To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister at the Liaison Committee on 16 September 2020, HC 744, whether he discussed the provision of Official Development Assistance funding for the Investing In Adolescent Girls in Rwanda project with the Prime Minister.
Standing up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is a major priority for this Government. Our bilateral programmes and funding to organisations like the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait make the UK a global leader in promoting girls' education. We will soon be publishing a Girls' Education Action Plan, expanding our activity in this area and we will work with countries around the world to do more, to step up, to give every girl access to 12 years of quality education.
The Investing In Adolescent Girls in Rwanda programme was a life skills project not an education project. The difficult decision was taken not to start this project as it had not already commenced. This was part of a wider process of prioritisation of ODA in order to meet new needs created by the pandemic and to manage the impact of COVID-19 on GNI.
The First Secretary and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury oversaw this decision-making, which looked at every strand of the ODA budget. This thorough process has ensured we remain prioritised on poverty reduction for the 'bottom billion', as well as tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls' education, UK leadership in the global response to COVID-19, and campaigning on issues such as media freedom and freedom of religious belief.
The process and principles were discussed with the Prime Minister and information presented at a strategic level using headline figures. Individual projects were not discussed.