Trudeau sending another $3 billion to Ukraine, including $4 million for gender and diversity

The funds are in service to "establishing a gender and diversity working group to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine."


Of the $3.02 billion in aid for Ukraine that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last weekend, $4 million will be going for "a gender and diversity working group to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine."

It is not clear what either gender or diversity has to do with demining operations in Ukraine. 

A backgrounder provided by the Prime Minister's Office, explains that the project "aims to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians, including women and internally displaced persons, by addressing the threat of explosive ordnance present across vast areas of the country. Project activities include conducting non-technical surveys and subsequent manual clearance in targeted communities; providing capacity building to key national stakeholders; and establishing a gender and diversity working group to promote gender-transformative mine action in Ukraine."

Another $1.5 million is on its way to the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining that will support an activity called "gender-responsive mine action operations."

Just prior to the announcement, the Trudeau government quietly borrowed another $77 billion in order to achieve the spending levels forecast for the end of the current fiscal year on March 31. 

Of the $3.02 billion allocated for 2024, an undisclosed portion will be used to prop up the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with assistance "meet its balance of payments and budgetary needs and stabilize its economy."

Canada is also committed to a 10-year military assistance program that will deliver money to the Ukraine Defence Contact Group – a non-governmental organization that is supposed to funnel military assistance to the Ukraine government. 

Another $15 million of the 2024 aid package will conceivably be used for the construction of a museum in Kyiv – in the midst of a war.

The funding will "support the completion of the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide in Kyiv, helping preserve the memory of victims and survivors of the Holodomor." The Holodomor refers to the artificial famine imposed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin on Ukraine and parts of Russia from 1932-33, resulting in the deaths of millions from starvation. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022 after eight years of fighting in the Donbas region between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian forces, Canada has given Ukraine over $13.3 billion, including $4 billion in direct military assistance that has depleted Canada's own military arsenal of M777 howitzers and Leopard 2 main battle tanks that have been destroyed on the battlefield.

Just last week, Defence Minister Bill Blair announced that Canada would donate 800 drones to Ukraine, funded out of money allocated in 2023 military assistance. 

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