Joy Smith, MP for Kildonan-St. Paul, announced Tuesday that the Canadian government will give $7.5 million in funding to a UNICEF health education initiative in developing countries.
The funding will support the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools for Girls (WinS for Girls) project which has a target of reaching 500,000 children in 1,200 schools in 12 developing countries.
Smith made the announcement along with UNICEF Canada president David Morley at Maple Leaf School in Winnipeg.
"Canada has been a strong advocate for gender equality. In other words, what that means is girls and boys are equal, they all have a right to education and they all have the right to grow up and be healthy," Smith told a group of elementary students in the school's gym.
"We have learned that the longer girls stay in school, the more likely they are to have fewer and healthier children and to earn a better income to support their families."
She said the initiative will include aspects such as vaccinations, vitamins, improving access to clean water and adequate, private washroom facilities in schools.