Christian Aid welcomes Brown's global education pledge
Leading UK-based international development agency Christian Aid has welcomed Gordon Brownís pledge of £8.5 billion to help fund primary education in developing countries .
The British chancellor has promised to spend the money ñ more than four times the amount the UK government spent in the previous decade ñ over the next ten years.
Christian Aid director Dr Daleep Mukarji said: ìWe are delighted ñ this is great news for children in the developing world and we welcome this bold step. This will go a long way to deliver the United Nationsí goal of education for all by 2015.î
Mr Brown challenged other rich countries to make similar contributions to meet the estimated 100 billion US dollars cost of global primary education. The US gave less than 3.5 billion dollars in aid to Africa in 2004.
ìIn 2005, Make Poverty History forced governments to make promises on aid,î the chancellor said. ìNow, in 2006 it is time for us to keep our promises. None is more important than the Millennium Development Goal that by 2015 every one of the worldís children is able to go to school.î
Although until the financial year 2007-08 the money will be taken from cash already allocated to the Department for International Development, a department spokesman said that the entire grant was ìeffectively new moneyî.
He added: ìThis is a commitment to spend at least £8.5 billion between 2006 and 2016.î
At the G8 summit in Gleneagles last year, the leaders of the worldís eight richest nations promised a doubling of aid to Africa ñ worth £14.3 billion ñ by 2010.
Christian Aidís Dr Mukarji urged the chancellor and the other G8 finance ministers to keep all the promises made at the summit.
This is a call which has been widely echoes by development and church groups ñ with concern among some that Brownís move may mask a certain amount of window-dressing by the rich nations.