UK PM says education is universal cure despite aid row

Investing in education in some of the world’s poorest countries is the “single best investment we can make in the future of humanity”, Boris Johnson has told an education summit in London.

The Global Partnership for Education raised more than $4bn (£2.9bn) from pledges, including £430m from the UK.

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai told the summit girls in particular faced an “education crisis”.

But charities warned the UK’s aid cuts had harmed fundraising.

The Global Partnership for Education, which distributes funding in more than 90 poorer countries, wants to raise $5bn (£3.6bn) to create an extra 88 million school places and support the learning of 175 million children during the next five years.

Pledges at the summit, hosted by the UK and Kenya, included:

  • £595m from the European Union
  • £300
  • £173m from Canada
  • £218m over three years from the United States

Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister and chair of the education aid organisation, was confident that the full $5bn would be raised, but different national budget cycles would mean it would arrive in stages.

She said the pandemic had disrupted education in all countries – but the impact of closing schools had been much worse in poorer countries where many families lacked access at home to internet connections or electricity.


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