Six Days of Military Spending Would Send All the World's Children to School

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Funding Would Help Educate 28 Million Children in War-Torn Countries Alone

WESTPORT, Conn. (March 1, 2011) — If rich countries were to transfer just six days’ worth of military spending to development assistance for basic education, we could close the US$16 billion external financing gap for global education and achieve Education for All goals, putting all children into school by 2015, says Save the Children.

UNESCO’s The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and Education report released today, cautions that the world is not on track to achieve, by 2015, the six Education for All goals that over 160 countries signed up to in 2000. As a key contributor to the report, Save the Children warns that if the international community does not act now, there could be more children out of school in 2015 than there are today. Read the report

“Save the Children has repeatedly called on the international community to increase funding for education in conflict-affected fragile states. Children have the right to attend school and we must not forget that the right kind of education is a powerful tool to build peace and tolerance,” says Desmond Bermingham, director of Save the Children’s Education Global Initiative.

"Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa show the results of failing to support young people’s education: increased conflicts, higher youth unemployment, weak economic growth and increasing social disparities as well as a reversal in the progress made on education so far. We must invest in the future of all children and young people in conflict-affected countries - and we must do it now.

“Donors have a critical role in ensuring that the right to education of children in conflict-affected fragile states - almost half of all out-of-school children or 28 million children - is delivered upon and made a reality for all. Sadly, some of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries are neglected in major donor agendas, while a select number of conflict-affected countries receive the majority of education funding in line with donor’s national security priorities.

“It is also imperative that countries affected by conflict, uphold their responsibility to ensuring education for all and commit to allocate at least 20 percent of their national budgets to education, therefore removing all financial barriers that prevent the most marginalized children from accessing school.

“Save the Children has shown that delivering education to children living amid conflict is possible; however, key support is needed in order to ensure that the poorest and the hardest to reach children do go to school. This can only be accomplished if the international community invests in educational systems, teachers, and innovative approaches to deliver education with quality and equity.

“Save the Children has been supporting the delivery of quality education programs in war-torn countries for decades. Through our combined efforts with partners, 1.7 million children now have access to education in conflict-affected countries. We urge the international community to act now for the millions more children who currently do not enjoy their right to education in conflict-affected fragile states.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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