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Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what recent initiatives have been taken to help fund and encourage the education of girls in Pakistan. [129060]

All of DFID's education projects in Pakistan have a strong equity focus.At the national level, DFID is supporting improvements to education management information systems so as to better monitor girl's education, through for example:

the Northern Areas Education Project (£6 million) supports increased female enrolment and participation in management and delivery through improved sector management and the development of community schools. Girls' enrolment in the Northern Areas at primary level has increased from 29,438 in 1996–97 to 52,538 in 2002–03 (an increase of 78 per cent.);
the North West Frontier Province Education Project (£6.5 million) includes support for public-private-community partnerships which are shown to increase the participation of girls; and
the planned Azad Jammu and Kashmir community education project (£650,000) aims to sustain improvements in access to and the quality of schooling, particularly for girls.

The EC is also supporting education sector reform with a programme of €59 million over the period 2002–06. The UK contributes approximately 19 per cent. of the EC programme resource.