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Canada continues to support sustainable economic growth / Canada supports projects by Développement international Desjardins to promote entrepreneurship in Africa and Latin America.

By Canada - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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OTTAWA, Canada, June 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Christian Paradis, accompanied by the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced financial support for Développement international Desjardins (DID) to promote entrepreneurship in Africa and the Americas. Minister Paradis made this announcement after meeting with DID executives in Lévis, Quebec.

“Long-term development depends on a dynamic private sector that can stimulate opportunities for all, including women,” Minister Paradis said. “It is important to support microbusinesses, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, especially in rural areas, to promote inclusive growth and to deploy resources to maximize their positive impact on sustainable development.”

“The Government has a strong partnership with Développement international Desjardins because of the work they do, and the results they deliver. Desjardins is the guardian of Canada's co-operative model, and the projects announced today will help create jobs, stimulate economic growth and improve food security in some of the world's poorest countries,” Minister Blaney said.

Sustainable economic growth is crucial to reduce global poverty. The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to financial services such as credit, savings, insurance and payment services. Access to credit and to quality financial services greatly helps to reduce poverty by helping the poor to increase their income, acquire assets and be less vulnerable when unforeseen circumstances occur.

“We wish to thank Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada for renewing its confidence in DID by entrusting us with the execution of these major projects,” said Anne Gaboury, DID's Chief Executive Officer. “We are very proud that we have thus been given the opportunity to use our expertise to promote food security, private sector development and job creation in the countries involved.”

Quick Facts

• Minister Paradis announced the following projects:

o The Financial Centres for Entrepreneurs initiative will give micro and small businesses in developing countries better access to services designed to meet their needs.

o The Project to Support Colombia's Agricultural Finance System aims to give small and medium-scale farmers in Colombia better access to credit and agricultural insurance, and to build their financial management capacities.

• Stimulating sustainable economic growth is one of Canada's three international development priority themes.

• The Government of Canada made the Americas a foreign policy priority in 2007, envisioning a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere.

• Canada has provided the Americas with more than $4.5 billion in international assistance since the region was declared a priority in 2007.

• Canada has remained committed to the Americas and is working with its partners to increase mutual economic opportunities, strengthen institutions and promote sustainable relations.

• From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosted Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm's Reach, an international Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health issues. The Summit brought together Canadian and international leaders and experts, Canadian charities, businesses, scientists, developed and developing countries, international organizations and global foundations to ensure that maternal, newborn and child health remains a priority of the global development agenda.

• At the Summit, the Prime Minister announced that over the next five years Canada will commit $3.5 billion in support of the agenda. To accomplish this, Canada is committed to harnessing the expertise, resources and innovation of the private sector to help the most vulnerable. To further accelerate progress on women's and children's health, Canada will also leverage private sector expertise and supporting partners who are finding innovative solutions to address maternal and child health issues.