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Bigger share of aid budget for education, say MPs

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MPs are calling for more investment in education in the UK’s overseas aid

Education should receive a bigger share of the UK’s overseas aid budget, a cross-party report from MPs says.

The International Development Select Committee said education is vital to improving lives in the world’s poorest countries.

The proportion of the UK’s aid budget spent on education was about 7% in 2015, according to MPs.

Stephen Twigg, who chairs the committee, said more must be done for the “most marginalised children”.

The report, examining the Department for International Development’s work on education, highlights the lack of access to education in developing countries and conflict zones.

‘Eradication of poverty’

“Education is a fundamental human right which underpins the improving of lives and the eradication of poverty,” the report says.

But, it says, there are 263 million young people without access to school and a further 330 million in schools of such poor quality they are not learning even the basics.

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Girls are more likely to miss out on school in countries facing poverty and conflict

The number of families displaced from their homes – such as refugees from war – has almost doubled since the late 1990s, leaving millions of children without schools.

The report shows that in 2015, about £650m of the UK’s aid budget was spent on education in direct, bilateral aid – and a further £227m through other departments or international organisations.

This was about 7% of the total overseas aid…

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