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Investment needed to help girls in underdeveloped nations overcome barriers to education caused by COVID-19

FOR INFORMATION:
Dave Stell communications manager dstell@childrenbelieve.ca; 416-898-6770
AT A GLANCE…
  • The Canadian International Education Policy Working Group welcomes the G7 Declaration addressing girls education.
  • We call on Canada to commit new and additional resources to education at the upcoming Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, UK in June, and to encourage its G7 counterparts to do the same.

Investment needed to help girls in underdeveloped nations overcome barriers to education caused by COVID-19

Children Believe among working group calling on Canada to support for G7 declaration

A leading coalition of Canadian education organizations, the Canadian International Education Policy Working Group (CIEPWG), including Children Believe, welcomes the newly announced G7 Declaration, Girls Education: The Heart of COVID-19 Recovery and Unlocking Agenda 2030.  Launched at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministerial meeting, the Declaration includes clear commitments to address the challenges faced by children around the world — especially girls — in accessing a safe, inclusive and quality education. CIEPWG welcomes the ambitious Declaration, and it calls for additional funding to put these new political commitments into action.

Canada can be proud of its role in catalyzing this important momentum. In 2018, Canada, alongside its civil society partners, also mobilized the G7 and other donors on the issue of global education by launching the historic Charlevoix Declaration. We welcome Minister Gould’s continued support for the world’s most vulnerable learners, including girls, refugees and displaced children. But in order to be successful, the targets set out in the new Ministerial Declaration must be backed by significant financial commitments from G7 leaders, including Canada.

We are witnessing an unprecedented global education emergency, at the same time as Canada’s $400mn funding contribution to girls’ education made in Charlevoix is quickly running out. Over one year into the pandemic, close to half of the world’s students are still affected by school closures, and it is estimated that up to 20-million girls will never resume their education. This is in addition to the hundreds of millions of children who were already out of school before COVID-19.

While governments are facing increased financial pressures as a result of COVID-19, Canada must hold firm in its commitment to ensure that the most vulnerable children can realize their right to a quality education. Failure to do so means jeopardizing the futures of the world’s most marginalized children and youth. We know what to do to help children return to school, catch up on learning and thrive. But achieving these goals require political will and adequate funding.

Children Believe continues to call on all stakeholders, to invest in education system resilience as the world is in the middle of an education emergency. And, while it seems obvious, we must invest to help create solutions.

We also point to the need for the return of children and teachers to COVID-19 safe schools and learning environments. Children are at risk when they do not have access to the classroom.

The time has never been more urgent to turn words into action. We call on Canada to commit new and additional resources to education at the upcoming Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, UK in June, and to encourage its G7 counterparts to do the same. More specifically, Canada should follow through on its commitment to provide $150 million per year over three years to support education for refugees and internally displaced children, as articulated in the 2019 Liberal Party platform. As part of Canada’s continued commitment to education, we also encourage Canada to invest at least $500 million over the next five years to the Global Partnership for Education. The GPE is aiming to mobilize at least $5bn from donors to transform education systems for more than one-billion girls and boys.

Education is not only a fundamental human right, but it is also a critical enabler to all other sustainable development goals. For Canada to deliver on its own Feminist International Assistance Policy, as well as the newly launched Together for Learning Campaign, Canada must increase its investments in education. The return on investment is too high to ignore. Education is the key that unlocks health, well-being, gender equality and economic prosperity for the next generation of children, their communities and the world.

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ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About The Canadian International Education Policy Working Group:

The Canadian International Education Policy Working Group is a coalition of international development, humanitarian and advocacy organizations working to support policies and programs to improve access to safe, inclusive, quality education for all children and youth. It is currently co-Chaired by Right To Play International and UNICEF Canada.

CIEPWG members are Children Believe, Canadian Feed the Children, Canadian Teachers Federation, CODE, Global Citizen, Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN), ONE Canada, Plan International Canada, Results Canada, Right To Play, Save the Children Canada, SOS Children’s Villages, War Child Canada, UNICEF Canada, World Vision Canada and World University Service of Canada.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in more than 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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