Developing countries ‘could boost economies by better educating girls’

1 Feb 18

Developing countries are missing out on at least $308m every day because they do not educate girls to the same level as boys, an advocacy group has said.

The campaign and advocacy group ONE has called on world leaders to make “ambitious pledges” to fund education and help get more than 130 million girls into school, at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment on Friday in Dakar, Senegal.

GPE is seeking to raise $3.1bn from donors for the next replenishment cycle, which runs from 2018 to 2020.

If this is financed, the replenishment could help 26 million children through school, the training of more than 1.7 million teachers, build more than 23,000 classrooms and provide over 200 million textbooks.

Gayle Smith, president and CEO of ONE, said: “Investment in education brings dividends in health and prosperity, as well as security.

“World leaders should consider that if they do the right thing, we will all gain from it.”

She added: “The price of failure to deliver in Dakar would be very expensive.

“The cost for millions of children around the world, for the global economy, for global stability and for women’s empowerment, would be too high.”

The campaign group said that since 2002, the share of global education financing has dropped from 13% to 10%, despite global official development assistance increasing.

In October last year, ONE said developing countries needed more money to educate girls in order to grow local and global economies.

The group said African leaders are acting by working to a target of allocating at least 20% of domestic budgets to education and by changing education policies.

But Africa needs more investments in education as its population is set to double by 2050, half of which will be under the age of 25, ONE said.

The organisation also said the lack of a decent education results in 2,800 avoidable deaths in development countries each day.

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