17 Apr 2015
The Canadian government has promised $130 million for child-education projects abroad, including help for young refugees displaced by the Syrian crisis, in which the bulk of the money will go to a four-year extension of Canada’s involvement in the Global Partnership for Education, which includes governments and NGOs. International Development Minister Christian Paradis said, “It’s not right to have children lose their childhood because adults are fighting.” From that announced sum, $10 million is a one-year contribution to UNICEF for education in crisis-affected areas, notably Syria, as well as the Central African Republic and Sudan. However, Canada’s share is declining, meanwhile, according to a global survey released earlier this month. The annual ranking by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said Canadian aid spending dropped to 0.24 per cent of GDP in 2014, from 0.27 per cent the previous year. That put Canada in the lower half of the OECD ranking, despite it being in better fiscal shape than some of the more generous countries, including Britain. During his Washington trip, Paradis will appear on a panel to talk about integrating the private sector into international development. He said it makes little sense for governments, NGOs, and the private sector to keep operating in silos. With the international community moving beyond the UN’s Millennium Development Goals that expire this year, he said multibillion-dollar government contributions alone can’t come close to meeting the multitrillion-dollar financial needs of developing counties. Reaching that level will require non-traditional partnerships, he said. A major conference on new financing models will be held in July in Ethiopia. Paradis said that co-operation starts with better communication and with parties plugging data into shared software platforms.