The G7 countries today announced a global commitment of US$2.9bn (C$3.8bn) for girls’ education in crises. The G7 also endorsed a Declaration supporting the importance of investing in children’s education in crises, with a special focus on girls who face additional barriers because of their gender. This Declaration, coupled with the substantial financial investment, will help unlock the power of girls living in the world’s most difficult places by realising their right to an education.
Plan International welcomes this historic development, alongside the coalition of organisations that have campaigned to achieve it – including Plan International Canada, RESULTS Canada, Right To Play, Save the Children, UNICEF Canada and World Vision Canada. The coalition has been 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.
GLOBAL CAMPAIGN SUCCESS
Today's announcement is the result of Prime Minister Trudeau and his fellow G7 leaders listening to civil society organisations, 160,000 signatories on a global petition, and most importantly to women and girls themselves. This sends a strong message to the world’s most vulnerable and neglected girls that they will not be left behind.
Canada’s government has committed to invest $309m (C$400m) over three years for girls’ education in crises, prioritising 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’s action alongside its G7 allies is helping sow the seeds for gender equality, economic opportunities, and peace and security to flourish.
In response to this announcement, Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO, Plan International Canada said, “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 realise 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."
ACTION NEEDED ON A WORLDWIDE CRISIS
The scale of this education crisis is unprecedented. Today, 75 million children and youth are out-of-school in 35 crises-affected countries. Today’s funding announcement will elevate this neglected issue on the global agenda, laying a foundation for sustained global action. Thanks to this global commitment, education will now be a reality – by best estimates – for 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 CEO AB Albrectsen said: “This action by the G7 will alter the futures of millions of girls currently out of school because of conflict and crisis. Adolescent girls who are out of school face a heightened risk of trafficking, early and forced marriage, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence. This is why we work to address the unique needs and challenges of girls in our emergency response efforts, particularly when it comes to education.”