To mark ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary and the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Canada dialogue partner relations, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, that Canada will support a new scholarship programme for ASEAN. This initiative will provide US$10 million over five years for post-secondary students and mid-career professionals from Southeast Asia to access world-class education in Canada. The Minister made the announcement at the Canada-ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference in Manila, Philippines.

Canada is committed to combating povertyand promoting human rights in Southeast Asia, especially the rights of women, girls and migrants. The Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development initiative will provide individuals from ASEAN member states, especially women, the opportunity to apply for short-term studies or research in Canada. Scholarships will be awarded in fields that contribute to ASEAN’s efforts to narrow the development gap and reduce poverty in Southeast Asia, such as climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, public financial management, and sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.