Madam Chair, Canada's ties with the people of Ukraine have historical roots since well before Ukraine was a sovereign nation. This is why we were the first western country to recognize Ukraine's independence just over 30 years ago.
Let me begin by saying that I am with Ukraine. Russia's invasion is unlawful. It is uncalled for and needs to be stopped. We must do everything we can to stop this unprovoked war. We have developed a strong diplomatic relationship fuelled by a passionate, engaged Ukrainian diaspora of over 1.4 million people. The Ukrainian diaspora and other communities across the country are stepping up to support Ukrainians in need. I am very proud of the Sikh community members in Surrey who are organizing a radiothon and telethon with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to raise funds for Ukraine. Efforts like this are happening all over Canada, and bringing people together to support those affected in this time of need.
Historically, we signed the Joint Declaration on Special Partnership between Canada and Ukraine in 1994, which affirmed our countries' shared interests and desire for international co-operation. In 2014, thousands of Ukrainians stood up for a democratic future during the Revolution of Dignity. Canada supported many of the activists, human rights defenders and civil society organizations that fought tirelessly for a free and democratic future, and we continue to do so today in response to President Putin's aggressive actions.
Canada condemns Russia's unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. We reject President Putin's attempt to rob Ukraine of its history, identity, democracy and independence. President Putin's actions are a blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and they threaten our shared security. President Putin has no interest in resolving the crisis peacefully. Instead, he is putting millions of innocent lives at risk and causing a humanitarian crisis.
In coordination with our allies and partners, Canada has implemented immediate and hard-hitting sanctions that target President Putin himself and Russia's leadership: key individuals in President Putin's inner circle and key Russian banks and financial institutions. They also target export control and sovereign debt restrictions. By hitting at the heart of Russia's financial sector, we are suffocating the Russian regime's ability to fund this war.
To support Ukraine's defensive capabilities, Canada recently announced more than $7 million in lethal equipment and support items to the Ukrainian armed forces. This is in addition to the previously announced non-lethal equipment. On February 27, the government announced that Canada would send an additional $25-million worth of protective equipment to Ukraine to support the Ukrainian armed forces.
Since 2015, we have been helping to enhance the capacity of Ukraine's armed forces through our non-lethal military training and capacity-building mission: Operation Unifier. We were pleased to announce the extension and expansion of this mission to March 2025.
Further, we also backstopped Ukraine's resilience to Russian aggression through offers of financial assistance. This will help support Ukraine's economic stability. We also announced an additional $35 million in development assistance that will help coordinate and scale up support for services for those affected by the conflict, particularly women and marginalized groups. Furthermore, we are continuing to provide over $10 million per year in peace and security programming, including support to Ukraine's defence and broader security sector, to advancing the women, peace and security agenda, and to countering disinformation.
In order to meet the needs of those affected by the conflict, we responded rapidly by providing an initial $15 million in humanitarian assistance, which has been allocated and disbursed to experienced human rights partners in Ukraine who are ready to respond flexibly to the situation as it evolves. This early response is now being complemented by the launch of a matching fund, and I am sure my colleague the Minister of International Development will speak more on how Canada reaffirms our unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will continue to stand with the government and people of Ukraine as we have for the past three decades of diplomatic relations.