Canada launches new initiative to protect vulnerable women and girls in Central America

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched a new initiative yesterday to protect vulnerable women and girls who have been forcibly displaced from their homes in Central America.

See their news release below to learn how Canada plans to help these women.

December 7, 2021—Ottawa (Ontario)—As a friend, ally and regional partner, Canada is committed to helping countries in the northern part of Central America address high levels of violence and growing social and economic instability. These difficult conditions have forcibly displaced thousands—including many women and girls—and contributed to a significant increase in irregular migration, which puts already vulnerable people at greater risk.

That is why the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development, a new initiative to empower and protect women and girls in the region. With a commitment of $10 million over the next 4 years, Canada will work with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to assist women and girls affected by irregular migration and forced displacement in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The project will provide support to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, countries from which many migrants originate. It will focus on the most urgent and high-impact requirements identified in the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (known as MIRPS) national priorities to reduce the drivers of high-risk migration and forced displacement and facilitate return or international protection for women and girls. The activities included in the project address the situation of persons in need of international protection, internally displaced persons, women and girls at risk of displacement, refugees and asylum seekers. It is expected to help improve living conditions and protection mechanisms for some 5,000 women and girls.

Minister Fraser, in his capacity as the Chair of the Central America and Mexico Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework Support Platform, made the announcement today at the inaugural high-level event entitled “Protection and empowerment of displaced women and girls in Central America and Mexico.” This announcement comes on the heels of Minister Fraser’s recent trip to Guatemala, where he witnessed first-hand some of the challenges that displaced populations face.

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