UK provides critical boost to humanitarian aid but support for girls’ education falls short
The Government has today published statistics showing how much the UK spent on international development in 2019. Responding, Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said:
“It is encouraging to see that the Government has increased spending on humanitarian emergencies. Now more than ever, this support is critical: the number of children forced to flee their homes reached a record high in 2019, while for millions of families already affected by conflict and disaster, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a crisis on top of a crisis.
“The priority now must be to make sure this support reaches those who need it most. We are concerned that the Government’s spend on education remains comparatively low, and this could have a life-limiting effect on adolescent girls in particular. When disaster or conflict strikes, girls are more likely to be pulled out of school, and school closures due to the pandemic have further compounded the situation. Many will never return to education, placing them at greater risk of exploitation, child marriage and early pregnancy, and preventing them from realising their potential.
“As the world responds to the pandemic, the UK’s global leadership is more important than ever. The Government must now make good on their strong commitment to support twelve years of quality education for every girl around the world by increasing the proportion of UK Aid going towards education to 15 per cent. For millions of girls living in crisis, this support could be a lifeline.”