TORONTO, April 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Plan Canada welcomes the Government of Canada's increased commitment to ensuring a safe, quality education for all children around the world, no matter what their situation. The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister for International Development and La Francophonie announced a $120 million investment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) alongside Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, at the World Bank Spring Meetings yesterday in Washington, D.C.
Plan Canada President and CEO, Rosemary McCarney, welcomed the announcement. "Across the globe, there are 57 million primary-aged children who are not in school, and a further 250 million children who are sitting in classrooms but not learning basic literacy and numeracy skills due to a lack of quality education," says McCarney. "At current rates, universal completion of primary education by poor rural girls in Sub-Saharan Africa will only be reached by the year 2086. We need to, and can, do better than that. Canada's investment is critical to ensure that all children are able to access their right to a safe, quality education – no matter where they live or what their background."
The GPE is a global fund that directs investments to public education in developing countries. Since 2003, the GPE has disbursed over US$3.7 billion in grants to 59 countries to strengthen and extend education opportunities to the world's poorest and most marginalized children. As a founding partner, Canada has been a thoughtful and active contributor to the GPE since 2002.
The GPE kicked-off its second replenishment cycle in June 2014 with remarkable results, including financial and policy pledges from governments, foundations, and civil society organizations – including Plan International – totalling US$28.5 billion in additional commitments to education for 2015-2018. Some of the poorest countries in Africa, Asia and South America pledged to increase their domestic spending on education by 25% to an unprecedented US$26 billion.
Yesterday's Canadian funding announcement also included an additional $10 million to support education and child protection in fragile and conflict-affected states.
"Education is critical for all young people, but it's especially urgent for the tens of millions of children affected by conflict, disasters and humanitarian emergencies. They need a safe space where they can heal, learn and grow. Yet education in emergencies is one of the least-funded components of humanitarian responses," McCarney continued. "Canada's commitment to support children's right to access a quality education, even in times of crisis, sets a good example for other governments around the world, and will help to protect and aid the development of children caught up in emergencies beyond their control."
Plan Canada, and the hundreds of Canadians who joined the call for a renewed Canadian commitment to global education, are celebrating yesterday's announcement and Canada's significant contribution to ensuring education for all children.
About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative
Founded in 1937, Plan 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 has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.
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SOURCE Plan Canada
For further information: Media contact: Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada, T: 416.920.1654 x326, C: 416.723.6340, [email protected]