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Burma: Education

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK aid funding in response to the cyclone in Burma has been allocated to education; and if he will make a statement. (227400)

Although none of the Department for International Development's (DFID) cyclone relief assistance has been specifically allocated to education, the sector has benefited from our funding allocated to multi-sectoral programmes managed by UN agencies and non-governmental organisations, and from our support to the logistical effort needed to deliver aid supplies.

Early in the cyclone relief effort it became clear that education programmes, such as those being undertaken by UNICEF and Save the Children, were relatively well funded by other donors. DFID therefore chose to focus support on other critical priorities which were less well funded such as food, shelter, health care, clean water and the restoration of people's livelihoods.

Since around 75 per cent. of the cost of education in Burma is met by communities, the restoration of people's income-earning capacity will have an important effect on their ability to educate their children.

DFID is now considering how best to assist recovery in the cyclone affected areas of Burma over the next two years, including possible direct support to the education sector.

DFID's long-term funding to UNICEF and Save the Children for primary and pre-school education across Burma is continuing