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Millennium Development Goals

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

17. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution his Department is making to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal for every child to receive a primary education. (111038)

In April 2006, the Chancellor and Secretary of State for International Development announced a UK commitment to spend at least £8.5 billion on aid for education over the next 10 years, entering into 10 year agreements to help finance poor countries’ education plans.

HM treasury has been working closely with DfID and other Government Departments to ensure that primary education is high on the international agenda.

While some progress has been made globally over the past decade, universal primary education will not be achieved by 2015, unless we take urgent action. Every day almost 80 million primary school aged children do not go to school.

The UK has led the way by making a long-term commitment, demonstrating the high priority we place on this issue. We will now continue to urge other donors to deliver on their 2005 promises by providing long-term predictable financing for education.

The Chancellor has called for a high level international conference to take forward this agenda, which the European commission will host in Brussels in April. This will bring together Ministers from EU, G8 and developing countries, NGOs and opinion-formers. It will be an opportunity for the international community to demonstrate its commitment to achieving the education MDGs and making faster progress in this area.