Plan International Canada to attend Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai to advocate for Canada’s leadership in education in Crises

75 MILLION CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL IN CRISIS-AFFECTED AREAS NEED EDUCATION AND CANADA CAN TAKE THE GLOBAL LEAD, SAYS PLAN INTERNATIONAL CANADA CEO


TORONTO, March, 16, 2018 – Plan International Canada President and CEO, Caroline Riseboro, will be in Dubai, March 17-18, to participate in the Global Education & Skills Forum to advocate for investment in education in crises, especially for girls.

An initiative of the Varkey Foundation, the annual Global Education & Skills Forum brings together more than 2,000 world leaders from the public, private and social sectors to address achieving education, equity and employment for all. With a goal of transforming global education, the Forum culminates with the Global Teacher Prize – a recognition awarded to Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell in 2017.

Speakers at this year’s event include former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, former US Vice President, Al Gore, former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education, Julia Gillard, British Olympian, Sir Mo Farah, CBE, and a global roster of education, rights, aid and development leaders.

Riseboro will be speaking at three events, advocating for international action on educating children in emergencies.

“Our world is currently host to the largest number of people internally displaced or living as refugees since World War II, and it has led to an unprecedented number of children out of school,” says Riseboro.

According to the Overseas Development Institute, there are currently more than 75 million school aged children in urgent need of educational support in 35 crisis-affected countries.

“As long ago as 2014, in the context of the Syrian conflict, the alarm was being sounded that we are at serious risk of losing an entire generation to lack of education as a result of crisis,” says Riseboro. “Yet, here we are in 2018 and education in crisis remains dramatically underfunded – only two percent of humanitarian dollars go towards it.”

Through events that it will be leading at the forum, Plan International Canada is calling on global actors to take urgent action on education in crisis, especially for girls.

The organization is calling on Canada in particular to adopt a Declaration to Educate Girls in Crises at the upcoming 2018 G7 Summit, which it will host in June in Charlevoix, Quebec.

"Prioritizing education for girls in crises at the G7 Summit is an opportunity for Canada to chart a bold course forward with its Feminist International Assistance Policy,” says Riseboro. “We are primed to lead the global fight for gender equality, and Canada’s leadership on this issue could be the catalyst to change the course of millions of girls’ lives."

  • Caroline Riseboro will be available for interviews in Dubai, March 17 and 18, 2018.
  • Media are also invited to attend Plan International Canada’s events the Global Education & Skills Forum:
  1. FILM SCREENING: THE VOICES OF TEACHERS FROM CONFLICT ZONES
    March 17, 2018 | 12:00 – 12:30 (UAE Standard Time)
    Speaker list + more information
  2. PUBLIC BRIEFING: G7 DECLARATION ON GIRLS’ EDUCATION IN CRISES
    MARCH 17, 2018 | 13:30 – 15:00 (UAE Standard Time)
    Speaker list + more information
  3. DEBATE CHAMBER: IS TOO MUCH DONOR MONEY SPENT ON GIRLS' EDUCATION?
    March 17, 2018 | 16:15 – 17:15 (UAE Standard Time)
    Speaker list + more information

“I applaud our longstanding partners in the UAE, Dubai Cares, for championing education in emergencies globally, and the Varkey Foundation for the vision to host the Global Education & Skills Form each year. I am looking forward to a weekend of inspired, innovation-driven conversation on how we can ensure all children, especially girls in crises, have equal access to education,” says Riseboro.

Editor's note

Facts about Education in Crisis:

  • Girls in conflict-affected countries are 2.5 times more likely to be out of primary school than boys. (UNESCO)
  • 39 million girls were out of school in 2015 because of war and disasters. (Source)
  • Education, especially of girls, is a strategic investment. Evidence shows that one additional school year can increase a woman's earnings by 10% to 20%
  • Girls’ education is critical to breaking cycles of poverty and violence.

About Plan International and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

Media contact:

Canada:

Kyla Pearson , Senior Manager, Media & Public Relations, Plan International Canada
kpearson@plancanada.ca | T: +1 416 920 1654 ext. 350

Dubai:

Farah Williamson, Head of Gulf Partnership, Plan International Canada
FWilliamson@plancanada.ca | T: +447786244658

Emily Laurie, Advocacy Advisor, Plan International Canada
emilylaurie@genkiglobal.org | T: +447713603897