We partnered with RESULTS, Save the Children, Plan, UNICEF, Right to Play, World Vision, GRAN to fully replenish the Global Partnership for Education funds to the GPE.
WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
Globally, 58 million children do not receive a basic primary education the majority of which are girls. By increasing the opportunity for young girls to attend school they will have a better chance at meaningful employment, as are more likely to marry and have children at a later age. Furthermore, if all children attended and left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be pulled out of poverty.
In Canada, an observable trend for declining support for education and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), with aid reducing from 12 percent to 7.66 percent between 2009 and 2012. Global Partnership for Education called for support to bring Canada’s support more in line with other major donors, by increasing their contribution to CA $120 million between 2015 and 2018.
HOW DID GLOBAL CITIZENS RESPOND?
We responded as a part of a coalition of Canadian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) pushing for a strong Canadian commitment for GPE. Meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), the coalition was told that the maximum contribution under consideration was CA $ 100 million. Nevertheless, Canadian CSOs stood firm and pushed for a doubling of Canada’s contribution to CA $120 million.
Following conversations with the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) about Canadian options for the Global Citizen Festival, Global Poverty Project Canada decided to run days of action for GPE. These days of action looked to encourage Canadian global citizens and celebrities to tweet the Canadian government calling for a bold and increase commitment for GPE in the lead up to Global Citizen Festival 2014. As a result, over 1,000 global citizens joined the Nobel Prize winning Laureate and education campaigner Malala Yousefzai by tweeting at PM Harper to make a bold commitment to GPE.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
As a result of these and our partners' efforts, on April 16 2015 the Canadian Government committed CA $120 million over 3 years with an additional CA $10 million to UNICEF to support education and child protection in fragile and conflict states. This is set to affect up to 814,900 children through education by 2018.
Making the announcement, the honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie said, “Canada’s contribution will help girls and boys in developing countries access high quality education and move out of poverty to build secure and prosperous futures. This is particularly critical for children living in countries experiencing conflict or humanitarian crisis”.
Malala also responded to the news, saying “Today’s commitment from Canada is an important contribution to the realization of the hopes and dreams of millions of young people around the world in their fight to gain a good quality education, and in doing so, become powerful forces for change in their communities and our world. I thank Minister Paradis and the Canadian Government for this commitment and, in this crucial year for education, I call on other governments to consider how they can support young people to get the education they deserve.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Global Poverty Project will continue working with partners around the world to ensure the GPE’s estimated $22 billion shortfall to ensure every child has access to a quality basic education by 2030 is met. We will also continue to keep Canadians informed of progress towards GPE fulfilling its aim for 29 million children to benefit from an education by 2020 and ensuring the Canadian government honours their commitment. We will produce Global Citizen content pieces and op-eds at timely moments so that the Canadian government understands there’s wide support for ongoing support for GPE.