U.S. should seize partnership

Published 10:04 am Friday, May 30, 2014

Next month, the United States has an opportunity to help the world’s poorest children attend school by making a generous pledge to the Global Partnership for Education, a multilateral organization that supports basic primary-school education in 59 developing countries.

It should seize it.

The next pledging conference is June 26 in Brussels and advocacy groups are asking the United States to provide $250 million over the next two years, says Crickett Nicovich, senior policy associate at RESULTS, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-poverty advocacy group. U.S. officials should make such a pledge — a big step up from this country’s donation of $40 million over the last two years — and Congress should appropriate the funds.

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The global partnership’s big fundraising goals match the big needs. Around the world, 57 million children aren’t in school. The partnership wants to provide enough resources so that 29 million youngsters can attend school. Currently, the group supports 22 million school-age children.

Money is needed to break down more barriers.

In Malawi, some parents won’t send girls to school because of a lack of bathrooms and too few female teachers, whom parents trust with their daughters, said Benedicto Kondowe, executive director of Malawi’s Civil Society Education Coalition, in a recent telephone interview….

The United States can strike a blow against such extremists by partnering with other wealthy nations to help increase literacy rates and reduce poverty rates in the world’s poorest nations. Doing so would benefit not just those countries, but the world.


The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer