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Bearing the Brunt - the Impact of COVID-19 on Older People

HelpAge International has just released Bearing the Brunt, a report on the impact of COVID-19 on older people based on insights from research in low- and middle-income countries. The report provides clear recommendations to ensure older people are included in recovery efforts and their rights are respected. It calls on all actors to work together to build a society where everyone lives with dignity, no matter our age.

To read the Africa region report, click here, and here for the full global report.

 

Funding announcement for education welcome, but falls short

During the recent G7 summit, Canada announced a commitment of $300 million to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), far short of the $500 million that GRAN and other civil society organizations were asking for.  Click here to read a full response from GRAN and our partners in the Canadian International Education Policy Working Group (CIEPWG).

Connecting the Dots Between Education and Climate Change

Can education help solve the climate crisis? Is this too good to be true? What if there were a new way of educating and engaging youth and adults in climate solutions?  In a report from the Brookings Institution, recent research shows a powerful connection between education and climate change and the positive results that can be achieved.  Read on to learn about the ambitious plan for a new green learning agenda that they suggest should be included in all curriculums.  Click here for more.

Long-term Solutions Needed for Rising Hunger in sub-Saharan Africa

As we heard from Dr. Elizabeth Vibert in a recent GRAN Learning Event, food insecurity is growing in sub-Saharan Africa. Global hunger has been rising steadily since 2015 due to the intersecting crises of protracted conflicts, the rapidly changing climate and, more recently, the pandemic.

In response, the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit has been scheduled for September 2021. The UN Special Envoy to the Summit, has said that the process is meant to build healthier, more inclusive, nutritious, and resilient global food systems over the next decade. However, some farming organizations and human rights groups have raised the alarm that the planned Summit is driven by private sector interests in industrial farming, with the serious risk that decisions arising from the Summit may result in loss of food sovereignty for small-scale farmers around the globe. Read more here.

Budget 2021 Weak on Response to Global Climate Emergency

Some investments made in Federal Budget 2021 are a step in the right direction toward Canada’s ability to meet its national climate targets.  And new federal dollars for early learning, child care, expanded employment insurance and emergency benefits are all consistent with the principles for a just recovery that 150 Canadian non-profits and campaign groups, including GRAN, adopted last year. 

However, it was disappointing not to see a bigger commitment to fighting the pandemic globally, and equally disappointing to note the lack of long-term commitments to helping people in sub-Saharan Africa who are profoundly affected by the climate emergency, poverty, and hunger.    

Read more here.

Budget 2021 - A Missed Opportunity for Canada’s Global Engagement

The federal government released Budget 2021 yesterday.  While there was some investment in international assistance, the Budget falls short in responding to the urgent need of the world's most vulnerable. $375 Million was pledged for international COVID response (part of a $1.4 billion increase in international assistance, spread over five years). We contrast this with the Government’s commitments for 2020-21, which were about $1.2 billion. Budget 2021 investments do not reflect or respond to the dire humanitarian needs around the globe.  Two components of international assistance funding, not mentioned in Budget 2021, are global education and international climate finance.  We are cautiously optimistic that additional announcements regarding funding commitments for these two GRAN priorities will be made in the near future.

You can read the budget response released by Cooperation Canada by clicking here.  If you are on social media, please re-tweet the statement from Cooperation Canada as well as tweets from GRAN.

 

 

Education: A Key to the Success of the African Continent

The success of the new “African Continental Free Trade Area” (AfCFTA), which took effect on January 1, 2021, will depend on the capacity of African governments to tap into the potential of human capital.

With 60% of its population under 25, robust investment in education with emphasis on STEM education, innovation and 21st century skills, must be urgently made for Africa to achieve its goals.

Click here to read more at this GPE blog.

Why Canada Should Invest in Education

Education is fundamental to our ability to build back a better world. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the disparities that children and young people face in achieving a quality education.  As a result of school closures, this generation of young people may never reach their full personal, education, job and earning potential.

Click here to see why the UK sees education as a good investment and is supporting the Global Partnership for Education’s Replenishment.

Will Canada join the UK in its commitment?

Humanitarian Crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

GRAN is deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Tigray that is having a disproportionate impact on women and children.

Speaking at the end of his five day visit to Ethiopia, Francesco Rocco, President of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said:

I am very concerned about the conditions that I saw during my visit, including the internally displaced by the fighting, especially children, their mothers and the elderly. It was clear to me that the people of Tigray need much more support than they are currently getting.”

The international community, including Canada, is urging Ethiopia to grant full access for humanitarian convoys and medical supplies to the region.

Click here to learn more.

Togo’s innovative use of technology gets aid to those most in need

In low-income countries, identifying people who have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic is no easy task.  So Togo turned to artificial intelligence: a computer program that dives into satellite imagery and cell phone data to pinpoint pockets of poverty and distribute financial support.  Click here to read more.

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