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Millennium Development Goals

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the UK Government in consultation with other donor countries will be doing to achieve the 2005 Millennium Development Goals on gender parity and access to primary and secondary education. [112186]

The 2005 Millennium Development Goal on gender parity and access to primary and secondary education is a key priority of DFID. We believe that achieving the MDGs requires learning lesson from past efforts, encouraging and supporting governments in developing countries to implement sound policies, and in providing countries with the necessary resources.The Government are committed to collaborating with a variety of partners to accelerate progress on girls' education. Like most donor countries, gender is now mainstreamed into all our development work. We are working with the UN Girls' Education Initiative to ensure stronger collaboration and co-ordination among donors at the global and the national level. And we are working with the World bank and UNICEF to develop sustainable strategies for girls' education in several countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Millennium Development Goals on universal primary education gender parity in access to primary and secondary education will be a priority for governments at the G8 summit. [112188]

The main output of the 2002 G8 meeting in Kananaskis was the G8 Africa Action Plan. In response to this we announced an increase in bilateral spending to Africa from around £650 million a year then, to £1 billion by 2006. The provision of adequate and appropriate support to countries with credible plans to achieve UPE was integral to the Action Plan. Education is not likely to feature so prominently in this year's meeting. Nevertheless, the international community remains committed to meeting the Millennium Development Goals on universal primary education and gender parity in access to primary and secondary education. The Fast Track Initiative illustrates this commitment and could improve donor harmonisation in the education sector.