Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE)


Canada launched its Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) to provide financial resources for strengthening COVID-19 vaccine operations to help contain the pandemic. 

Although WHO has since declared an end to the pandemic phase of COVID-19, access to vaccines, tests, and treatments is still critical for high-risk groups in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, vaccination coverage remains low in many countries in the region, notably in the Caribbean.

In response, the Government of Canada and PAHO have partnered to deploy CAD$45 million (US$33.4 million) in CanGIVE funding for COVID-19 and routine vaccination programs in Latin American and Caribbean specifically in Colombia, Haiti, and Jamaica. 

CanGIVE funding is being channeled into: 

  • Improve access to vaccines for persons in situations of vulnerability populations, including women and girls and indigenous communities; 
  • Support information systems and digital platforms for COVID-19 vaccine surveillance; 
  • Research initiatives to build evidence on COVID-19 vaccination uptake; and 
  • Communications and community engagement to generate demand for vaccines.  

Canada is proud to support a gender-sensitive program that ensures that the needs of women and girls, as well as marginalized populations, are directly addressed, particularly in the context of health systems strengthening and routine immunization during post-COVID-19 recovery.

—Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development. 

During the pandemic, the decline of routine vaccination in Latin America and the Caribbean was exacerbated, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks. CanGIVE is directing funding to incorporate COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunization programs, which will  strengthen those programs while increasing the sustainability of COVID-19 vaccination operations after emergency funding ceases. 

Remarking on the importance of bolstering routine vaccination, PAHO Director Dr. Jarbas Barbosa said: “Our national immunization programs have suffered serious setbacks over the last decade. We have witnessed decreases in vaccination coverage rates, inadequate sustainable financing for immunizations, and increasing vaccine hesitancy linked in part to misinformation.” With the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating this decline, the risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases is now “at a 30-year high,” he added.   

In the priority countries of Colombia, Haiti, and Jamaica, CanGIVE funding will support COVID-19 and routine vaccination programs but also direct resources according to countries’ particular needs. 

  • In Haiti, CanGIVE is focused on marginalized communities, including people living in deep urban and rural poverty. 
  • In Colombia, CanGIVE resources are directed at increasing vaccination in departments with low coverage. 
  • In Jamaica, CanGIVE is focused on enhancing vaccine delivery and distribution, and on reinforcing efforts to build vaccine confidence within high-risk groups whose coverage remains low. 

“CanGIVE promises strengthened capacity among healthcare workers to deliver COVID-19 vaccination through, among other things, improved policy and human resources,” said Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton. “CanGIVE also takes on board gender-responsive services and the improved ability to develop rights-respecting information systems and digital platforms for surveillance.”