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Developing Countries: Education

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many 10-year agreements under the Education for All initiative announced in April 2006 have been signed with developing countries since then; how much of the $15 billion fund earmarked has been delivered; and how many extra pupils are in education full-time in those countries. (142593)

The authoritative source of global education data is the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The 2007 report was published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in November 2006. It includes statistics by country of primary aged children enrolled at school up to the year 2004. This is the most recent source of global data available. Statistics up to the year 2005 will be available in the 2008 report which is due to be published by December 2007. Therefore, it is too soon to report on the additional numbers of children receiving an education in particular countries since the UK’s education initiative launched in April 2006.

The UK education initiative involves the provision of long-term predictable support to education through a commitment of £8.5 billion over a 10-year period from April 2006. The amount of bilateral aid disbursed in support of education in developing countries for the financial year 2006-07 will be reported in DFID’s Statistics on International Development to be published in October 2007. DFID’s total spend on education also includes funds disbursed via multilateral organisations.

In launching the UK education initiative, we asked governments to prepare ambitious 10-year education sector plans to which donors should contribute funding support. In Africa, 25 countries are involved. Of these, to date, 17 have produced their plans. The Education for All Fast Tract Initiative (FTI), supported by 15 donors, is also supporting the development of education sector plans. The FTI’s Education Programme Development Fund provides technical assistance to help with the preparation of plans and the Catalytic Fund for the implementation of endorsed plans. 31 countries have obtained FTI endorsement since its inception in 2002 and a further 30 countries are working towards endorsement in 2007 and 2008. The UK is contributing some £150 million through the FTI.

Since April 2006, the UK has announced 10-year agreements to support education plans in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania totalling £646 million. The UK has also made recent commitments to support education plans in Burundi, DRC, India, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Somalia.