[Volunteer Voices] Canada must lead the way to #ReachEveryChild

By: Volunteer Voices Published: 11/03/2024

By: Maha El Bchiri (Results Fellow)

I’m writing these words today with a fervent plea for action on an issue that affects the most vulnerable members of our global community: child poverty. We pride ourselves on our commitment to humanitarian values and global leadership. Yet, the stark reality remains that more than half of the world's extreme poor are children, despite comprising only 31% of the global population.

Children living in poverty face a myriad of challenges, from malnutrition to limited access to education and healthcare. These issues perpetuate a vicious cycle of poverty, depriving children of their potential and undermining the foundations of sustainable development.

Canada has a proud history of championing children's rights and well-being on the global stage. From leading efforts to eradicate polio to investing in maternal and child health through initiatives like the Muskoka Initiative, Canada has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the lives of children worldwide.

However, recent setbacks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous conflicts and the climate crisis, jeopardize decades of progress. Millions of children are now at risk of falling behind in their education, missing out on life-saving vaccinations, and experiencing food insecurity.

With 17 years of experience as an expert professional in international development cooperation, I have firsthand witnessed the transformative power of targeted investments in international aid and cooperation, impacting the lives of thousands in Africa. These interventions not only save lives but also lay the groundwork for a brighter future for generations to come.

That's why I lend my voice to those envisioning a world without poverty, where children can enjoy their childhood and exercise all their rights. I implore the Canadian government to honor its commitment to increase its International Assistance Envelope and allocate CAD$600 million in 2024 to #ReachEveryChild. By prioritizing children's needs in the upcoming budget, Canada can reaffirm its leadership in the global battle against child poverty and serve as a beacon for other nations to emulate.

Together, we possess the power to break the cycle of poverty and forge a world where every child has the opportunity to thrive. Let us seize this moment to effectuate meaningful change in the lives of millions of children worldwide.

Volunteer Voices articles are penned by Results Canada volunteers, fellows, and staff. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Results Canada. Click here for more Volunteer Voices articles and learn how you can submit your letter to the editor (LTE) or op-ed.

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