‘Pak, India experienced largest education aid cuts’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has experienced the second largest cuts across the globe (after India) in aid to basic education that fell by $60 million between 2010-2012, despite being among the top five countries in the world with the most children out of school, an upcoming UN report states.
“The two countries with the largest cuts in aid to basic education from 2010 to 2012 were India and Pakistan, even though both sit among the top five countries in the world with the most children out of school,” suggest the new figures of the Education for All – EFA Global Monitoring Report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The report would be released globally on Wednesday.
It states that education aid cuts to these countries (India and Pakistan) resulted in South and West Asia being the region with the largest decline in aid to basic education, with disbursements falling by 26 per cent between 2010 and 2012.
“Aid to basic education for low-income countries recovered slightly in 2012 compared to the decreases felt in 2011, but levels are still lower than they were in 2010. Twenty-two low-income countries received less aid for basic education than two years before,” the UNESCO figures suggest. 
The new figures are being released ahead of the Global Partnership for Education’s Replenishment Pledging Conference in Brussels (June 25-26), at which, UNESCO says, donors would be asked to help raise a much-needed $3.5 billion for education in the poorest countries.
“The cuts are biting hardest in those countries furthest from reaching the education goals,” the UNESCO findings say. In sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to over half of the world’s out-of-school children, aid to basic education fell between 2010 and 2011, and stagnated between 2011 and 2012, according to the UN agency. Since 2010, 12 African countries have seen cuts in their aid to basic education of $10 million or more. The EFA Global Monitoring Report states that despite half of the world’s out-of-school children living in conflict-affected countries, humanitarian aid appeals neglect education needs: education only received 2 percent of humanitarian appeals in 2013 – only half way to the modest 4 percent target set by the UN last year.
“As a sector, education is suffering a double disadvantage: not only is it receiving the smallest proportion of humanitarian appeals, but it is also receiving one of the smallest proportion of requests that it makes for funding: in 2013 education received 40 percent of the funds it called for from humanitarian aid,” the report reveals. 
Global aid to education, according to the document, is seriously declining: it fell by just over per cent between 2010 and 2011, and a further three per cent in 2012. 
“Basic education – which enables children to acquire foundational skills and core knowledge – is now receiving the same amount of aid as it was receiving in 2008. As funds diminish, and just one year before the deadline for achieving the global Education for All goals, 57 million children and 69 million adolescents are still out of school,” it adds. 

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