Today in Ottawa, CEOs of Canada's leading development and humanitarian agencies called on the Government of Canada to show continued leadership at the G7 Summit for education of children in crises. By contributing $500M towards a global ask of $1.3B over three years, Canada could support education for 3.7 million children in crises, with a special emphasis on girls who face additional barriers because of their gender. The financing ask follows the Prime Minister of Canada's announcement last month that investing in girls' education, especially in crisis situations, is a vital part of achieving gender equality, and will be one of his key priorities at the G7 Summit this week.
Public support for this initiative has been demonstrated through a petition launched in April by Fatuma Omar Ismail, a former child refugee from Somalia who is now a University of Toronto student. More than 160,000 Canadian and global citizens have signed her petition asking G7 leaders to prioritize the 75 million children like her who are currently out of school in 35 crises and conflict areas.
"I started this petition for the millions of girls living in crises around the world," said Fatuma. "Life hasn't always been easy. I was one of the lucky ones to get a chance at a better life and I am very grateful for all the opportunities I was given. While education saved my life, far too many children spend their lives in limbo and are not getting the education they deserve. It is time we do something about it. This is Canada's chance to lead on what is right."
When a conflict or a natural disaster occurs, education is often the first service to be interrupted and the last to be resumed, but it is a lifeline, especially for girls, who are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys during times of crises.
Plan International Canada, Results Canada, Right to Play, Save the Children, UNICEF Canada and World Vision are calling on Canada to show strong leadership at the G7 Summit and support the success of future generations, with a focus on girls and gender equality.
Canada's investment of $500M in new resources over three years would change the course for 3.7 million of children currently out of school because of crises, according to the agencies. It would send a strong signal of Canada's commitment and leadership on the feminist imperative of ensuring no girl is left behind, and realizing a child's right to education. With this new funding, such a commitment could put Canada back on an upward trajectory towards meeting its Official Development Assistance target dedicated to education.
Digital media kit with stories, photos and b-roll are available here
Report on G7 financial ask is available here.
Note to editors: Plan International Canada, Results Canada, Right to Play, Save the Children, UNICEF Canada and World Vision, and several other Canadian organizations are asking Canada to commit to a three-year, $500-million investment of new funding towards a total ask of $1.3B at the upcoming G7 Summit.
Petition initiated by Fatuma Omar Ismail can be found here.