Worldwide efforts to end child, early and forced marriage are getting $10 million from Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson said Wednesday, as the government also named 11 non-governmental organizations that will share $180 million in maternal, newborn and child health funding.

In a news release, Nicholson said Canada will put $2.3 million toward a project to promote secondary schooling and skills development training for girls and women in Commonwealth countries. The goal is to "promote secondary schooling for girls and women and provide them with skills development training to improve their livelihoods, the release said.

Nicholson also announced the government will devote $8 million over two years to support local community groups and governments, as well as NGOs and civil society groups, in efforts to combat child, early and forced marriage. Canadian embassies and high commissions will administer the money.

The announcement came on the same day as Conservative MPs announced some of the NGOs that would get funding to improve maternal, newborn and child health around the world.

Eleven Ontario-based NGOs will share $180 million from 2015 to 2020 for projects that address such issues as nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, and health worker training.

Four British Columbia-based NGOs will share another $16.1 million.

The new funding comes from the government's $3.5-billion pledge to follow up on its 2010-2015 foreign aid focus on maternal, newborn and child health, known as the Muskoka Initiative. The government has set aside $420 million for NGO-run programs.

The NGOs getting funding announced today are:

  • Action Against Hunger. 
  • Amref Health Africa in Canada.
  • Christian Children's Fund of Canada.
  • CUSO International with the Canadian Association of Midwives.
  • effect:hope – The Leprosy Mission Canada.
  • Geospatial/SALASAN Consulting Inc.
  • Global Aid Network.
  • GRID & NEA: Ghana Rural Integrated Development.
  • Jane Goodall Institute of Canada.
  • Plan International Canada.
  • The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
  • The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.
  • Tula Foundation.
  • World Neighbours Canada.
  • World Vision Canada.