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Developing Countries: Education

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government have taken to encourage developing countries to provide education to girls as well as boys. (202527)

[holding answer 1 May 2008]: The UK Government have committed £8.5 billion for education over the 10 years to 2015-16 in support of education sector plans in developing countries.

The Department for International Development works with developing country governments to ensure gender equality is effectively addresses in education sector plans to ensure that girls, as well as boys, benefit. Our work with international and non-governmental organisations like UNICEF and the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, tackles social and economic barriers outside the education system that hinder girls’ participation.

Last July (2007), the Prime Minister and United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki Moon launched an MDG Call to Action to urge the international community to accelerate actions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals—including the Education goals. Girls’ education is central to both the Education MDG and the Maternal Mortality MDG—both of which are key pillars of the Call to Action.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government have taken to assist developing countries in the funding of education. (202528)

[holding answer 1 May 2008]: The UK Government have committed £8.5 billion for education in developing countries over the 10 years to 2015-16. During the French President Sarkozy’s recent visit to London, the UK and France agreed to each help support 8 million children in school by 2010.

The UK Government are actively engaged in galvanising international political action in support of Education for All. The G8 reaffirmed its commitment that no country committed to Education for All will be thwarted in their efforts through lack of resources, and we continue to urge other donors to meet their promises on education.

Education is one of the key pillars of the Call to Action. We are working with the United Nations and other donors to accelerate action in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We hope to see a concrete Action Plan being agreed at the international conference, being held in New York on 25 September.