OTTAWA, ON - Today Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister and Brad Woodside, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), announced an expanded partnership with local governments in Ukraine. 

The new Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance (PLEDDG), is a five-year, 19.5 million initiative funded by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. It will see FCM's municipal experts support their counterparts in Ukraine in their efforts to further generate economic growth and ensure all citizens participate in shaping their community and their country's future. 

This new partnership will build on local economic development initiatives FCM has helped to implement in Ukraine during the past five years. Since 2010, FCM's municipal experts have helped cities and towns in the Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv regions work together on strategies to boost tourism, map out opportunities for foreign investors, and open business support centres. Local governments also worked with FCM to co-finance regional projects that increase economic development potential while improving environmental sustainability, such as a new solid waste management system and industrial park.

FCM will also continue to work with its long-time partner, the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC), to support AUC's national advocacy efforts on behalf of local government. FCM will offer its expertise in the development of new services and tools related to economic development and open government. FCM and AUC recently published Ukraine's first municipal guide to local economic development, which was distributed to local governments across the country.  

"In the last five years, FCM and its members have built a network of colleagues to enhance collaboration with municipal counterparts in Ukraine, offering expertise and support during these challenging times," said Brad Woodside, President of FCM. "Ukraine continues to undergo profound change. We are pleased to support Canada's strategic priorities in the region and contribute to the advancement of democratic, sustainable and prosperous communities in Ukraine."

 "This new initiative will help Ukraine move toward a more democratic and prosperous society for all Ukrainians," stated Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. "We are pleased to collaborate once more with a trusted Canadian partner, FCM, to assist Ukraine in becoming an increasingly stable democracy with greater economic opportunities."

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Canada at the International Support for Ukraine Conference in Kiev, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander said "Today's announcement reaffirms Canada's commitment to building sound public institutions and supporting long-term economic prosperity for the well-being of the Ukrainian people."

As a strategic partner to the Government of Canada on international development, FCM currently delivers more than $100M of programming in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. 

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