Aid to basic education falling: UNESCO report

A recently released Education for All Global Monitoring Report by UNESCO highlights a standstill in reducing the number of children out of school. The report also notes that aid to basic education fell in 2010-11 for the first time since 2002.

Many of the world’s largest donors cut aid to basic education in 2010-11. Some of the most significant cuts to basic education were made by the Netherlands, which cut its funding by 36.5 percent; and Japan which cut its funding by 29.6 percent. France, Canada and the United States also made significant reductions. The United Kingdom is now the largest contributor to basic education, and Australia raised its contribution by 33 percent to US$233 million (though in 2013-14 this has fallen to AU$206 million).

The Dutch cuts have been made despite a 2009 evaluation of its contributions to basic education calling for ‘additional effort’, and identifying that support for basic education is ‘unfinished business’. The cuts are a result of basic education being seen by the Dutch government as not directly contributing to its foreign policy priorities. In the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) 2012 Annual report it highlights that ‘JICA is continuing to provide steady support for basic education leading up to 2015, the target year of the Education for ALL and MDGs’.

More commentary on the report is available on The Guardian.

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Colum Graham

Colum Graham is a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre and PhD candidate at ANU.

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