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Media Advisory: International summit to call for faster, long-term aid to educate the world's children before 2015

BRUSSELS/ LONDON / WASHINGTON, 12 April 2007 Rich country donors, international organizations along with civil society leaders, will appeal for concrete new aid commitments to educate all the world's children by 2015 during a High-Level Education Conference in Brussels on 2 May 2007. 

Despite education being a human right and the overwhelming evidence that investing in education can spur economic growth, slow the spread of HIV/AIDS, and reduce poverty, there are still 77 million children out of school - including 44 million girls. At the current rate of progress at least 75 countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, will not achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015.

Urgent action is needed now. If all children are going to complete their primary education by 2015, they must be enrolled in school by 2009 at the latest.  This means that plans to increase access and improve the quality of education provision must be finalized this year and the necessary resources mobilized quickly.

The High-Level Education event of May 2nd aims to generate renewed high-level political commitment to finance basic education in an urgent and longer-term predictable way. The event will be hosted by the European Commission and co-organized by the UK government and the World Bank. It follows on an earlier agreement in Singapore in September 2006 by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown, European Commissioner Louis Michel and President Paul Wolfowitz of the World Bank.

Conference participants will include Ministers of Finance and Development Cooperation of the EU Member States, the OECD donor countries, emerging donors and developing countries, leaders of international organizations, foundations, civil society organizations and the private sector as well as Members of the European Parliament, individual advocates and experts. More information on the program can be found on the website:

There will be photo and TV opportunities for accredited audiovisual media during the opening session on 2 May. To acquire accreditation, please register on the conference website before Friday, 27 April 2007: All media are invited to a concluding press conference following the morning session. Details are to be announced in due course.

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio
European Commission
Tel: +32 2 295.26.58

Angela Bekkers
World Bank Brussels
Tel: +32 2 552  0039 

Helen Etheridge
Treasury of the United Kingdom
Tel: +44  207 270 5188


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