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Lifeline for millions of children in poor countries

Lifeline for millions of children in poor countries

November 8, 2011

Oxfam welcomed the substantial commitments made Tuesday by governments to the Global Partnership for Education totaling $1.5 billion. This is a crucial lifeline for millions of children in poor countries who are currently denied the chance to go to school, Katie Malouf Bous, Oxfam’s Education Policy Advisor, said after the Global Partnership for Education replenishment conference in Copenhagen.
The Canadian government committed $45 million to the fund over a three-year period ending in 2013-2014.

The Global Partnership for Education conference capped a campaign to mobilize resources and political commitments for basic education development and progress towards universal quality basic education for the period 2011-2014. Representatives of 52 countries attended.

Bous said: "The UK, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands lead the pack with new funds for what is the most effective global initiative to support basic education – but other donors must come forward in the next months to ensure the full funding target is reached. Investing in education is investing in future generations who will be able to work their way out of poverty rather than being dependent on aid."

“Developing countries are the true champions of education at this event,” Bous said. “Despite difficult fiscal situations, today they made historic commitments of over $2 billion collectively, to increase spending and commitment to education in their own countries.”

“We were pleased to see the World Bank reaffirm last year’s commitment to increase lending for the poorest countries; now we must see the money actually delivered, especially for sub-Saharan Africa."
In a news release the Global Partnership for Education said global teachers’ unions, civil society and private sector organizations made strong auxiliary pledges. Civil society organizations and coalitions, including Save the Children, Plan, The Elders, Oxfam and Action Aid, pledged to provide teacher training and school construction, fight for girls education and eliminate child marriage, monitor donor country delivery on pledges and support developing country colleagues in holding their governments to account for improved access to education and minimizing corruption in education spending.
Over the next three years, funding dedicated to the Global Partnership for Education will help put 25 million children into classrooms for the first time, train 600,000 new teachers and significantly reduce illiteracy for primary school aged children, the release said.

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For more information:

Juliet O’Neill
Oxfam Canada
Media Relations


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