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Britain’s Place in the World

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:42 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Secretary of State for International Development 2:42 pm, 15th October 2019

My hon. Friend makes a very important point, and of course we urge all developed nations to come forward and match us in our 0.7% target. I would add that there are certain areas such as the fight against the spread of Ebola where the UK has been leading, and it would be very helpful if some of our international partners came alongside us in such endeavours.

As I have said, all those countries in Biarritz supported the UK’s campaign to ensure that every girl in the world receives 12 years of quality education, and we know that educating girls is the tool that can address a whole host of the world’s economic and social problems. Educating girls prevents child marriage and early pregnancy, helps women into the workforce and boosts household incomes and economic growth. We announced new funding at the G7 to provide education for children in the developing world caught up in crises and conflict; girls, who are more than twice as likely to be out of school in conflict areas, stand to benefit most from this support.

Since 2015, the UK has supported almost 6 million girls to gain a decent education. At the UN in September, the Prime Minister announced measures that will help to get over 12 million more children into school. That will boost future economic growth and improve women’s rights in some of the poorest countries in the world.