Additional aid to support school enrolment for girls in developing countries

The Netherlands will make an additional €50 million available to ensure that more children, and in particular girls, in developing countries can attend school. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, announced the extra support on International Women’s Day, Monday 8 March.

‘Education is a fundamental human right and an investment in the future of every girl and every boy. With a good education they can give direction to their own lives. Education also provides opportunities for better work and a decent income,’ said the minister.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic many schools in developing countries have closed their doors and children are not being taught. Many children, girls in particular, will not return when schools do eventually reopen. Without an education girls are at higher risk of forced or arranged marriage, early pregnancy and insufficient income.

Take action immediately

The funding provided by the Netherlands will go to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which has set a multi-year goal of getting 46 million girls in 90 developing countries enrolled in school. Under the leadership of GPE chair and former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, GPE recently launched the #RaiseYourHand campaign, which calls on world leaders to pledge at least $5 billion to GPE to support transformative changes to education systems in lower-income countries. The campaign will culminate on 28 and 29 July in London at the Global Education Summit to replenish GPE, hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Minister Kaag does not want to wait until the summit and is making the additional funding available now. ‘The coronavirus pandemic has undercut educational prospects for many children, and young girls are disproportionally affected. We need to take action immediately, so that they can benefit from the development opportunities that education offers’, she said. The €50 million grant has been financed from the development cooperation budget.

Largest fund for education

The Global Partnership for Education is the largest global fund for education. The GPE helps developing countries transform their education systems.