Oxfam UK

Aid cuts could spell disaster for the education of poor children

Press Release   •   Nov 09, 2011 09:36 GMT

Ahead of a high level Global Partnership for Education (GPE) meeting in Copenhagen today, Oxfam has called for rich country donors and the World Bank to put money on the table for basic education.

Donor cuts and empty promises leave poor countries in the lurch

As donor aid levels plummet children in developing countries could face a bleak future as they miss out on the chan

Unless donors reverse the trend of cuts, there’s a real danger that a generation of children will lose the chance to learn. Katie Malouf BousOxfam’s Education Policy Advisor

Notes to Editors

  • New World Bank commitments to basic education in IDA countries fell to $403m in FY11, compared to an average of $1.146 billion over the previous three fiscal years. This also represents a drop of $575 million compared to the five year average of $978 million. New commitments specifically for primary education in the Bank’s Africa region fell to $29 million: the previous 20 year average was $120 million, and the only year with lower commitments in the period since 1990 was 1997.
  • All data cited here are publicly available on the World Bank’s website.
    The Bank typically calculates basic education using a formula that combines all of the primary and pre-primary categories, 75% of general education, 75% of public administration and 50% of secondary.
  • IDA is the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional lending arm for the poorest developing countries.
  • Data on Burkina Faso and other countries losing bilateral aid for basic education is from: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0824_bilateral_aid.aspx
  • Oxfam’s aid cut figures are based on existing and predicted OECD government aid budgets for 2010-12. The cuts in overseas development assistance total around $11.2 billion with Italy, the US, Spain and Netherlands the major “cutters”. The cuts are only partly off-set by a big increase in Australian aid and smaller rises in the UK and Germany, which keep their aid spending constant as a proportion of national income. Meanwhile, aid levels are flat-lining in other countries, including France and Canada.
  • The GPE has requested an additional $2.5 billion to be delivered by donors over the next 3 years. This money would be able to provide 50 million new textbooks, train 600,000 new teachers and support 25 million more children enrolling in school.

Contact Information

For more information, or to arrange an interview with an Oxfam spokesperson from the event in Copenhagen, please contact:

Sarah Dransfield, Oxfam Press Officer:

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