Publication Date: 2022/04/08

On 7 April, 2022, the Government of Canada released Budget 2022: A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable. Here is how the federal government plans to address issues that affect child and youth well-being in Canada and around the world and UNICEF Canada’s position on their commitments:

Climate Change: The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. We are pleased to see the federal government prioritize the urgent climate emergency, a key priority raised by young people themselves, and working to ensure a better, greener future for every child.

Supporting Ukraine: Budget 2022 commits to continued support for Ukraine. Children and families in Ukraine need peace and protection now – and children’s protection, education and mental health must be prioritized. Ukraine has demonstrated how much children in conflict and crisis need support. We encourage the government to continue to demonstrate its commitment to upholding children's rights around the world.

Leading in the Global Fight Against COVID-19: Budget 2022 proposes to provide $732 million to further support the efforts of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and to ensure that Canada continues to provide its fair share to global efforts to improve fair and equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and other tools to fight COVID-19. We urge funding to go towards vaccine absorption, helping countries absorb the vaccine doses they have already been allocated and help strengthen health systems. We must work together to ensure vaccines turn into vaccinations.

Providing International Assistance: We are pleased to see Canada committed to continuing to enhance its assistance funding towards 2030. Protecting development gains and increasing support for longstanding commitments for children, including health, nutrition, education, and protection from gender-based violence is critical. We urge Canada to build on its commitments to address the growing food crisis, as well as ongoing humanitarian crises through timely, predictable and flexible support to save children’s lives, preserve their dignity and protect their future. Canada must ensure access to education for the most vulnerable, including refugee and internally displaced as well as host community children and youth. As we have seen over the past two years, COVID-19 knows no borders. When our global community thrives, Canada and Canadians see the benefits.

Dental Care for Canadians: Budget 2022 committed to dental care starting with kids under 12. This will help many families, recognizing that close to 1 in 5 children still live in poverty. The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being found that 1 in 100 toddlers end up needing dental surgery mainly because dental care is unaffordable.

Moving Forward on Reconciliation: The federal government is committed to eliminating the systemic barriers that prevent First Nations children from accessing services and support. This includes providing $4 billion over six years, to ensure First Nations children continue to receive the support they need through Jordan’s Principle. Despite this funding commitment, more investment is needed to address the history of systemic discrimination faced by First Nations children.

National School Food Policy: We are pleased to see that the federal government is committed to developing a National School Food policy. Canada is the only G7 country without a national school food program. This is progress towards ensuring that every child has access to at least one healthy meal every day.

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UNICEF is the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our life-saving work. Please visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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