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UNGEI Contributes to improving EFA-FTI process in Liberia and Sierra Leone

NEW YORK, NY, 9 May 2007 - UNGEI contributed to the gender review of the country plans for the Republic of Liberia and the Republic of Sierra Leone, which were welcomed to the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Partnership last week.

Following FTI review and endorsement of Liberia’s Primary Education Recovery Program and Sierra Leone’s Education Strategic Plan, the countries join an expanding group of countries able to access technical and financial support for their efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goal of completion of a quality primary education for all children, girls and boys alike.

UNICEF and other UNGEI partners in both countries, FTI donor partners and the FTI Partnership were involved in the review process, helping to ensure the attainment of FTI goals — to provide incentives and resources to help empower these nations to build and implement sound education plans.

Agreement had been reached previously for UNGEI to spearhead gender reviews of plans at country level, and thereafter at global level, as part of consultation with the wider group of FTI partners.  In Liberia, some specific issues revealed by the gender review were the shortage of women teachers, budgetary capacity, over-age learners and revisions to curriculum.  In Sierra Leone, gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation, ensuring the voice and participation of women and girls and school fees were among some of the issues raised.

Through the Fast Track Initiative, all involved partner countries and agencies coordinate at both national and international levels to ensure greater donor harmonization, knowledge sharing and resource mobilization. Globally, the FTI encompasses all major donors for education — more than 30 bilateral, regional and international agencies and development banks.

The admission of Liberia and Sierra Leone brings to 31 the number of countries whose education sector plans have been endorsed by the FTI. Of these, UNGEI partners serve as lead agency in 20 countries. These include including UNICEF, World Bank, DfID, UNESCO and Denmark.


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