STATEMENT BY THE EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT DIRECTOR ON THE G7 INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION FOR GIRLS IN CRISIS

New York, 9 June 2018 – The historic announcement today by G7 leaders – including Canada, the European Union, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom – and the World Bank of a US$2.9B (C$3.8B) investment in education for women and girls in conflict and crisis marks an inspiring moment of solidarity. I applaud Canada G7 Presidency’s leadership in catalyzing this groundbreaking investment which will help close the gender gap in education where it is most stringent.

These funds, along with the declaration on women and girls’ education in crisis situations adopted by G7 leaders, represent bold financial and political commitments to make gender equality a reality. The right to learn is crucial to end the vicious circle of disempowerment for women and girls in crisis.

Today, it is estimated that 39 million girls and adolescent girls in countries affected by conflict or natural disaster lack access to quality education. They are an entire generation deprived of their right to learn. Without education, they can’t acquire the necessary life skills to thrive and contribute effectively to the recovery and development of their communities.

Meanwhile, we know that educating a girl is the most important investment we can do. Education Cannot Wait (ECW) places girls and adolescent women at the forefront of the joint programmes it supports in crisis-affected countries. We know that girls who are better educated will have better income, and that their children will also be better educated and in better health. We also know that education reduces the vulnerability of girls and the likelihood of child marriage and early pregnancies.

There is no time to waste if the world is to fulfill its promise for all children and youth to access equitable and quality education by 2030. Today’s G7 announcement is a major leap forward in our collective efforts to reach the furthest behind in crisis and conflict. Now, let’s ensure these commitments can rapidly turn into action for the millions of girls whose future depends on education. They deserve no less.

Yasmine Sherif
Director
Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

For press enquiries, contact:
Ms. Anouk Desgroseilliers, adesgroseilliers@unicef.org, +1917 640-6820

 Details on the G7 announcement are available on the G7 Summit website:
https://g7.gc.ca/en/news-media/news/