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LETTER: Fund education to fight terrorism

Without access to primary and secondary school, the 263 million children globally being denied this basic human right will never escape the clutches of poverty.

The social and health benefits accrued especially to educating adolescent and teenage girls are well-documented. 

Funding education is by far the cheapest way to fight terrorism because it is proactive. The last thing the world needs is more children growing up to be illiterate, disenfranchised and vulnerable to be radicalized.

Countries who invest in strengthening literacy and numeracy skills in general can potentially grow their economies by an additional two per cent. What finance minister wouldn’t love to find a similar magic bullet to boost their economy by that much?

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the only multilateral focused solely on education with an emphasis on girls and others being left behind. It will be holding a replenishment round at the end of the year. Its board will be in Ottawa this month to drum up support.

At the last replenishment conference in 2014, developing countries actually gave about 10 times what developed countries gave. By contributing the lion’s share of the money raised, it showed that developing countries recognize the value of education. 

In her address to Parliament, Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai urged the government to take a leadership role in funding education. The government can do just that by reversing a 10-year decline in spending in this area by announcing a substantial increase before the replenishment round, thus acting a catalyst for other countries to do the same. This was a winning formula for the tremendously successful Global Fund’s replenishment last fall and made Canada shine on the world stage. 

Encore! Encore!

Stephen St. Denis


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