s most vulnerable people.

We live up to the values we hold dear.

And we never shy away from assisting people in times of great need.

It is this compassion and generosity that embodies the value Canada places on international assistance—whether in the form of long-term development programming designed to help more people move from poverty to prosperity, or in the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance whenever and wherever it is required.

We make this commitment for many reasons, chief among them because it is an expression of the values we believe in.

And because it is our moral imperative to assist those who are without the means to overcome the challenges they face.

This includes people living in Afghanistan today—a country that has been affected by decades of conflict and that suffers from recurrent natural disasters.

The cumulative effect of these crises has left ordinary Afghans highly vulnerable, particularly children under the age of five.

The humanitarian challenges are exacerbated by the security situation, weakened economy and limited capacity of the Afghan government to provide quality services for its people.

An estimated 5.4 million people need access to health services.

Another 1.5 million people are in need of special protection assistance to access basic humanitarian services.  

And more than 8 million people lack access to nutritious food.  

Today, I am pleased to announce that Canada is contributing $1.1 million to World Vision Canada to provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene for the people of Afghanistan.

With our support, World Vision Canada will help nearly 25,000 Afghans receive much-needed support and training.

This includes training 45 community groups, 42 schoolteachers and more than 2,700 students on hygiene promotion and awareness of healthy water and sanitation practices.

It also includes the construction and rehabilitation of safe water infrastructure and latrines to benefit a total of 4,541 households.

Our government has made its commitment clear: we provide humanitarian assistance when the basic needs of people affected by crises are going unmet.

This is currently the case in Afghanistan, and it is why I am so pleased to announce this latest contribution today.

This support will also contribute to Canada’s long-term commitment to improve maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries.

Prime Minister Harper has made this Canada’s top development priority. 

Last May, he hosted health experts and world leaders at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child summit in Toronto in order to accelerate global efforts on women’s and children’s health.

There, Canada committed an additional $3.5 billion and released the Toronto Statement, which laid the groundwork to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborn and children under the age of five within a generation.

Canada’s global contributions are well-rounded. We focus on providing immediate assistance where necessary, and on delivering long-term programming meant to secure the future for countries in need.

Today’s announcement, combined with our previous commitments and our ongoing work to save mothers and children, means that Afghanistan is benefiting in both areas.

Thank you.

U.S. Funding for Safe from the Start

Today, Secretary Kerry announced that the United States is making available an additional $12 million for Safe from the Start to strengthen prevention and response to gender-based violence from the onset of humanitarian emergencies. Secretary Kerry announced the new funding at a high-level event for the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched by the United Kingdom in 2013 and now led by the United States. Safe from the Start is a joint effort of the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and represents the U.S. commitment to the Call to Action.

Today’s announcement brings the total committed funding for Safe from the Start to more than $22 million since Secretary Kerry launched this initiative in September 2013. These programs are responding to immediate needs in current crises and laying the groundwork for system-wide change to prevent and respond to gender based violence in future emergencies. Additional partnerships and programs will be announced in the coming months.

Funding and programs for Safe from the Start include the following support to date from the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM):

  • UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)- More than $7 million to support the first and second year of the agency’s multiyear Safe from the Start project. This will support hiring new staff, training throughout the agency, and launching an innovation challenge across field offices to develop new gender based violence projects.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)– $5 million to support the ICRC’s activities to strengthen its response to sexual violence in situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)– More than $4 million to support non-governmental programs to bolster gender based violence prevention and response for refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Syria, and to develop and share new research and best practices from those projects.
    • This includes an award to the Women’s Refugee Commission to develop a “strategic roadmap” for the Call to Action, in consultation with relevant stakeholders. This project will build a common framework and strategy for strengthening, prioritizing, and tracking commitments made through the Call to Action process.

USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), part of the agency’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, has supported the following global programs for Safe from the Start:

  • UNICEF– More than $2 million to strengthen UNICEF’s innovative efforts to ensure that prevention and response to gender-based violence are central to the agency’s relief efforts, especially for children.
  • Non-governmental organizations and other UN agencies– Nearly $4 million to equip aid workers across different sectors with the skills needed to prevent and mitigate the effects of gender-based violence, deploy gender and protection specialists to crisis settings, and support cutting edge research on social norms and new models of care for survivors.
  • The Real Time Accountability Partnership– USAID, along with the International Rescue Committee, UNICEF, UNFPA, OCHA, and UNHCR will team up and test a model response in two current crises, using the results to establish clear benchmarks on accountability for timely gender-based violence prevention and response by the humanitarian community.


These Safe from the Start funds and programs complement other comprehensive efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in new and protracted humanitarian crises, in line with the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender Based Violence Globally and the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

  • In FY 2014 alone, State/PRM dedicated nearly $15 million to other gender-based violence programs. These targeted programs build on PRM’s core funding to international organizations and their work to address gender-based violence and women’s empowerment.
  • USAID/OFDA provided more than $20 million in FY 2014 to support gender-based violence prevention and response efforts in the following countries: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.

For more information on the Safe from the Start initiative and U.S. leadership of the Call to Action, please visit:

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Secretary’s Remarks: Remarks at the 2014 Frontiers in Development Forum

SECRETARY KERRY: (Applause.) Thank you very much. Eliot, thank you very, very much. I accept the nomination. (Laughter.) It’s wonderful to be here. I give you a lot of credit, Eliot. As someone who represents New York’s 16th District, as someone from the Bronx, thank you very much for not mentioning that the Boston Red Sox are 26 games out of first place. (Laughter.)

As I had the privilege of serving in Congress for almost 30 years and, as Eliot mentioned, had the privilege of chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the counterpart to the House. And just yesterday, instead of being on the dais as chairman, I was reminded of my beginnings and of sitting on the other side of the witness table now as Secretary in front of Eliot’s committee for hours of a healthy back-and-forth. And I particularly respect the way Eliot, as ranking member, joins in leading that committee in partnership with Ed Royce. He’s thoughtful, it’s a serious approach, it’s deliberative in the very best sense of the word, and the Congress and American foreign policy, frankly, are very lucky to have Eliot Engel leading those debates on issues that affect the security of our country. So Eliot, I thank you very much, as does everybody here. Appreciate it. (Applause.)

I also want to thank Raj Shah. It’s impossible to overstate or even overestimate what it means to have a real innovator leading USAID, and Raj launched USAID’s Development Lab, and now our world-class universities are helping to create development solutions. Raj has led USAID’s efforts on Feed the Future, and it is a testament – I was just chatting with him about it as we walked in here – it’s a testament to the success of these public-private partnerships in addressing global hunger that a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress introduced a bill yesterday to double down on this transformative approach.

This conference is called Frontiers in Development, and the people of USAID are pioneers. You’re working on the front lines of some of the world’s toughest challenges. Extreme poverty has plagued us for a long period of time. It is not only a challenge to our values and our sense of humanity, but as Eliot mentioned in his introduction, it presents us with dangers. It is a challenge to our security. And the sooner we get people to connect that, the sooner we will find greater commitment to some of the solutions that we need. So Raj, I thank you and your entire team for the USAID contribution to this. (Applause.)

I was greeted as I came in by President Kikwete, and I know he is going to speak today about the partnerships that we need in order to end poverty. And for President Kikwete, those are not just words. This is a leader who is making these things happen, who is implementing these things, and I want to thank him for bringing partners together here in order to confront climate change. I want to thank him for promoting peace in the Great Lakes, and I want to thank him for asking tough questions in order to reform Tanzania’s government.

And I know that Foreign Minister Tedros is here also. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia twice as Secretary, and the privilege of working with Minister Tedros on many critical issues in past months – from South Sudan to food security. And in the partnerships that are spurring Ethiopia’s development, helping to make it one of the fastest growing economies in the world, we have a sense of the enormous possibilities of this moment.

Now I’ll tell you that the foreign minister and I went out to dinner when I had a free moment – rare – when I was in Addis Ababa. And we were talking about poverty. I asked him about the Muslim population of his country and what was happening and what kind of challenges this presented, and particularly the challenge of extremists who grab young minds, pay the money, then don’t have to because they have the mind, and then use them as recruits and build on a long-term strategy not to build the country, not to provide jobs, but to take over, destroy, and to set one way of life, one pattern, one edict, one law, one rule, and none of it modern or willing to accept modernity. So that’s a conversation I remember very, very well. And I appreciate enormously his and Ethiopia’s leadership.

There’s one more leader I want to mention here, someone who has been way ahead of the game in terms of understanding the borderless future that we look at and has seen always the opportunities as well as the challenges and been able to marry a notion of leadership with those possibilities. And that is this special person, Mary Robinson, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change. Mary has proven her leadership, her moral authority, her ability to help communities understand shared future and shared responsibilities, and that leadership is more vital than ever, and she is bringing that to bear in the struggle against climate change. It could not be more important now. I’ve had the privilege of working with her and knowing her for many, many years. Mary, thank you so much for your wonderful leadership. We appreciate it. Thank you. (Applause.)

This is a complicated world we’re living in right now. It’s always been complicated, but now those complications are sort of stripped of any sense of being hidden in the crevasses or tampened down by dictators. It’s all breaking out in lots of different ways. For some people it’s scary and there are real challenges, as we see in what we are facing with ISIL right now. On the other hand, there’s also this enormous moment of opportunity that we’re looking at, that if we make the right choices and bring countries together to unite around the right policies, it can also be transformative. We’re living in a time of remarkable inter-connection, every one of us. Already in the moments that I’ve been here, I saw a bunch of you holding up your smart phones and ready to Tweet or Instagram or let people know where you are and what you’re doing, and that happens all over the world. Every one of us has a Facebook and most people engage in either Instagram activities or Twitter, whatever. Everybody shares everything with everybody all of the time. And that changes politics.

There are people who, using the social media, have tweeted pictures of leaders in a certain country who they had pictures of at one time wearing very expensive watches, and then when accountability time came, the watches disappeared. But they showed them with their tan line from the watches – (laughter) – and they were caught anyway and held accountable. It changes things. There’s a new level of capacity for accountability, whether it’s Tahrir Square or what happened early on in Syria which then transformed into this different kind of conflict. But this inter-connectedness changes business. It changes life. It changes politics. It changes the course – crosscurrents of decision making. It is indeed one of the things that even makes it harder to build consensus as a political leader and to get people to make decisions, and it changes, obviously, the amount of information that every individual in the world has to affect their life.

So because of that, for all of us it also has to change our approach to development. Networks of power are challenging old hierarchies of power. Entirely new centers of global economic power are emerging, and the new networked world creates this remarkable opportunity that I’m talking about. It also presents some new challenges. Some of them are profound. The scourge of Ebola in West Africa reminds us how quickly a health crisis can spread, threatening thousands of lives and putting growth and stability at risk. But these tragic events also show us something else: that despite all the changes in the new hyper-connected world, there remains no substitute for leadership. President Obama understands that and I hope I understand that, and that’s what we believe we are showing, and that’s what President Obama showed this week when he outlined an ambitious and comprehensive strategy in order to combat Ebola. We’re using all of the tools of American power – our military, our diplomats, our health agencies, our universities, as well as know-how from our private sector, bringing them together in partnership in order to help the people of West Africa to tackle this moment of crisis. But I also want to be very clear about something: Even as we focus on crises and flashpoints that dominate the headlines and demand an immediate response, demand crisis leadership, we will always act with long-term opportunities and imperatives foremost in our mind.

And that’s why we remain so encouraged by the opportunities in Africa, for instance. The continent is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies and to 700 million people under the age of 30 – a staggering youth bulge unknown at any other time on the face of this planet or in time of history. I’ve met with some of these young people from across the continent, both on the visit to Sub-Saharan Africa this year as part of our Young African Leaders Initiative here in Washington. These men and women are increasingly aware of opportunities available to their peers across the world. It’s exciting to meet with them and listen to the things they are doing, and also just to look at the resume of many of these young folks which would dazzle anybody in the New York financial market or anywhere else in the world.

I’ve seen firsthand the ambition that they have and the talent to do something with that ambition. They’re already reinventing their continent. And no matter where they live, young men and women are motivated by exactly the same things. They want a good job, they want a decent education, they want dignity, respect, a future. They want to be able to have a family, raise their family, live well, do better, access to healthcare, institutions they can trust, gender equality, freedom from discrimination, and a healthy planet that has a future. These are their aspirations. It’s the aspirations of most people in most parts of the world.

But on the other side – and there is another side, and that is what we face today in the Middle East, in parts of Africa, in South Central Asia and other parts of the world; we saw it with arrests made yesterday in Australia, even in places you would least expect it – there are extremists who want to prey on young people’s frustrations, who want to seduce people to follow them to a very calculated way into a dead end.

I’ve just returned from working with our partners in the Middle East and Europe to confront these extremists, to forge a global coalition against ISIL. This is the last thing that we wanted to have to do. The energies of the world ought to be spent providing that education and delivering the healthcare and opening up economic opportunity, creating new energy opportunities, all of these things – not having to continue to fight each other because someone thinks they can tell everybody else how to live and what to do.

But the way these people are marching through Syria and into Iraq and trying to spread their evil elsewhere, their grotesque acts of violence and brutality, they’ve provided stark reminders of what is at stake. And mind you, it is not just in Iraq and Syria. That’s why later this morning, I am leaving for New York to lead a session of the UN Security Council, where we will focus on how we can come together and confront this toxic ideology. And whether it’s ISIL or Boko Haram or al-Shabaab, their ideology does not include a plan to build a nation, which is what we’re here to talk about. They don’t have a plan to create jobs or deliver opportunity. They don’t have any of those things that people most want. But they do have a strategy to capitalize on the grievances of those who feel underrepresented and left behind, to march into places of extreme poverty and turn them into their direction, to capitalize on a failure of governance and a failure of vision and a failure of leadership and a failure of accountability, to capitalize on impunity that comes with corruption in too many places.

So when extremists measure their success by what they destroy, we are compelled to measure ours by what we’re building. (Applause.) When extremists succeed from stoking old hatreds, we succeed by imagining new solutions and delivering opportunity. That’s why President Obama described development as a critical pillar of American power. That’s why what’s happening here is important. And that’s why, from the very beginning of his presidency, he made a clear connection between our development efforts and our economic strength, between our development efforts and our national security.

And that’s why, as Secretary of State, I established a clear set of ambitious development priorities. First, we have to work together to eliminate extreme poverty through inclusive economic growth – inclusive economic growth – because we know that no society can thrive when entire segments of the population are excluded from opportunity. Investing in the foundations of economic growth – health, education, food security – is absolutely critical.

Second, we need to work to achieve full gender equality, because societies where women and girls are safe, where women are empowered to exercise their rights and move their communities forward – these societies are more prosperous and they’re more stable, not occasionally but always. (Applause.)

Finally – and finally, because none of our development gains can endure without global action on climate change and solutions for the most vulnerable, we have to confront these challenges today – not five years from now or in ten years or somewhere down in the future, but now, today, because they are that compelling. And we know this. We actually know this. Doesn’t mean we’ll respond, but we know it.

Climate change means the heatwaves we’re already seeing, the extraordinary level of fires because of drought that is beyond the hundred-year mark. It’s the 500-year mark. Water shortages also way beyond hundred-year marks. All of this means conflicts over resources and serious implications for feeding the world’s growing population. Development is the only possible way, and it’s only possible if we grow more sustainably, if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if we transition to a low-carbon economy.

One of the privileges of traveling as I do or Mary Robinson does or Raj does is we see this. We see it now happening. There are people killing each other over water in certain parts of the world. There are people who are refugees because of the lack of food and the changes and the absence of adequate agricultural policies in parts of the world. So this is a critical moment. This is not conjecture. This is not pie in the sky. This is not some time down the road; it’s now, and we are compelled to respond.

The timing of this conference is no accident. We are here to reinforce the commitments that we made at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit where we focused on driving development through trade, investment, and partnership. And we’re here because the year 2015 presents a unique convergence of events and international agreements that will test the commitment of world leaders to come together and address our shared challenges.

Can we arrive at a new set of development goals in September 2015 that are focused, strategic, ambitious goals that can mobilize governments, business, and citizens to work in common cause? Can we bring partners together in support of a strong financing for development agreement in Ethiopia in July next year? Will a climate agreement, which is possible next year in Paris in December, move us far beyond business as usual in reducing carbon emissions?

These are the questions; these are our challenges. And for all of us in the room here today and at the UN General Assembly in New York in the next few days, these are our responsibilities. At the State Department, at USAID, and across government agencies, we are not waiting until 2015 to set targets of our own. To achieve our ambitious goals on global hunger, on cutting carbon emissions, or with respect to extreme poverty, we have to be just as ambitious in modernizing our approach to development as we are in the vision that we express.

In too many ways, our development tools have simply not kept up with this changing world. We’ve seen how barriers to trade and technology come crumbling down, but when it comes to development, too many barriers don’t come crumbling down. They still exist between governments and NGOs, between the public and the private sector, between nations who are actually committed to the same goals.

Today, developing nations are a destination for close to $1.5 trillion in private sector investment. These nations have 5.9 trillion in their domestic budgets. So that alone tells you how the game has changed in the level of investment and the level of available expenditure and revenue to some of these governments and resources that they have and demand for those resources. All of that requires us to see the opportunities that it creates. The United States is blessed to sit in the center of global networks. We have a unique ability to mobilize resources from diverse sources, from partner governments, Fortune 500 companies, multilateral banks, philanthropists, and individual citizens. The United States is, in fact, in the best position to advance an approach that brings partners together and sets high standards for accountability and transparency.

We’re already setting a new standard with some of this approach. Look at how Feed the Future and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition are leveraging public funding to mobilize billions in private investment. Today, because of Feed the Future’s innovative approach, seven million more farmers have the support that they need to improve the yields of their crops and to connect with global food markets.

Last year alone, targeted support for female farmers delivered better nutrition to 12.5 million children across 19 different countries. We could actually do more. We’re helping fishermen sustain wild fisheries, helping them to feed their families, and reducing poverty in coastal communities. But these gains cannot be sustained unless we confront new threats from extreme weather and climate volatility.

That’s why the United States is helping to launch a Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture next week in New York, and that’s why I hosted a conference this spring in the State Department to tackle threats to our oceans, threats that have a severe effect on the food supply for some of the poorest countries. But these efforts should not and they cannot stand alone. We need to focus on climate resilience and sustainability across every single thing that we do.

More than 1 billion people now live in low-lying coastal regions, many in the direct path of rising seas. I was just in the Solomon Islands where they showed me graphically the difference that is already making in their lives, where they have extraordinary storm surges, hundreds of millions more face extreme droughts or flooding. And at this moment, we have the expertise to help these communities, we have the capacity, we have the ability to build better and smarter. So this isn’t a question of know-how, this isn’t a question of undiscovered solutions. This is a question of leadership and a question of willpower, and we have to make sure we apply both.

I’ve seen firsthand the differences in investments in climate resilience make. Last December I was in the Philippines. I saw up close and personal the total devastation, the total – that Typhoon Haiyan left in its wake. And on Samar Island there was one major highway that outlasted the storm. It survived because MCC, Millennium Challenge Corporation, planned for more severe storms when they financed the road. It cost a little more, but not when you measure in what it would have cost to rebuild it if they’d lost it. In the access road provided to aid workers, in the countless lives and millions of dollars that it helped to save, we’ve already seen a benefit way beyond that cost.

So investing in climate resilience actually makes simple economic sense. It saves lives, it helps create more stable and prosperous communities, and that’s why we have joined the Rockefeller Foundation in August to create a $100 million Global Resilience Partnership. And today, I’m proud to announce that the Swedish International Development Corporation has decided to join the partnership, providing an additional $50 million. Our first investment will be the Global Resilience Challenge where we’re offering competitive grants to support locally driven solutions in the Sahel, in the Horn of Africa, and South Asia. And this is one more way that we are demonstrating our commitment to do our part and to tackle climate change, to lead by example. But we’re not going to be able to do this alone. When the consequences of a changing climate are truly global, they have to be met with global cooperative action.

Make no mistake, my friends, there are plenty of challenges to overcome in the run-up to the UN climate negotiations next year, but let’s also remember that we’ve come together before to confront a borderless, generational crisis, one which I am proud to say that we are now winning. So if anyone suggests that we are impotent to be able to combat climate change, remind them of what we have done to turn back the armies of indifference and denial in the fight against AIDS.

Last World AIDS Day, I was honored to stand with President Obama as he announced that PEPFAR had not only met but exceeded its goal – more than 6.7 million people who are now receiving treatment supported by PEPFAR. It’s an astounding number; a four-fold increase since the beginning of the Administration – this Administration. And we know this: Investments in health drive stability, they drive economic growth, they advance gender quality – and that’s exactly what PEPFAR is doing.

Every one of the millions that PEPFAR has treated has a name, every one of those people – a child with a unique contribution to make. And their lives remind us of what we can achieve through good development policies. More importantly, they remind us of the steadfast commitment that we need to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and we’re on the brink of achieving that because of these efforts. Reaching that remarkable goal reminds us to meet the goals that we set in Durban this year: to ensure that PEPFAR is defined by greater transparency, greater impact, and a commitment to mutual accountability with our partner nations.

Already, we have brought all PEPFAR and U.S. Government agencies together to share data and best practices, so we’re working at this. We’ve been able to deliver data-driven investments in areas where AIDS remains a persistent challenge, including in places where it affects women and girls at five times the rate of men. Now we’re sharing PEPFAR’s data with the world and making it easy to use so that innovators and local partners can make the best and the most of their resources.

And today, I’m pleased to announce a $63.5 million investment to help our partners mobilize domestic resources for public health. We’re supporting efforts in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Vietnam, so that their investments can actually go further and save more lives. We’re leveraging exponentially. And by making more resources available for countries to invest in prevention, in care, and also in treatment, we anticipate a $1 billion benefit over three years. And with what PEPFAR is doing with the Feed the Future efforts, we have proven examples of exactly how we can find ways to work with new partners and to use data more effectively. So when we’ve seen these practices deliver results in the private sector, there is absolutely no reason that we can’t adopt them across all of our development efforts.

We’re also doing more to mobilize private capital to advance our development goals. Last year alone, OPIC mobilized $4 billion in private investment overseas. OPIC helped a California startup cultivate acai berries in Brazil. They helped a Nevada-based company provide geothermal power in Kenya. And as part of the U.S.-Africa finance initiative, OPIC is helping deliver energy beyond the grid, reaching millions in rural areas without access to power.

So I am really proud of our plans to expand OPIC’s operations in Africa at a time when private sector investment has become far and away the driving force behind global development, and it’s absolutely vital that OPIC has the tools and the financing that it needs. But OPIC is not our only tool, and we need to have all of our gears of growth working together. We need Congress to reauthorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a tool that – (applause) – a tool that – Eliot, you’re going to take that applause back to all those congressmen, all right? (Laughter.) Because this is a tool that really has helped expand trade with African countries for 14 years of a track record now.

We also need to give the Millennium Challenge Corporation the flexibility to use its proven model in order to bolster economic growth in regions and cities. And after significant delays, we need Congress to pass IMF reform so that an institution that has been a foundation for American leadership can continue to drive prosperity, transparency, accountability, reform, and progress.

Now, this is a time where we have to show leadership – all of us – in shaping the development agenda in doing our part to end extreme poverty. It’s not a mission-impossible; it’s not an impossible dream. It’s a reality. All of the things I’ve talked about change X number of lives, but there’s still a lot of the rest of the alphabet of lives to reach. We need to reach all of those people, and in the doing so, we will make ourselves safer.

Every nation must play a part here, but the United States can uniquely demonstrate the courage to tackle some of the most difficult challenges. With the ambitious commitments we make, we can give others the confidence to join our efforts. And with the innovations that we deliver, we can give people across the world the tools and the data to shape their own future and challenge the status quo.

This work is part, I am proud to say without arrogance – even with humility – I say it is part of who we are as Americans. De Tocqueville wrote about it when he visited America and wrote his historic treaties – the special quality of charity that is in America and how private people give back to community and help build community. It wasn’t by accepting the status quo that the United States rebuilt a broken world after World War II, led the fight against diseases like polio or galvanized a global effort to confront the AIDS epidemic. To continue this kind of exceptional work in the world, we must have the courage to take smart risks, to embrace new partnerships, and to apply new thinking to how we bring people together.

The world watches us, but I am telling you this: The world will not wait for us. In this time of change, this moment of opportunity and challenge, we need to commit to reaching out across disciplines and across the world as Americans did before us, so that we can do the exceptional things that America has always done.

You often hear politicians nowadays talking about how exceptional America is. Well, I’ll accept we are. But we’re not exceptional because we say we are. We are exceptional because we do and have done exceptional things. Our responsibility as citizens of the United States means we’re also citizens of the world. We’ve always looked at it that way. And that’s how we keep the United States on the frontier of global development, and that’s how we will make a difference.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Decisive action needed to tackle mass displacements due to disasters

17 Sep 2014

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Tacloban City, Philippines. Credit: Krishna Krishnamurthy/WFP

Strong and decisive action is needed to tackle the catastrophic effects of climate change, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General.

Mr Jan Eliasson made the remarks during the launch of a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), a watchdog that monitors global displacement.

The risk of displacement due to natural disasters has more than doubled over the last four decades, he noted.

The Global Estimates report reveals that 32. 4 million people were forcibly removed from their homes because of disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes.

Mr Eliasson says the analysis of the report’s data helps monitor how the UN is protecting and supporting people displaced by disasters.

“This year’s report is extremely timely. As we prepare for the SG’s Climate Summit next week, the devastating impact of disasters and the massive displacement we see as a result highlight the need for strong and decisive action to tackle the catastrophic effect of climate change.”

A UN Climate Summit is being held on 23 September at the UN Secretariat in New York.

Earlier, the Secretary-General called on world leaders to bring “bold announcements and actions to the Summit” to tackle the effects of climate change.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’20″