Education aid falls for sixth consecutive year: UNESCO

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Children at Bahadoub 2 school in Timbuktu, Mali. Photo: UNICEF/PFPG2013P-0035/Harandane Dicko

Aid-funding for education worldwide has fallen for the sixth consecutive year, according to a policy paper published on Tuesday by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It says total aid for education stands at US$12 billion, some four per cent lower than in 2010.

UNESCO warns that the shortfall could have an impact on reaching the global goal of providing inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030.

Dianne Penn reports.

The drop in aid funding for education occurred at a time when total development aid had increased by nearly 25 per cent.

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova pointed out that aid remains "far short" of what will be required to meet Sustainable Development Goal 4, whose targets include providing free primary and secondary education for all girls and boys.

Furthermore, the agency said aid is not allocated according to need.

For example, sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than half of the world's children who are out of school. 

Yet the region now gets less than half the aid to basic education that it received in 2002.

UNESCO reports that sub-Saharan Africa receives about 26 per cent of total aid for basic education, compared to the 22 per cent allocated to Northern Africa and Western Asia, where less than 10 per cent of children are out of school.

The policy paper outlines proposals for donors, such as supporting a global education funding campaign which seeks to raise US$2 billion annually for the period 2018-20, or four times more than current funding levels.

Donors are also encouraged to support another fund that aims to transform how education is delivered to children affected by conflict or other emergencies.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'25"

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