Issue Deep Dive
Canada / Education
Last updated: June 5, 2023
ODA In Context
Canada was the 8th-largest DAC donor to education in 2021.
Canada’s spending on education represented 5% of total ODA in 2021, indicating that this sector is a lower priority than for most DAC donors, which spend an average of 9% of ODA on education.
While Canada’s funding for education had seen a 30% increase between 2017 and 2020, it slipped back by 18% in 2021. This decrease in spending contradicts the Liberal Party's promise to spend no less than 10% of the country’s development budget on education, as the ODA/GNI ratio fell from 7% in 2020 to 5% in 2021.
Canada’s focuses on education as a powerful tool for the empowerment of women and girls.
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
Canada is a founding member of the IDA and is one of its top donors.
In 2021, Canada disbursed 4% (US$12 million) of its multilateral funding for education to UNRWA; this share might increase, as in 2020, Canada committed up to CAD75 million ( US$56 million) to UNRWA in support of basic education, health, and social services for Palestinian refugees.
In 2022, Canada announced CAD88 million ( US$68 million) over four years (2023 to 2026) to ECW, with a focus on adolescent girls living in hard-to-reach, fragile, or conflict-affected regions.
Funding & Policy Outlook
Canada will continue to prioritize the education of girls and women, especially given the setbacks of COVID-19: In the Mandate Letter written to the Minister for International Development in late 2021, the Prime Minister specifically mentions education as a pathway to the empowerment of women and girls. This is presented against the backdrop of COVID-19, which has undermined both education and gender equality around the world.
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