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Girls' Education Declaration is an important step, but aid cuts undermine efforts 

LONDON, 6 MAY 2021Save the Children welcomes the Girls’ Education Declaration, agreed at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meeting this week. The Declaration includes two new global targets - to get 40 million more girls into school and 20 million more girls reading by the age of 10 in low and lower middle-income countries by 2026.

Kirsty McNeill, Director of Policy and Campigns, said:

"These targets, led by the UK, are an important step towards ensuring every girl realises their right to quality education and we start to crack the injustice crisis.

"The need has never been more urgent. COVID-19 has caused the greatest disruption to education in history. Millions of children are at risk of dropping out altogether, with girls worst impacted. Child marriage and teenage pregnancy are both expected to rise, threatening girls’ learning, safety, and wellbeing. 

"However, this announcement comes as the UK has slashed its aid budget for girls’ education by up to 40% - impacting more than a million children living in the world’s toughest countries and seriously undermining these efforts. The targets agreed will not be achieved without ambitious financing to back them up.  

"This summer, the UK will co-host a Global Education Summit which aims to raise $5 billion for the Global Partnership for Education – the world’s largest education fund. If the UK wants to be a world leader on education, they must reverse the aid cuts and pledge at least £600 million to the GPE, setting an example to others and protecting the futures of millions of children."