The current crisis in Ukraine has so far resulted in more than 3.9 million refugees. This is just the latest of the many crises disrupting education for millions of displaced youth worldwide. Canada recognizes that conflict and instability, including the COVID-19 pandemic, can destroy and disrupt lives and jeopardize the futures of children and youth. That is why Canada remains committed to promoting quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for refugee, forcibly displaced and host community children and youth.
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, launched Canada’s Together for Learning Summit: Engaging Displaced Youth to Transform Education and announced $67.2 million in development assistance funding to support education for children and youth experiencing forced displacement around the world.
The summit, which takes place virtually on March 30 and 31, 2022, is centred on amplifying the voices of youth who have experienced or continue to experience forced displacement and are passionate about access to education. Youth will engage with ministers of education, heads of non-governmental organizations and stakeholders as problem solvers and decision makers to discuss how to advance inclusive and quality education, gender equality, and technology and innovation for displaced children and youth.
By the end of the summit, the youth will release a manifesto with a call to action for governments, civil society, multilateral organizations and the private sector. A summit outcome document, developed through consultations with participating governments, will outline a range of concrete actions to advance education for the most marginalized children and youth, as well as shared commitments to ensuring meaningful youth participation in global efforts to address the impacts of conflict and crisis on children and youth.
“The time to act is now. The work we do at the Together for Learning Summit will have a positive impact on children and youth, like the ones we see today being displaced by the crisis in Ukraine. Conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, and poverty continue to rob children and youth of their childhood and future. When children lose the opportunity to develop their talents and potential through quality education, we all lose. Canada is committed to ensuring that all children have access to quality education.”
– Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
- Of the 258 million children and adolescents currently out of school worldwide, 75 million in 35 countries have had their education disrupted affected by crisis and conflict and are in urgent need of educational support.
- Canada is hosting the summit in collaboration with the Together for Learning Campaign’s Refugee Education Council and the Canadian International Education Policy Working Group. World Vision Canada, World University Service of Canada and the World Refugee and Migration Council are supporting the summit, which is open to the public.
- The summit is part of the 3-year, international Together for Learning Campaign, which Canada launched in February 2021 to promote greater access to inclusive, equitable and quality education for the world’s most marginalized children and youth.
- In the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year, Canada invested $410.5 million in education initiatives. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has allocated a total of $78.9 million in new funding to education programming. In the last year, Canada helped over 20 million children and youth in over 102 countries receive quality education.