Plan International Pledges Extra $55 million for Education Projects

Nov 07, 2011, 10:15 ET from Plan International

COPENHAGEN, Nov. 7, 2011  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over the next three years, global children-centered development organization Plan International will invest an extra $55 million in education projects which will reach an additional eight million girls in developing countries.

This pledge is on top of the $113 million Plan allocated for education projects in 2011, reaching more than 56 million students. Plan's pledge comes as global leaders gather in Copenhagen to commit additional funds to education program around the world. It is hoped that governments and NGOs will pledge to fill a portion of the $8 billion funding gap that exists in order to meet the "Education for All" goals between now and 2015.

Speaking ahead of the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment event in Copenhagen today, Plan International CEO Nigel Chapman said, "Girls make up the majority of the 67 million children who are not in school in developing countries and by 2015 we need to reduce this number. We need countries to ensure that when they pledge funding to education, a significant part of these funds are allocated specifically to close the education gender gap."

Research has shown that investing in girls and young women has a disproportionately beneficial effect in alleviating poverty - not only for girls but for their families, communities and entire countries. Girls who spend an extra year at school will on average increase their lifetime income by 10 to 20%.

"We are here today not only to hold governments and donors to account and ensure they commit essential funding to education, we are also here to talk about how we can enable safe learning spaces for all children, especially girls," said Chapman.

The millions spent on education are wasted if girls are too scared to go to school because of fear of violence. Quality education cannot be achieved unless international organizations, governments, local communities, teachers, parents, and children work together to uphold this basic right.

"Every girl has a fundamental right to a quality education no matter where in the world she lives. Plan is stepping up to provide funding and expertise for education programmes globally. We are now calling on all governments and donors to do the same. Now the hard work of ensuring the pledges made here in Copenhagen are lived up to and delivered on," said Mr. Chapman.

Editor's notes:
Plan International CEO Nigel Chapman is available for interviews from Copenhagen. Mr. Chapman will present the $55 million pledge and chair a panel event on girl's education on November 8th.

The Global Partnership for Education is seeking US$2.5 billion over 3 years for its pooled Global Partnership for Education Fund. In the Global Partnership developing partner countries, this level of funding will achieve:

  • An additional 25 million primary school children enrolled in school;
  • Halving of the population of out-of-school children;
  • 7.5% increase in primary completion rates;
  • 50 million new textbooks in classrooms; and
  • Training 600,000 new teachers to address the global teacher shortage.

The replenishment pledging event in Copenhagen will be held on November 7-8, 2011 and will be built around a results-focused approach where future funding will be contingent on concrete results. The goal is to achieve more predictable aid from donor partners and a commitment to concrete results and sustained levels of domestic resources for education from developing country partners.

Because I am a Girl is Plan's campaign to fight gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty.  Plan is producing one girl report each year in the run up to 2015, the target year for the Millennium Development Goals. Each report provides tangible proof of the inequalities that still exist between boys and girls. Join our initiative and help us transform the lives of the world's poorest girls.

Plan's global Learn Without Fear campaign calls for an end to violence against children in schools and promote the belief that every child has the right to a safe school environment.

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SOURCE Plan International