UN chief calls for more investment in educationListen /
Leaders around the world have been urged to reverse what has been described as the "unacceptable trend" of decreasing international aid budgets for basic education.
The appeal was made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a symposium organized by the World Bank in Washington DC.
The Secretary-General said domestic spending is by far the most important source of funding for basic education, and governments can and must do more to increase such resources.
But, Mr. Ban added, donors can bridge shortfalls by allocating a significant share of their overseas development aid to education.
"However, between 2010 and 2011, international aid to basic education fell by 6 per cent. We must reverse this unacceptable trend, which imperils the development of our societies. There is no greater return than investing in education. I call on political leaders to show the leadership and foresight needed to reap the many benefits of a well-educated and highly-skilled population." (29")
The Secretary-General also called for investments to be targeted to countries most in need and the young people who are hardest to reach.
He said they include children in fragile and conflict-affected countries, girls, children with disabilities, children living in remote rural areas and those living in poverty.
Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.