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Afghanistan

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of school attendance rates for (a) boys and (b) girls in Afghanistan in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (99593)

The Government of Afghanistan Ministry of Education figures for total enrolment rates in general education are:

million

Girls

Boys

Total

2004

1.3

2.7

4.0

2005

1.7

3.2

4.9

2006

1.9

3.5

5.4

DFID has not made any assessment of school attendance rates as we do not provide direct assistance to the education sector, with the exception of very limited support (£47,000) for primary education of refugees in 2001-02. Our support to the education sector has been channelled through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). This plays a big part in meeting the recurrent costs such as wages and salaries of teachers and school materials. ARTF resources cover over 90 per cent. of the Ministry of Education’s wage bill and teachers’ salaries represent almost 40 per cent. of ARTF recurrent expenditures. DFID funds a third of these expenditures.

Other donors have taken the lead in providing direct support to the education sector, including the World Bank, USAID and United Nations Agencies. The UK is therefore also supporting the education sector through its contributions to multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank and UN.