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UNICEF Canada President and CEO responds to Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement following UN meeting on refugees and migrants

2016-09-19

TORONTO/NEW YORK, September 19, 2016 – Today, as the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants takes place in New York, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Government of Canada will increase its humanitarian assistance, including an additional $78 million for UNICEF’s No Lost Generation initiative. David Morley, UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO, is at the summit and had the following response:

“We are very pleased to see Canada stepping up to commit funding to Syria’s most vulnerable children. Canada has demonstrated strong leadership in investing in education and protecting children affected by crises. This renewed commitment to ensure the educational needs of children and youth are prioritized as part of Canada’s response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis brings the Government’s total contribution to the No Lost Generation initiative to more than $238 million, and will go a long way towards helping create lasting change for children and youth affected by the crisis, and support them in acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to rebuild their communities and safeguard their futures.

We are further greatly encouraged by Canada’s contribution of $20 million to the Education Cannot Wait Fund. By scaling up towards a funding target of at least USD $1.5 billion by 2020, the Fund could restore education opportunities to some 13.6 million children and young people around the world over the next five years, rising to reach all 75 million affected by crises by 2030.

Investing in education is a crucial humanitarian intervention that provides both immediate support for boys and girls, and long-term investments towards rebuilding a country and ensuring the next generation has the skills to rebuild a stronger, more resilient, more gender-equitable and peaceful society. To break the cycle of chronic crisis, children need hope for better futures for themselves, their families and their communities. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable. Creating opportunities to prevent them from being drawn into violence and conflict is critical.

Canada has demonstrated global leadership through a comprehensive response to the Syrian sub-regional and refugee crises. Through this additional funding, more children will be able to go to school, to dream of a brighter future, and to gain the skills they need to achieve those dreams. 

At UNICEF Canada, we remain concerned for the 50 million children around the world who have been uprooted from their homes, including 28 million forced to flee because of conflict. These aren’t just refugee children. These aren’t just migrant children. These are children first – children who have been traumatized, whose urgent humanitarian needs are often not being met, and who still need our help.

But we are greatly encouraged by Canada’s leadership to protect the rights of displaced children and youth, and children on the move. We look to Canada to build on the leadership shown today and ensure that children remain at the forefront of the agenda tomorrow and in the weeks and months to come.”

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About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.