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G7 countries take important step for empowering girls and women

QUEBEC CITY, Canada — The ONE Campaign, the international policy and advocacy organization to fight extreme poverty and the spread of preventable diseases in Africa, released the following statement today applauding the announcement of a new commitment by the development finance institutions of the G7 countries to mobilize US$3 billion by 2020 for investment in the economic empowerment of women.


Gayle Smith, the chief executive officer of The ONE Campaign, said:

“The best tool for helping someone climb out of extreme poverty is a good job. Economic growth in a developing community helps everyone by creating opportunity, expanding access to education, health care, and other critical services.

“In partnership with traditional development assistance and domestic resources, private-sector finance can be an incredibly powerful force for good in fragile and developing countries. Foreign aid and private investment work together to help create the conditions for communities to climb out of poverty. While development assistance helps countries address basic needs, like nutrition, medical care, and governance, private investment can help create jobs, offer first-time access to electricity, and grow markets.

ONE enthusiastically welcomes the agreement by the development finance institutions of each of the G7 countries to work together to invest in female entrepreneurs creating jobs for women in developing countries. This partnership will focus on critical areas for gender equality: Expanding women’s access to good jobs, finance, markets, leadership opportunities, and products and services that meet their needs. Teaming up to leverage public capital to raise private investment is a savvy way to exponentially help more women than any one development finance institution — or any one country — could do on its own.

“At the end of the day, the reality is that empowering women and girls will take a mix of development assistance, domestic resources, and private-sector capital. We applaud this new stream of development finance to the effort. It is a very strong step forward.”