In recent years, the Canadian Government has worked to situate itself as a leader in blended finance and launched Convergence while participating as a delegation to the Financing for Development negotiations in Addis Ababa in 2015. Convergence is headquartered in Toronto and described as a platform for a “global network of public, private, and philanthropic actors” to ease the process of sourcing blended finance deals with data and intelligence. It was designed by several global partners, including what was formerly called Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), now Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
In January 2018, Export Development Canada (EDC), the national export credit agency, launched a subsidiary firm, the Development Finance Institute Canada (FinDev), following modest funding allocated in the 2017 Federal Budget. Canada was the last of the countries within the Group of 7 to launch an organization dedicated to financing for development. FinDev’s efforts are exclusively focused in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa, due to claims that Canada has “the greatest strengths and experiences” in these geographical regions. The financing priorities of the company are sectors related to “green growth” (i.e. renewable energy, infrastructure, water management, etc.), agriculture, and finance industries. FinDev also expresses a similar emphasis as Convergence for the need to ‘fill the gap’ of what is needed in development assistance.
Alongside the creation of FinDev, the federal government also made significant changes to the definition of ODA, introduced a new International Financial Assistance Act, and committed $1.5 billion to facilitate “innovative and blended financing” approaches to ODA. Taken together, these developments have further embedded private sector interests into formal government policy and legislation. Carrying out this new mandate, GAC has ramped up its promotion of “innovative financing for sustainable development” and has positioned itself as a champion of blended finance.
More coming soon!