Today at the World Economic Forum in Davos; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a Canadian pledge of $180 million over three years (2018-2020) to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The announcement means that millions more children around the world will have access to education.
The pledge to GPE comes after an exceptional effort by RESULTS Canada citizen advocates who pushed for Canadian leadership. With over 65 letters to the editor and op-eds published, hundreds of petitions, postcards and letters sent to Members of Parliament and many in-person meetings with decision makers, RESULTS volunteers, alongside many others, let the government know that education for all is something they support. Although disappointed that this commitment falls short of the $260 million CAD that advocates had been calling for, RESULTS Canada is pleased that it represents an increase over Canada’s previous commitment to GPE in 2015 ($120 million CAD over 4 years).
Now, RESULTS is calling on the government to build on this pledge by harnessing additional opportunities for leadership and impact. Canada is the current president of the G7 and should use this position to encourage other leaders to make educating the most vulnerable—particularly girls in crisis situations—a priority. This leadership would help realize Canada’s intention to become a global champion on women and girls empowerment as outlined in the Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Additionally, Canada’s feminist policy ambitions should also be backed by the resources necessary to meet the promise of that ambition. This is not currently the case. Canada continues to lag behind nearly all its peers in funding international assistance with a decade’s low of 0.26% of GNI in 2016. We hope that this increased pledge to GPE marks a turning point and signals greater future investments in international assistance overall.
This increased pledge to GPE and to the principal of education for all represents a good start to 2018. RESULTS Canada’s citizen advocates are committed to ensuring that this is the beginning of increased leadership by Canada on international development overall, in keeping with the opportunity, the need, and the tremendous scope for impact.