Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday that nearly $3 billion in pledges has been raised to help fund the education of vulnerable girls and women around the world.
Canada will contribute $300 million to the campaign. Germany, Japan, Britain and the World Bank are among the additional supporters.
The prime minister made the announcement on the last day of the G-7 summit which was held in Quebec.
Women’s groups that had met with Trudeau on the sidelines of the summit welcomed the news of the generous pledges that exceeded the groups’ expectations.
“It gives young women in developing countries the opportunity to pursue careers instead of early marriage and child labor,” said Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in Pakistan because of her campaign for the right of girls to receive an education.
Yousafzai, currently a student at Oxford University, said the pledges give “all of us the chance to create a safer, healthier and wealthier world.”
According to a government statement, the funds will be used to equip girls and women, including refugees, with the skills needed for the jobs of the future.
David Morley, president of UNICEF Canada, said “UNICEF believes that the right to education is as fundamental as the right to food or shelter, and provides girls with the skills they need to break the cycle of crisis and poverty.”