Education is elevated on the global agenda – Canadian coalition of leading development, humanitarian and grassroots advocacy organizations welcomes historic announcement for the education of children – especially girls – living in crisis-situations

A Canada-led G7 Declaration to educate and empower girls in crisis-situations supported with a $3.8 B global commitment could have an impact on more than eight million children all over the world.

Quebec City, June 9, 2018 – Canada’s leading development, humanitarian and grassroots advocacy organizations today celebrate a Canadian commitment to invest CAD$400M over three years for girls’ education in crises. This comes as part of a global commitment of CAD $3.8B, and is a reflection of Canada’s leadership and strong commitment to achieving gender equality. The G7 countries also endorsed a Declaration focused on the importance of investing in children’s education in crises, with a special focus on girls who face additional barriers because of their gender, therefore leaving a sustainable legacy to the millions of girls out-of-school because of conflict or disaster. This Declaration, coupled with the substantial financial investment, is meeting an urgent and unmet need and will help unlock the power of girls living in the world’s most difficult places, as they realize their right to an education.

The scale of this crisis is unprecedented. Today, 75 million children and youth are out-of-school in 35 crises-affected countries. Global momentum on this issue is urgently needed. Today’s funding announcement is a catalytic moment that will elevate this neglected issue on the global agenda, laying a foundation for sustained global momentum. Thanks to this global commitment, education will now be a reality for – by best estimates - 8.67 million children living in crises all over the world. Education is key to empowering women and brings hope for an entire generation of girls, in places like Syria, where civil war has been raging for over seven years, or countries like Uganda, where millions of refugee girls have been out of school for more than nine years.

Plan International Canada, RESULTS Canada, Right To Play, Save the Children, UNICEF Canada and World Vision Canada are part of a broad Canadian and global coalition calling on Canada to show strong leadership at the G7 Summit to ensure we do not lose a generation of children and to focus on the most neglected and vulnerable children - girls. This announcement is a critical step in transforming the words of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy into action. By choosing to invest in girls’ education in crises, Canada is prioritizing the needs of girls, who are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys in crises. By supporting the education and empowerment of millions of girls from fragile contexts, Canada is helping sow the seeds for gender equality, economic opportunities, and peace and security to flourish.

Canadian civil society organizations celebrate the important role Canada has played in elevating education in crises on the global agenda. The results of Prime Minister Trudeau listening to civil society organizations, 160,000 signatories on a global petition, and most importantly to women and girls themselves are shown with today’s significant announcement. This sends a strong message to the world’s most vulnerable and neglected girls: we see you, we hear you, and you are not being forgotten.

“Thanks to Canada's leadership and this funding announcement, we can build a future where girls are no longer 2.5 times more likely to be out of school during a crisis than boys. At Plan International Canada we’ve known for years the crucial role that education plays for children in crisis, especially girls, and the lifeline it can be. I’ve seen first-hand the transformational impact girls can have on their communities when they’re able to realize their rights. After years of fighting for gender equality, I’m hopeful for what this announcement will mean for millions of girls living in refugee camps and conflict zones who will now be able to choose their own futures."
—Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO, Plan International Canada

For further information

Katharine Harris, Plan International Canada, 416-908-1206,