Danny Glenwright, president and CEO, Save the Children, said:
“This G7 summit took place while the pandemic is still raging but you wouldn’t know from the Communique and pledges made over the weekend that we are facing a series of interlocking emergencies.
Since the G7 last met two years ago, children’s lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19. We are pleased to see the release of the Declaration on Girls Education but disappointed that it came without enough money to back it up.
Canada’s pledge of CAD $300 million over five years to the Global Partnership for Education fell far short of the $500 million education advocates maintain is necessary to address our current education crisis. We expected more from Justin Trudeau who made bold action on education his legacy when Canada hosted the 2018 G7 Charlevoix Summit.
G7 leaders also failed to deliver a funded plan to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022. An estimated 11 billion doses of vaccines are needed to reach 70% of the world if we are to end the acute phase of the pandemic. Instead, we got a commitment of 870 million doses with unclear timelines.
Despite the large gap overall we are pleased to see Canada commit 100 million doses, 13 million of which COVAX will start to deliver. For these vaccines to have the biggest impact, it’s crucial they get to the countries in most need as quickly as possible. We hope to see a timeline for this clarified in the coming days as well as a concrete plan to share the rest of Canada’s stockpile of excess doses.
On a positive note, Canada pledged to double its financial support to help poorer countries mitigate and adapt to climate change, committing $5.3 billion over five years. Although welcome, a crucial question now is whether this support is additional to Canada’s already limited aid budget.
As we look ahead to the Generation Equality Forum in July, the G20 and COP26 in the fall, the world’s richest countries need to up their game. This was supposed to be the first major summit of the recovery. There is so much more to do to make 2021 a year of real and lasting change for children.”
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Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In Canada and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.