Britain’s Finance Minister Announces $15B Pledge for Education Initiative in Developing World
The British government has pledged $15 billion to fund education in developing countries over the next 10 years, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on Monday announced, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (Camillo, AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/10). Education is a vital tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS, London's The Sun reports (Porter, The Sun, 4/10). Brown's announcement comes after African leaders launched an initiative to ensure that every child in Africa attends school by 2015 (Los Angeles Times, 4/11). The pledge fulfills a component of Britain's commitment made in 2005 at the Group of Eight industrialized nations summit in Gleneagles, Scotland (Russell, The Independent, 4/10). Leaders from the G8 at the close of the summit agreed to an immediate doubling of aid to Africa to $50 billion annually in order to fight poverty and disease on the continent (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/8/05). "Education is vital in preventing the further spread of HIV/AIDS," Brown said at a press conference on Monday, adding, "Women who have had schooling are thought to be three times better able to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS than those with no education." David Gartner, policy director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said, "The commitment by Gordon Brown and [Britain] represents a truly historic breakthrough in funding for basic education in Africa and the developing world" (Global AIDS Alliance release, 4/10). The pledge will be used to fund education in developing countries worldwide, but will focus on Africa, which bears the largest burden in terms of lack of access to education. Recent UNESCO figures estimate that only 58% of children in sub-Saharan Africa attend primary school (The Independent, 4/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.