Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education


Every human being should have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. Unfortunately, too many children in the world today grow up without this chance, because they are denied their basic right to even attend primary school. A sustainable end to world poverty as we know it, as well as the path to peace and security, require that citizens in every country are empowered to make positive choices and provide for themselves and their families.

The Targets

Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

Did You Know?

  • One in four adults in the developing world – 872 million people – is illiterate. (Oxfam UK – Education Now Campaign)
  • More than 100 million children remain out of school. (Source:UNFPA)
  • 46% of girls in the world’s poorest countries have no access to primary education. (Source:ActionAid)
  • More than 1 in 4 adults cannot read or write: 2/3 are women. (Source:ActionAid)
  • Universal primary education would cost $16 billion a year – that's half what Americans spend on ice cream. (Source:ActionAid)
  • Young people who have completed primary education are less than half as likely to contract HIV as those missing an education. Universal primary education would prevent 700,000 cases of HIV each year – about 30% all new infections in this age group. (Source:Oxfam)



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